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Dr. Melissa Lea
Dr. Melissa Lea

The end of the spring semester, 2024, marks the completion of the first year of CAT+FD's pilot program to support part-time instructors at Xavier. As you know these teachers do excellent work here in teaching, scholarship, and service, and they increasingly make up a significant portion of our teaching rosters.

This semester I had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the continuing part-time teachers, some of whom have been at Xavier for many years. Though this cohort needs less support, they have valuable experience and insight to offer us all, and I was particularly pleased by some members' decisions to drop in and check out our programming.

This more experienced cohort includes Albertina Walker, who represents the Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Daniel Curley, who brings a wide range of prior work experience to his teaching, including a stint with the federal government, and Kesia Walker, who has worked for 20 years in public health.

We also had a solid roster of new or newer teachers come through this term, including Bonnie Katalenich, formerly in the private sector with LabCorp, LaTeshya Martin, who previously worked in the Attorney General's office of Mississippi, and Emily DeWet, cultural anthropologist with teaching experience at Notre Dame and U.N.O., who is teaching exclusively within the XCOR at Xavier.

A big thanks from CAT+FD to these amazing teachers. It's been my pleasure meeting and working with them. Please join me in thanking them for their work here, and I hope that in the fall we can bring even more returning and new part-time instructors into our support cohort, so that we may all benefit from their skills and expertise.

In the meantime, we had one teacher complete the program and earn the certificate this semester. This teacher went above and beyond in participating in our program, and it was an absolute joy to have her on the sessions, consistently  brining insight, curiosity, and positivity to the table. This teacher is Melissa Lea!

Dr. Melissa Lea has been an adjunct professor of psychology and neuroscience at Xavier for three years.  She has taught Introduction to Psychology, Physiological Psychology, and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Previously, she was a tenured faculty member of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Assistant Dean of Student Success and Academic Advising at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.   Trained as a cognitive scientist, she has researched person perception, specifically the perceptual influences that affect familiarity and name recall.

Dr. Lea works as an academic advisor for the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Northern Colorado.  She has a passion for working with first generation, transfer, underrepresented minorities, and Pell grant eligible students.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lea on her certification, and thanking her for her excellent contributions to all that we do here.

Thank you all, and have a great summer!

Jeremy Tuman

copy stamp

There are a some situations where you may want to copy components of a Brightspace course OR copy an entire Brightspace course into another one. For example,

  • You have a course from a previous semester and you would like to copy the course contents into your empty course shell for the current semester.
  • You have a Master Course Shell that you input content into and would like to copy the course contents into your empty course shell for the current semester.
  • You are teaching multiple sections of a course, you created all the content in one Brightspace course section and want to copy the content into the other sections.
  • You created content in one course (e.g. rubrics, discussions, quizzes, etc.) and would like to copy that specific content from one Brightspace course into another.

Copying an entire Brightspace course OR copying components of a Brightspace course into another Brightspace course is not hard. As long as you are the instructor for both courses, it is a simple process you can do.

Notes About Copying Between Courses

Here are some things to consider when copying a course or copying components of a course.

Overwriting and Duplicating Items

In general, course components already in the destination course will not be affected by copying course components. The only course component that can be overwritten is a course file, i.e., HTML pages that have been created in the course site or files that have been uploaded to it. A course file is overwritten if one of the files being copied into the course has the same name as an existing file.

If copying components from the same source multiple times, be careful not to copy the same items more than once, or this will create duplicates that may be visible to users in the course.

Student Data

Student data is not copied from one course to another; only the course structures are copied. For example, if a Discussion topic is copied, only the prompt and discussion settings are copied, not the individual student posts.

Links and Associations between Components

If copying linked or associated components, e.g., files attached to an Assignment Submission folder or the HTML files for pages that have been created, all of the related components must be copied at the same time. To do this, be sure to select the "Include Associated Content" checkbox when it appears. As long as that box is checked, all associated components are copied and the links between them are retained.

Copying VoiceThreads

If the course copy contains any VoiceThreads, they will need to be "re-linked" in the destination course. After the copy, go into the destination course and click on the VoiceThread links and re-select the VoiceThread.

Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) Settings

Copied courses that have tests/exams with RLDB enabled require instructors to access the Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard once after the copy to update the RLDB settings in the destination course. This has to be done before students will be able to take exams that require RLDB.

Turnitin-enabled Assignments

When you copy course components from one course to another, confirm that all settings are configured for the Turnitin-enabled assignments in the destination course.

Turnitin PeerMark Assignments

Our Turnitin integration does not support copying of PeerMark Assignments. You will have to recreate your PeerMark assignments in the destination course.

Follow these steps to do it.

If you want to copy an entire Brightspace course OR copy components from a Brightspace course into another course, you should:

  1. Get into the course you want the content copied into (i.e., the target course).
  2. In the NavBar (of the course you want the content copied to), click on "Course Admin".
  3. Click on the "Import/Export/Copy Components" link.
  4. Click on the "Copy Components from another Org Unit" radio button.
  5. In the Course to Copy option, click the "Search for Offering" button.
  6. Click on the magnifying glass in the "Search for" field OR enter the name of the course you want to copy from (i.e., the source course) in the search field.
  7. Click on the radio button to the right of the course you want to copy content from and then click on "Add Selected".
  8. Verify your selections are correct before proceeding.
  9. At the bottom on the browser window you will click on either "Copy all Components" OR "Select Components" and follow the prompts.


