Past Faculty Fellows


2021-2022 Faculty Fellows

Jennifer Taber, Assistant Professor

Psychological Sciences, Kent Campus

Project Description:

Best Practices in Teaching at the Graduate Level

The goal of my project is to identify best practices in teaching at the graduate level and to explore various graduate teaching strategies and pedagogies. The skills involved in teaching graduate seminars and core courses likely differ from those involved in teaching undergraduate courses. Yet, in my experience, faculty members receive little training in how to successfully develop and run graduate courses. Rather than relying solely on intuition or personal experience to develop courses, I believe that graduate teaching could be enhanced through awareness of best practices that are supported by empirical research and other sources. I will also explore how to incorporate best practices in inclusive teaching into the graduate classroom with respect to the content of the material and the identities of the enrolled students. My interest in this topic stems in part from participating in the 2020-2021 Inclusive Teaching Faculty Learning Community and a desire to better understand how inclusive teaching practices can be applied to graduate teaching.

Wendy Tietz, Professor

Department of Accounting, Kent Campus
Project Description:

My Faculty Fellows project is to develop faculty resources and recommendations for using the full Microsoft Teams experience to promote student engagement and increase instructor presence in synchronous, asynchronous, and HyFlex classes. As part of this project, I would build a faculty Microsoft Team to have a place where faculty members can interact with other faculty members related to using Microsoft Teams in classes. Faculty members could use these resources to get ideas to increase student engagement and faculty presence in their own classes when using Microsoft Teams.

2020-2021 Faculty Fellows

Rachel Blasiman

Department of Psychology, Salem Campus

Project Description:

"Leveraging the Power of  Connections in Teaching and Learning"

Faculty who help their students make connections between ideas, between content and life experience, and between knowledge and application tend to be better teachers. But how can all faculty use this knowledge to enhance overall teaching and student learning? Little research has been conducted on this topic, and even less research has addressed the use of interdisciplinary connections to help students maximize their learning.

Zhiqiang (Molly) Wang

Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kent State Geauga and Twinsburg Academic Center
Project Description:

"Critical Thinking in STEM"

DFW rates in gateway STEM courses are normally higher than other disciplines in many universities. How to enhance students’ learning engagement and improve students’ success in STEM courses are important tasks for current education system. Many effective practices and innovative strategies have been identified lately. However, there are barriers which obstruct the implementation of these methods - for instance, the lack of faculty trust and knowledge on these strategies and the faculty’s unwillingness due to their already busy schedule. I would like to concentrate on how to effectively develop personalized learning-style instruction and promote it through offering workshops for STEM faculty and assistance for the implementation of these strategies.

2019-2020 Faculty Fellows


College of Public Health, Kent Campus

Project Description: 

“Bandwidth Toolkit for Faculty”

Students who live in or have been raised in conditions of economic insecurity and/or systems perpetuating racism or other forms of discrimination, are likely to be functioning with limited availability of “mental bandwidth” for learning and success in higher education. Many common pedagogical practices contribute to greater gaps in student achievement in ways that we seldom recognize.  As a Faculty Fellow, Dr. Bhargava is compiling a faculty toolkit for making changes to curriculum design and pedagogical practices that can help to increase equity in opportunities for learning and success.  Learning tasks that have unnecessarily high cognitive demands can be streamlined, and cognitive demands can be purposefully aligned with learning objectives.  Several of the strategies currently being promoted to increase equity in student success in higher education—experiential education, respect for the “whole student,” relevance of traditionally undervalued strengths, etc—can be understood and unified through an understanding of mental bandwidth, and can be enhanced by practices that facilitate value-driven use of this valuable and limited resource.


School of Visual Communication Design, Kent Campus

Project Description: 

"Studio Teaching"

Studio courses comprise a significant portion of courses at Kent State University. Currently, there are few teaching resources that focus on role of the instructor in the students’ iterative creative process, and for appropriate critique methods for use in studio-based disciplines.


English, Tuscarawas Campus

Project Description: 

"Mid-Career Mentoring"

Nicole Willey will be working on Mid-Career Mentoring around the regional system.  Specifically, she will be working to create a map of mentoring activity that occurs on each campus, as well as offering Associate Professors in the regional system an opportunity to engage in mutual mentoring groups focused on next steps for the senior faculty member.  Specifically, the areas of promotion to full professor, transitioning to administration, and other faculty development issues will be explored.  

