A&M-Central Texas Faculty Summit Results in Shared Research and Learning-Focused Teaching

Karen Clos
April 29, 2024

At colleges and universities across the country, faculty members are, without a doubt, the primary connection between students and the subjects that result in degrees.

Skilled at both their disciplines and at inspiring and nurturing curiosity and respect among with their students, university faculty constantly re-explore their academic areas of expertise in order to be currently informed and continue their professional development beyond their degree attainment. But in the best universities, they add one more thing: they pause, on occasion, to share their respective research with one another.

Ankita Singhvi, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting and finance and treasurer of the university’s faculty senate, coordinated the event, drawing the praise of A&M-Central Texas President Richard M. Rhodes, who noted that the first-ever event offered important opportunities for faculty members to collaborate, including all three of the university’s academic areas: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, and College of Education and Human Development and Education.

“In both the short- and long-run, events like this spark creativity that enhances student learning, and A&M-Central Texas faculty are very proud to play such a pivotal role in the lives of their students’ academic and personal growth,” said Shelley Harris, Ph.D., Faculty Senate president and associate professor in curriculum and instruction.

“Events like this focus on their research history and their natural talent for reaching our students where they are, introducing them to degree-focused coursework that challenges them and results in their ability to flourish in their chosen careers.”

Summit participants also heard from Cindy Blackwell, Ph.D., who conducted a workshop on Active Learning and who later offered a subsequent series of courses enrolling 16 full- and part-time faculty members who received ACUE certifications after completing a series of coursework.

Three faculty members were also recognized for their commitment to service learning – the practice of purposefully linking in-classroom learning to acts of service that directly benefit the community. Dawn Reiss, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing, Ankita Singhvi, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, and Anne Sluhan, Ph.D., assistant professor of management and marketing were named Service Learning Fellows.

Sam Fiala, Ph.D., assistant provost and assistant vice president, also complimented the efforts of the coordinators who lead the event and brought to into being, and pointed to its success, as well as its relevance to the university’s academic master plan in which faculty cultivate a transformative learning environment, a shared responsibility for academic development and student success, and promote a sense of belonging, connection, and engagement.

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