Double-check to make sure that you are in the course you want the content copied into AND that you have selected the correct course you want to copy content from. There is no way to reverse the copy process once the wrong course is selected and the copy request is submitted.

Want more information?

About Import/Export/Copy Components
Import/Export/Copy - Copy Components video [1:31]

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Image credit: image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Skye Jackson
Charles Brown
Charles Brown
Like many universities, Xavier has relied more and more on the skills and services of part-time instructors to fulfil its special mission. During my time as Director of First-year Composition, I've had the pleasure of working with many incredible writing teachers who only worked with us for a brief time and in limited capacity. These teachers are skilled and resourceful. They bring working knowledge of the discipline, its trends and directions, and a honed instinct to adapt to the norms of different institutions. They learn quickly, fit in well, and are absolutely crucial to our ability to deliver our course and program outcomes to students.
Too often, though, they are left out of many aspects of faculty communities, from the official and decision-making ones, to the informal and collegial pieces as well. We need them and value them, but too often we come up short in supporting them in their work, and including them in ours.
In an effort to address this gap, during the fall semester of 2023, CAT+FD piloted a program of support for part-time faculty that included a dedicated orientation and a series of monthly open sessions targeting their needs. It has been my pleasure to extend my work in composition to a newly created position supporting part-time faculty across the university.
Our first semester of work had its ups and downs, to be expected in a pilot program. Without doubt, incoming part-time instructors were brought up to speed more quickly and efficiently this term. Having a point person with a broad base of institutional knowledge proved beneficial, someone to address the myriad "little things" that pop up day to day in a classroom. Beyond the day-to-day, there's also the special, mission-driven knowledge, the culture we are all steeped in, which often goes uncommunicated to part-time instructors. This cohort got access to much more of both kinds of knowledge, and we learned along the way how to better deliver even more of it in future semesters. I'm proud of the work we did and look forward to supporting an even stronger part-time cohort in the future.
In the meantime, I'm thrilled to present snapshots of the amazing accomplishments of two of our outstanding part-time instructors, who completed the pilot program and became CAT+FD Certified Xavier Part-time Instructors.
Charles D. Brown is a writer, filmmaker, and educator from New Orleans, La. His books include Looking Back On Sodom and the collection The Weird Ones, and two fantasy novels as C.D. Brown, Vamp City and Fate’s Stiletto. He has written and directed two feature films, including Angels Die Slowly (a gothic neo-noir available on Tubi) and Never a Dull Moment: 20 Years of the Rebirth Brass Band (available on YouTube). He has taught composition, English, and screenwriting at most of the major New Orleans universities, including fall of 2023 at Xavier.
Skye Jackson was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southern ReviewElectric LiteratureGreen Mountains ReviewRATTLE and elsewhere. Her chapbook A Faster Grave won the 2019 Antenna Prize. Her work has been a finalist for the 2023 Iowa Review Poetry Award, the RATTLE Poetry Prize, the RHINO Founders' Prize, and in 2021 she received the AWP Intro Journals Award. Skye's work was also selected by Billy Collins for inclusion in the Library of Congress Poetry 180 Project. In 2022, she won the KGB Open Mic Contest in New York City and served as the Writer-In-Residence at the Key West Literary Seminar in Florida. In 2023, she was a finalist for the Brooklyn Poets "Poem of the Year" award. Her debut full-length poetry collection, Libre, is forthcoming from Regalo Press and will be distributed by Simon & Schuster in summer 2024.
Skye will be returning to teach at Xavier in the spring. We are so glad to have her back. Charles has accepted a full-time teaching position at Loyola, and we wish him the absolute best for the future.
-Jeremy Tuman

No fooling: If it's April, it must be time for the Bike Easy Challenge!

I'm joining the Bike Easy Challenge to get more Xavier faculty and staff riding bikes in New Orleans. Riding a bike can make you happier, healthier, and — yes — even wealthier. That's what I call professional development!

Did you know that New Orleans ranks #7 (among cities with over a quarter-million residents) for the percentage of people who bike to work?

And yet we could certainly do better by our bike riders, our transit riders, and our pedestrians. As I've argued elsewhere, safe transport is an issue of social justice and aligned with Xavier's mission.

Plus there are awesome prizes for riding and encouraging others throughout the month of April. Find out more and register at

It only takes a minute to register. It doesn't matter if you ride every day, or if you haven't been on a bike in years. Everyone is invited — and be sure to join the Xavier team!

Holler at me if you need any technical assistance or have any questions.


Google 2015 logo
On Dec. 17, Xavier faculty and staff accounts will be migrated from Google to Microsoft.

