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Faculty Institute

Session Abstracts

Thursday May 17th

Presenter: Kristen Betts

Title: Student Feedback: High Touch Strategies to Support Motivation & Transformative Learning

Abstract: Feedback is critical to student learning. It is through effective feedback that students are able to understand what they have learned and what they need to learn. This session discusses the importance of metacognitive practices in assisting students to become aware of areas of strength and weakness. High touch strategies for providing student feedback through multiple modalities (text, voice, and video) will be shared. The session will include demonstrations of innovative ways to provide effective and timely feedback to support motivation and transformative learning. Quantitative and qualitative feedback from several courses will also be shared.


Presenters: Pauline Mosley and Li-Chiou Chen

Title: Cyber-Arcade: An Innovative Approach to Promote Cybersecurity and Engage Women to Pursue STEM Pathways

Abstract: Recognizing the urgent need to expand the cybersecurity workforce, particularly underrepresented groups, Cyber-Arcade was created to involve women and minorities in cybersecurity. Cyber-Arcade is a one-day workshop designed to engage and recruit high school students to explore the concepts of cybersecurity through a set of five challenges: cyber-jeopardy, raspberry pi puzzle, cryptography with cipher wheel, mini-drones, and password strength abstraction. Students rotate from station to station working as a team under time constraints to complete the challenge. The objective of this approach is twofold – first, it promotes STEM awareness and cybersecurity interest; secondly, it utilizes a problem-based cooperative learning approach to subject immersion, idea generation, and hands-on construction. It facilitates a learner-centered classroom because pedagogical methodologies can be tailored for various student learning patterns and multiple strategies can be implemented to engage all students. Cyber-Arcade has the elasticity to be taught in 1 hour or 4 hours.

Presenter: Gwen Lowenheim

Title: Lost in Conversation: Co-creating Classroom Communities for Meaning-making and Discovery

Abstract: As educators teaching in a super diverse world, we are eager to support students to consider others’ points of view, challenge assumptions, and foster curiosity. But this takes instructors out of our comfort zones as it does our students. Educators are rarely trained in ways to engage with our students in emergent conversations which allow for discovery. There are tools designed for navigating such conversations (whatever the subject matter) and I will present an approach that has integrated three of them: theatrical-improvisation, Vygotsky's Zones of Proximal Development, and Wittgensteinian language games. This sociocultural improvisational approach has been implemented in colleges, non-profits, scientific communities, and Fortune 500 companies.

This practical/philosophical workshop will engage participants in creating emergent conversations. Key activities include: (1) relating to students as active co-creators of a learning environment which encourages not-knowing and creativity (2) building with conversational "offers" and (3) playing language games which shine a light on language as activity.

Presenter: Amanda Meier

Title: Diversity and Language: International Students in the University Classroom

Abstract: Pace University has 1,700+ international students representing more than 128 countries. For most of these students, English is not their first language. Add to this group the immigrant and long-term resident students who speak English as a second language (ESL), Pace has a sizable percentage of students who are nonnative speakers of English. These students bring a diversity of language, attitudes, and cultures that enhance our institution. Yet, many of our ESL students report feeling like outsiders in their university classes. From stereotyping “foreign students” to misunderstanding the linguistic and cultural challenges that ESL students face, many professors are devaluing a large portion of our student body. This session will present techniques for working with ESL students that professors across disciplines can use to highlight diversity and increase positive learning outcomes for all students.

Presenter: Erica Connerney

Title: Practical Skills for Enhancing Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Abstract: Erica Connerney has taught the Critical Thinking class at Pace University for the last seven years. Critical Thinking is a selection of subjects from the field of logic, each chosen for its practical value for the analysis and evaluation of argumentation and explanation as found in political discourse, legal reasoning, and scientific research. In this session, she will offer a short list of pragmatic techniques for engaging students on issues of cogency and validity in their own work and the work of others. Topics covered will include, How Not to Think Backwards, It's Just an Opinion and That's Okay, Reaching (not Loving) Your Conclusions, The Joy of Syllogism and When Science Goes Wrong.