2018-2019 Faculty Fellows

Ed Dauterich

English, Kent Campus

Project Description:  Adjunct faculty are increasingly joining the workforce in higher education. Unfortunately, they are not always offered the same level of support and recognition as their full-time counterparts. I would like to draw on the experience and expertise of adjunct faculty and those who support them to consider new strategies at Kent State University to promote individual and collective development for our adjunct faculty. Over the course of the project, I hope to find out the following:

  • The composition of our adjunct faculty at Kent State
  • What best motivates adjunct faculty
  • What most concerns them about ongoing support and recognition at Kent State
  • Best practices for building sustainable frameworks for the development and support of adjunct faculty

Belinda Boon

School of Information, Kent Campus

Project Description: Building on the previous work Faculty Fellow Ed Dauterich, my project aims to develop a template for an adjunct faculty portal for use across the University. Content areas may include:

  • Onboarding information (new hire information, Flashline resources, grading procedures, University policies, best practices for departments, colleges and schools)

  • Online teaching and learning (expectations, best practices, resources, support & training)

  • Diversity and inclusion

  • Student accessibility

Marie Gasper- Hulvat 

School of Art, Stark Campus 

Project Description: Increasing faculty awareness and use of Reacting to the Past curricula

  • Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a pedagogy that employs role-playing games set within historical scenarios to engage students in debate about fundamental interdisciplinary questions.  It requires students to draw upon key primary sources to inform meaningful intellectual conflicts from perspectives that are not their own. Inhabiting the mindsets of others requires students to step out of their comfort zones and learn their roles deeply, but it also provides a safe space to engage in civil discourse with opposing points of view.

  • Faculty who employ this pedagogy quite consistently rave about how enjoyable and productively challenging it can be to teach with Reacting games.  Passionate, engaged students who care deeply about material are more fun to teach, and this pedagogy consistently draws out students’ curiosity and competitive nature in service of learning course content.

  • Instructors across a wide range of disciplines employ Reacting games to effect significant, engaged learning in classes with enrollments that range from eight to 250 students or more.  While the games originated in History curricula, they are now widely used in a variety of disciplines, including Political Science, English/Composition, Communication, Philosophy, Foreign Languages, and STEM fields; even Economics and Education faculty employ the games in their courses.

2017-2018 Faculty Fellows

Ed Dauterich

English, Kent Campus

Project Description:  Adjunct faculty are increasingly joining the workforce in higher education. Unfortunately, they are not always offered the same level of support and recognition as their full-time counterparts. I would like to draw on the experience and expertise of adjunct faculty and those who support them to consider new strategies at Kent State University to promote individual and collective development for our adjunct faculty. Over the course of the project, I hope to find out the following:

  • The composition of our adjunct faculty at Kent State
  • What best motivates adjunct faculty
  • What most concerns them about ongoing support and recognition at Kent State
  • Best practices for building sustainable frameworks for the development and support of adjunct faculty

Eric Taylor

Geology, Stark Campus

Project Description:  Eric’s focus for the Faculty Fellow program is to investigate the means by which online science laboratory exercises have been produced among Kent State University’s science disciplines to successfully transition from traditional to online instruction and learning. He aims to compile these investigations into an accessible reference and workshop for new and current faculty and administrators to help them overcome similar challenges that other disciplines have faced in preserving academic rigor in the transition from face-to-face to online distance teaching and learning. Pertinent challenges he hopes to address are: electronic accessibility, meeting standards of safety and academics, and preserving the camaraderie and benefit of group learning and face-to-face student-instructor dialogue beneficial to laboratory courses.

