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Blog » Call to Join a Spring 2019 Teaching Circle

Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) is pleased to announce the teaching circles for spring semester 2019.

If you are interested in joining one of these groups, please email its facilitator directly. Each circle will hold its initial meeting in January or early February, with the day and time decided by a Doodle poll.

For more information the purpose and organization of Teaching Circles at RIT, please see our Call to Form a Teaching Circle in Spring 2019. If you would like to propose a topic for a Teaching Circle in Fall 2019, please email Michael Starenko.



Infusing the Entrepreneurial Mindset into the Undergraduate Curriculum

Beth DeBartolo (Multidisciplinary Design, KGCOE) and Jen O’Neil (Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technology, CET)

As a new partner in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), RIT is committed to infusing an entrepreneurial mindset into a variety of undergraduate courses in CET and KGCOE. Above all, this means teaching students in these two colleges to be Curious about the world, make novel Connections, and Create value in the world around them: KEEN’s three C’s.

Any faculty member who teaches CET or KGCOE students and who would like to infuse the Entrepreneurial Mindset into their courses is encouraged to participate in this teaching circle. With RIT being the first institution granted membership with a focus both on Engineering and Engineering Technology students, we would like to take advantage of this additional opportunity to build collaboration across the two colleges, as well as with faculty members in other colleges who teach CET and KGCOE students. If you are interested in joining this circle, email Beth DeBartolo.


Defining Mentoring and Its Application / Value for Today’s College Student

Barry Strauber (School of Communication, COLA)

The idea of mentoring is ancient. The original Mentor was described by Homer as the "wise and trusted counselor" whom Odysseus left in charge of his household during his travels. In modern times, the concept of mentoring has found application in virtually every forum of learning. The “big idea” of student mentoring says that we are responsible for helping students “make their puzzle pieces fit” so as to show a path to a desired future. A fundamental difference between mentoring and advising is that mentoring is a personal, as well as, professional relationship. And a mentoring relationship develops over an extended period, during which a student's needs and the nature of the relationship tend to change.

We will begin with a round-robin discussion about what being a mentor means to the members of the circle, followed by a guided discussion of recent articles regarding mentoring strategies. Each member of the circle will have an opportunity to pilot their own idea of a mentor strategy in their student relationships and then share successes and failures with the group with the hope of creating a cumulative understanding which will help the group create a commonality of value/application across all of the varied definitions.


Teaching in a World of Extroverts

Suzanne O’Handley (School of Chemistry and Materials Science, COS)

Upon reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, I started thinking about how differently people think, learn, work, and interact. One big difference is how introverts compared to extroverts approach these things. Maybe it’s being an introvert, but I feel like a lot of what happens in the classroom is geared to extroverts, from teachers "lecturing" to students "participating" and doing group work.

Let’s use this circle to explore how introverts approach teaching and learning. Take, for example, a class that is largely group discussions—how can we make these activities as inclusive as possible for all. How do we all make our classrooms as inclusive as possible for both introverted and extroverted students, but also for students with ADHD, anxiety, etc. Though we could start from the introverted / extroverted perspective, perhaps we could branch out to other teaching and learning differences, depending on what the group wants to focus on.


Fostering Social Impact Design and Engagement Opportunities for Students

Rob Stevens (Mechanical Engineering, KGCOE), Sarah Brownell (Multidisciplinary Design, KGCOE), and Ann Howard (Science, Technology, and Society; COLA)

Social Entrepreneurship, Community Engagement, and Humanitarian Engineering learning activities are becoming increasingly popular for developing critical thinking skills, nurturing empathy, and practicing problem solving while exposing students to other cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints. How many students do you know who want to have an impact on the world? Or who want to be engaged in communities in meaningful ways? Have you ever wondered how to provide community engagement opportunities for your students? Or felt the role of the university is to serve and be more engaged in our global community? If so, please join faculty from multiple disciplines to explore formal and informal ways in which students can engage locally and internationally to promote equitable economies, just societies, and healthy communities for all. Teaching circle activities will include sharing current community engagement activities at RIT, researching and discussing engagement programs at other universities, and exploring the development of a RIT program focused on Social Impact Design and Engagement. If you are interested in joining this circle, email Rob Stevens.


Best Practices in Modern Languages

Elisabetta Sanino D’Amanda (Modern Languages and Cultures, COLA)

This is a call to any teacher in Modern Languages to meet to discuss our practices at RIT and develop a map of our contribution to the field of language learning. Many efforts have been developed in English and in languages other than English, including ASL, but we do not have a gathering space where we can share our experiences, contribute original ideas, and support one another’s efforts. This group, which is similar to opportunities within Modern Languages on other university campuses, will help us improve collectively and create rapport, based on our practice to inform future growth in learning.

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