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Annual Report, August 2012

Our mission is to advance the art and science of teaching and learning.

Book Club

Our fifth annual Fall Faculty Book Club centered on How Black Colleges Empower Black Students: Lessons for Higher Education (2006) by Frank W. Hale Jr. The interest from faculty was so high that we had to split into two groups to double our capacity. Elizabeth Yost Hammer and Bart Everson led the discussions and twenty faculty participated.

How Black Colleges Empower Black Students: Lessons for Higher Education


The 2011-2012 academic year was another banner year for CAT. With 40 events and 509 (non-unique) attendees, this was our biggest year ever by at least these two measures, surpassing the previous record set only last year.

At New Faculty Orientation in August we welcomed twelve new faculty members to Xavier University. In addition, we hosted monthly brown bags for this group, discussing topics such as teaching at an HBCU, getting grants, and creating effective assignments.

In September, we hosted Dr. Saundra McGuire (LSU) who spoke on the topic of metacognition both to the general faculty and in a special session focusing on STEM students. In April we hosted Dr. Jeanette Norden (Vanderbilt) who gave a presentation on "Creating a Learning Environment to Promote Intellectual and Personal Development." We continued to support the Read Today, Lead Tomorrow initiative, by co-sponsoring a series of workshops related to active reading, and we were delighted to co-host D.J. Henry, an accalaimed textbook author and veteran teacher. Also, Michael Mizell-Nelson (UNO) gave a workshop on the Zotero citation engine.

Throughout the year we conducted workshops and seminars on such diverse topics as visual learning, contemplative practices, and (presentation software) Prezi. Additionally, we continued to meet the needs of faculty on a by-request basis. For example, in the spring semester we planned and implemented the training for Freshman Seminar instructors, a workshop for faculty teaching online and hybrid courses, and a workshop on faculty burnout for pharmacy.

Staff Spotlight

Dr. Elizabeth Yost Hammer (Director, CAT) co-presented at the annual Academic Department Chairpersons Conference on the partnership between faculty development and department chairs regarding student retention. She is presented on active learning strategies at the AP Psychology Annual Convention in July, and she delivered an invited address (The Diane Halpern Lecture for Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges) at the annual American Psychological Association meeting in August.

Mr. Bart Everson (Media Artist, CAT) attended the Fifth Annual Conference of the Mindfulness in Education Network at Bryn Mawr College in March.

Ms. Janice Florent (Technology Coordinator, CAT) attended two conferences: The University Business Technology Conference (formerly EduComm) in June and the BlackBoard World Conference in July.

Dr. Vaneshette Henderson

Finally, our newest new staff member, Dr. Vaneshette Henderson, accepted a leadership position directing the Student Academic Success Office. We wish her the best and have reopened the search for a new Educational Improvement Specialist with a STEM emphasis.


Dr. Renee Akbar (Education) completed her first year as faculty in residence. She continues to works closely with new faculty in their transition to Xavier's culture of excellence in teaching, scholarship, service and collegiality. As the new faculty "personal trainer" she helps them to interpret their student evaluations, conducts mid-course reviews and discusses ways they can improve their pedagogy.

Dr. Mark Gstohl (Associate Professor of Theology) continued his work as the Faculty in Residence for Service-Learning, serving as a resource for faculty incorporating the pedagogy of service-learning into the curriculum and promoting civic engagement through meaningful community participation.


The Faculty Communities of Teaching Scholars (FaCTS) initiative, funded by generous support from the Mellon Foundation, entered its fourth year, supporting innovative curricular projects around an institutionally relevant theme. For the first time, we extended the call for proposals to other HBCUs in the region, and this spring we selected our fourth FaCTS cohort. Eight faculty from across campus and two faculty from SUNO developed curricular projects related to the theme, "Teaching for Social Responsibility." This was a competitive process and we had more applicants than we were able to fund. The 2012 Mellon FaCTS Fellows include:

  • Dr. Robert Azzerello, Arts & Humanities, SUNO
  • Dr. Jason Berntsen, Philosophy
  • Dr. Fatima Brakta, Pharmacy
  • Dr. Cary Caro, Business
  • Ms. Laura Douresseaux, Health Information Management, SUNO
  • Dr. Liz Edgecomb, Communications
  • Dr. Jerry Farmer, Theology
  • Dr. Richard Peters, Business
  • Dr. Ashley Taylor, Pharmacy
  • Mr. Jeremy Tuman, English
FaCTS 2012

Our 2012 FaCTS Summer Seminar was held May 14-17 in our newly renovated Mellon Seminar Room and our guest consultant was Dr. Rebecca Peters (Elon University) who spoke on teaching for transformation.

Finally, we are delighted to report that the Mellon Seminar Room, funded by the FaCTS renewal grant, has been completed. This room has already enabled far greater flexibility for CAT programming.

I Don't Have Time for This Workshop

Advisory Board

The CAT Advisory Board, composed of a member from each academic department, continued to serve in an advisory capacity to the CAT staff on an as-needed basis. For example, when we needed faculty perspectives on e-readers, we asked the Board. They also helped suggest ideas for future programming. The Board members are as follows:

  • Art: Mora Beauchamp-Byrd
  • Biology: Peter Barrett
  • Business: Joe Ricks
  • Chemistry: Terry Watt
  • Communications Brenda Edgerton-Webster, Nancy Martino
  • Comp Science: Andrea Edwards
  • Education: Glenda Hembree
  • English: Olly Hennessey, Biljana Obradovic
  • History: Kelly Hamilton
  • Language: Elizabeth Rousselle
  • Math: Vlajko Kosic
  • Pharm (DCAS) Fatima Brakta
  • Pharm (DCAS) Kristi Rapp
  • Pharm (DBPS) Tom Wiese
  • Physics: Dean Richardson
  • Political Science Darren Hanson
  • Psychology: Lisa Schulte
  • Sociology: Claire Norris
  • Theology: Jerry Farmer
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