2016-2017 Faculty Fellows

Joanne Kilgour Dowdy

Project Description: This project focuses on learning more about how and why efforts to support diversity and inclusive practice are not already more successful given the interest in this topic over the 15 years I have been at Kent State. I plan to interview “key players” and then to analyze their responses to look for trends and ideas that can influence the path of this investigation. At the end of the study, the plan includes creating a workshop, sharing the information with the VP for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, and then presenting the findings at three conferences beyond KSU in an effort to make public the “lessons learned” from faculty who are active members of their education community. My books on women and education, and diversity issues as they impact students at learning sites are the supports of my choice of method for studying these issues

Kimberly Karpanty

Project Description: The proposed project is a study of Faculty Leadership Development, specifically how to effectively prepare full-time teaching faculty for the transition to academic leadership roles such as Chairs and Directors. I will identify and address the different skill sets required of faculty and administrators, and how professional working relationships transform when a faculty peer moves to a leadership or mentorship position. My research will begin by creating a list of questions to interview and/or survey colleagues at Kent State and at comparable universities who have gone through this transition and assess if they were/ were not prepared to successfully fulfill the duties of the new job description. From this knowledge I will develop and deliver a university-wide workshop in Faculty Leadership Development through the Center for Teaching and Learning to support faculty members who wish to pursue these types of leadership roles and learn strategies for acquisition of skills such as day-to-day accountability, communication, civility and empathy, time management, conflict management, realistic action planning, impactful resource allocation, and in developing constructive and progressive relationships with the upper administration. 

John Staley

Project Description: Plagiarism is an issue encountered by faculty at all levels in the academic setting, and is a pervasive issue on the undergraduate, masters and doctoral educational levels. During my time as an instructional faculty member, I have utilized various educational approaches to combat this problem on the student level. Yet, in discussions with faculty colleagues, there is also a fundamental disconnect in terms of faculty recognition and understanding of plagiarism. This includes what does/does not constitute plagiarism, how university policy defines plagiarism and the subsequent implications in terms of faculty responsibility, as well as levels of plagiarism severity and corresponding student culpability. Furthermore, there is lack of clarity in terms of when the university plagiarism school is appropriate (in addition to other sanctions), and how and when to use educational tools to address the problem. As such, my CTL Faculty Fellows project is a multi-disciplinary collaborative with key university stakeholders to identify best practices (and perhaps, unrecognized though needed practices/resources) to develop a faculty set of “start to finish” educational sessions/workshops comprised of the following:

  • What constitutes plagiarism (versus cheating), and the nuances of plagiarism across differing academic disciplines and programs
  • How the conception of plagiarism aligns with university plagiarism policy
  • What are faculty and students’ respective responsibilities when a suspected plagiarism case has occurred
  • When the university plagiarism school and/or other sanctions are appropriate
  • What the Safe Assign software program is, including how to read and translate Safe Assign reports into usable information for both faculty and students
  • The purpose and makeup of the academic conduct hearing for a suspected case of plagiarism, including participation in a mock hearing.

2015-2016 Faculty Fellows

Kelly Cichy

Project Description: Active involvement of undergraduate students in research provides numerous benefits to individuals and institutions. An important step in providing faculty with the necessary support for involving undergraduates in research is to determine the unique needs of faculty at different levels of career development (e.g., pre-tenure vs. post-tenure faculty). Therefore, the goal of my project is to create a repository of resources that can be utilized to support faculty in their efforts to engage undergraduate students in research. The first phase of the project is to review strategies currently utilized at Kent State as well as best practices in place at other universities. The second phase of the project is to conduct semi-structured interviews with both pre-tenure and post-tenure faculty to collect information about their motivations for involving undergraduates in research and their perceptions of the benefits and barriers to engaging undergraduates in research. Findings from both phases of the project will be used to develop university-wide workshops to provide guidance to faculty on effective strategies for engaging undergraduates in research with attention to the unique needs of faculty at different stages of career development.

Dr. Kathryn A. Kerns

Project Description: My fellowship at the CTL is focused on enhancing career development of midcareer (post tenure) faculty, especially those as the rank of Associate Professor. We are launching a series of activities, that includes a workshop for newly promoted Associate Professors on visioning and goal setting; a workshop for more senior Associate Professor focused on working toward promotion to the rank of Full Professor; distribution of a guide to promotion; the launch of a career coaching program for 10 faculty members in AY 15 – 16; analysis of data from the COACHE survey to examine rank differences; and plans to have conversations with Chairs and Directors about ways to facilitate faculty career development.