Last week, I wrote about my experiments with Google's Takeout service (get it?) to move some (but not all) of the documents on my XULA Google Drive to my personal Google Drive. As I noted, Takeout works best, in my opinion, for very targetted exports and migrations. This week, I want to talk about a related but also separate concern: YouTube videos.

As you probably already know, Google owns YouTube. Xavier's switch to Google came not long after I embraced inverted teaching, often called flipping the classroom. I've been posting videos of lectures (20 minutes or more), mini-lectures (usually between 10 and 15 minutes), and micro-lectures (less than 10 minutes [ideally less than five minutes {according to Bart}]) for several years now and have over 100 on my YouTube channel. (Those definitions are my own, by the way.) So when I learned about our planned migration from Google to Microsoft, I worried about what would happen to my YouTube videos. My understanding is that our videos will not be removed from YouTube. Anything we have uploaded to our Xavier-based YouTube accounts will remain where it is, meaning it will be accessible and, if set as publicly accessible, included in any relevant search results. However, since my Xavier-based Google account will no longer be active, I won't be able to access those videos as the channel owner, meaning I won't be able to edit them or delete them. They will be frozen in cyberspace.

I'm not going to focus here on how I might continue posting videos for my students. Maybe that's a topic for another blog post (although I seem to be running out of time for all these blog post ideas). Instead, I will focus simply on how I plan on maintaining full control over the videos I have previously created and posted to YouTube. Once again, please remember: What follows are a few things I've tried out of personal concern and curiosity, things that I thought I would share with my colleagues, in case they have similar concerns. Just to be clear, CAT+FD is not involved in the Google to Microsoft migration, and we are not advising any actions by faculty and staff.

...continue reading "Goodbye, Google! Part 2"

Google 2015 logo
Google Inc., Public domain,
via Wikimedia Commons

I started using Google's applications (often called G-Suite) back when Google's motto was still "Don't be evil," so when Xavier switched us all over to Google in 2015, I was pretty pleased. Over the years, I've amassed a massive amount of data on my Xavier-based Google Drive and YouTube account, and I've pretty much stopped using my personal Google account. When we learned this past summer that Xavier would be migrating all of our accounts from Google to Microsoft, I panicked. Not only do I greatly dislike Microsoft's products, but I also have a ton of work that I was worried about. We've been told that all of the files on our Google Drives will be moved and translated to Microsoft's Office 360 system, and that only Google Forms will not survive the process. However, we've also been told that although our YouTube accounts will not disappear, we will not be able to manage them any more. Apparently, those videos will just sit on YouTube's servers with no one having any editorial control over them.

...continue reading "Goodbye, Google! Part I"

Did you know that Global Cat Day was celebrated this weekend? It is a day when "advocates around the world join Alley Cat Allies as [they] lead the charge to save cats from being harmed and killed." Given that this blog is dedicated to providing CAT FooD (for thought), we thought we'd celebrate in our own special way by having some door blog prizes.*

Global Cat Day 2021 mug

To say thank you to our XULA subscribers, we did a random drawing for a mug. Congratulations to Dr. Patience Obih (Pharmacy) for being our winner! We also want to recognize our newest subscriber, Dr. Chen-Hui Lo (Languages)! We appreciate your dedication to your professional development, and we will be delivering your mugs soon.

Thanks to all our subscribers. We are hope you continue to find this blog timely and useful.

*A special thank you to Dr. Mark Gstohl (Theology), our incoming Associate Director, for having the insight to celebrate Global Cat Day this way.

Xavier instructors, by completing the #LearnEverywhereXULA (#LEX) course, you honed your Brightspace skills and learned some of the better practices for remote and online teaching. Congratulations! You now have the opportunity to expand your horizons even more by becoming #LEX Advanced Certified. How do you achieve that? Keep reading.

Image by Amander Dimmock from Pixabay

You earn this certificate by participating in at least four #LEX Advanced workshops or completing four self-paced #LEX Advanced modules, or any combination of the two as long as you complete four. In these workshops/modules you will learn about using design and automation features available in Brightspace to apply better pedagogical practices within your courses by making them more user-friendly, accessible, and efficient.

Be on the lookout for #LEX Advanced workshops in CAT+FD’s events calendar or check out the #LEX Advanced course in your Brightspace account. Any questions? Contact us at

The opportunity to work at CAT-FD as the Faculty in Residence for new faculty support was really exciting.  That is partly because I had experienced the friendly and caring atmosphere around CAT-FD for a long time myself.  At the beginning, I attended CAT-FD workshops only if I thought I really lacked the knowhow that a workshop would provide and I knew that I badly needed what I would learn there to teach or work with students.  But later, my purpose of coming to CAT-FD was a mix of the drive to learn something new and also the desire to meet and get to know the CAT-FD staff and attendees during those events.  I think the understanding that I will always have a good time at CAT-FD got progressively stronger as my time at Xavier went by.  I am so grateful for the relaxed and mind-clearing experience that the CAT-FD staff impart to me all the time.  CAT-FD welcomes everyone all the time and you will find it home too.  I especially hope that the new faculty would start working with CAT closely from the beginning of their time here.



If you are unable to view the embeded Infographic, you can view it here:
How & Why to Humanize Your Online Class