Dr. Jenny Marcinkiewicz

Project Description: Promising pedagogical practices for attracting and retaining STEM students have been identified and include active learning approaches (such as case studies, problem-based learning, cooperative problem solving and inquiry-based learning) and alternative methods of classroom assessment techniques beyond the traditional approach of infrequent high-stakes testing. Despite persuasive evidence of improved learning outcomes, the adoption of these high-impact practices by STEM faculty is relatively low, with many barriers to adoption, such as lack of knowledge about implementation or efficacy, the time demands of research-active scientists and a general distrust of the teaching and learning literature. As a tenure-track STEM faculty member who has participated extensively in faculty development and has implemented evidence-based teaching practices in both large classrooms (primarily freshmen) and small classrooms (upper division/graduate), I have an “insider” perspective on both the challenges and successful implementation of these practices in a variety of settings. I propose to develop and facilitate a STEM-specific workshop for the sciences that focus on practical ways faculty can incorporate active learning within their classes. I also plan to initiate a bi-monthly teaching tips email to STEM faculty.

2014-2015 Faculty Fellows

Dr. Kenneth Cushner

Project Description: Dr. Cushner’s project was to develop and facilitate a semester-long program  entitled “Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Kent State University’s Intercultural Classrooms and Community”. Thirteen Kent State University faculty members from eight different colleges and University Libraries completed the eight-session program. The specific goals of this program included preparing faculty members to:

  • Better understand their own, as well as their students’, intercultural competence and development
  • Have greater knowledge of intercultural communication and interaction that are increasingly evident in the classroom
  • Better understand the potential conflict between one’s preferred teaching style and the range of learning styles and experiences international students may bring to the classroom
  • Become knowledgeable and skilled at developing and using a variety of intercultural training methodologies (e.g., simulations and other active instructional activities, critical incident development and use) for use in the education of others
  • Consider culturally-responsive ways to modify and/or enhance their own teaching practice and assessment strategies
  • The faculty members who have completed this program are now able to facilitate dialogue and discussion of critical intercultural issues faced by faculty at the individual and unit level in their respective units.

Dr. Kathryn A. Kerns

Project Description: The goal of my faculty fellowship is to develop resources and programs for Kent State midcareer faculty.  The university provides a great deal of resources for newly hired faculty (e.g., annual reviews, research start up funds) to help them launch their careers, but once tenured, many of these resources are no longer available. Post-tenure faculty also face new challenges such as higher service expectations.  This fellowship will examine data on factors related to post-tenure career success at Kent State and propose programs and develop materials for these faculty.

Swathi Ravichandran

Project Description: A number of English-language writing challenges faced by international students including issues with grammar, vocabulary, plagiarism, and linguistic fluency and accuracy (Storch, 2009) have been widely reported in literature. Past studies have focused specifically on East Asian and Middle-Eastern studies, a growing population in US educational institutions with whom such barriers are more profound (Longerbeam, DeStefano, & Lixin, 2013; Pyrazli, 2001). As a result of these challenges, international students experience isolation and lack of belonging and unfair perceptions (Longerbeam et al., 2013) or underestimation of their academic ability (Choi, 2006). Instructors have also been faulted for seeming unconcerned about errors in writing of non-native writers (Storch, 2009). Despite there being positive correlation between strong writing skills and academic achievement (Andrade, 2006), the literature with respect to support needed for academic writing for students whose first language is not English is sparse. As Zhou, Frey, and Bang (2011) recommended, schools should survey international graduate students and hear their voices in order to understand their academic needs. Hence, the objectives of this pilot project are three-fold: (a) To determine English-language writing challenges faced by international students in the US whose first language is not English; (b) To determine and summarize strategies that could be utilized to improve English-language writing skills for international students whose first language is not English; and (c) Complete an importance-performance analysis of strategies suggested to improve English-language writing skills of international students whose first language is not English. Findings from this study will result in a more thorough understanding of writing challenges from the perspective of international students and also provide subject-matter instructors with a list of strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to address writing challenges.

Christopher Was

Project Description: This study has two main goals. The first is to document and analyze both instructors’ metacognitive awareness and self-regulation in their teaching, and to investigate motivations/deterrents for supporting metacognitive teaching practices. The second goal is to investigate the impact of instructor participation in a semester-long, reflection and journal intervention on a) instructor self-reported metacognitive practices, b) instructor perceptions of teaching confidence and comfort, and c) student perceptions of instructor responsiveness to student engagement and achievement of the learning objectives.