Presenter: Kimberly Collica-Cox

Students Presenting: Junwoo Moon and Arianna Revelliac

Title: Civic Engagement for the Future Criminal Justice Professional:
Serving the Underserved in a Correctional Setting

Abstract: This project, Parenting, Prison and Pups, is designed to help students think as socially responsible persons, in addition to understanding and caring about the world they will enter as criminal justice professionals. By becoming civically aware and involved, these students will be servicing one of society’s most underserved populations – female inmates and their children. This program involves our students in remediating some of the most difficult problems within our criminal justice system, namely prisoner rehabilitation. Moreover, involving research as another level to this project is vital to understanding the effectiveness of our jail-based program, in addition to accurately investigating the experiences of our students. We not only examine the process of designing and developing a unique civic engagement experience for students, but discusses how four agencies were brought together as community partners to serve female inmates, while simultaneously conducting research on an important criminal justice intervention. Students from each campus will recount their experiences.

Presenter: Maren Westphal

Title: Using media and experiential learning strategies to identify and address cultural biases in assessment and psychotherapy

Abstract: This session presents teaching strategies from a graduate course on social and cultural foundations of counseling designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that can help to more effectively navigate challenges of counseling clients from culturally diverse backgrounds. Examples of challenges include cultural transference and countertransference, assessment biases, and the role of acculturative stress and language barriers. Learning components include: 1) applying social psychological research on cognitive biases and models of cultural identity development to contemporary issues featured in the media (e.g., social class and ethnic minority status in the #MeToo movement, cultural appropriation in fashion, under-representation of ethnic minorities in movies, invisibility of individuals with disabilities in Hollywood, weight-related discrimination in dating and employment, ethnic disparities in higher education), 2) analyzing changes in the portrayal of ethnic groups in television, reality shows, and movies across time, and 3) identifying religious and other biases through a cultural immersion project.

Presenter: Sarah Cohn

Title: Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good: Teaching Critical Evaluation of Information

Abstract: Library instruction is typically taught in a single 60-90 minute session by a librarian who students may see once during a semester. There is no real relationship or trust, and engaging with students in a meaningful way on nuanced or complex topic is challenging. These challenges are apparent on the topic of sources of information, specifically encouraging students to think critically about not only the content of their source, but also who is producing or publishing it, and to what end. To overcome some of these barriers, and get students thinking critically about information, we have developed a series of activities that encourages students to think critically about where their information comes from. Attendees will participate in the same activities we use in our library instruction sessions. We will discuss student response to and engagement with the activities where we find areas of resistance and ways that we’ve succeeded.

Presenter: Shobana Musti-Rao

Students Presenting: Rachel Rothchild, Coral DiMichele, Camilla Sibiga, and Nadia Librieri

Title: Strategies for Enhancing Student Engagement and Critical Thinking

Abstract: Research shows a positive correlation between academic engagement time and academic performance. The purpose of this sessions is to share multiple ways to engage the students with course content in and outside the classroom. Examples from an introductory course in education will be shared and faculty can reflect on how these strategies can be used in their respective disciplines.

Presenter: Karen Caldwell

Title: Enhancing Student Engagement & Critical Thinking in Chemistry Courses Using iPad Apps

Abstract: Our success in 2017 in using iPads to enhance student learning of spectroscopy in two chemistry lab courses was very encouraging. Enhanced learning of spectral analysis methods was observed and measured (preliminary results). This session will address the broader picture of "critical thinking" in chemistry courses. In addition to specific knowledge, understanding and skills, students learn the correct application of the scientific method throughout all chemistry courses. We contend that this is at the heart of "critical thinking," per se. Faculty in any scientific and mathematic discipline are invited to participate and share experiences in this session.

Presenters: Sophie Kaufman and Sue Maxam

Title: Promoting Open-Minded Inquiry In and Out of the Classroom

Abstract: In this interactive session, we will share how students in the Mindfulness and Cultural Intelligence course have been exploring the multiple facets of their diversity, spending time outside their comfort zone, challenging misconceptions and unconscious biases, developing a more nuanced understanding of our interconnected world, and contributing solutions by participating responsibly in “glocal” community service. Students will discuss how mindfulness practice, “glocal” community service, and other unconventional assignments have helped them expand their world view and their capacity to be open-minded to a vast variety of viewpoints.

Presenters: James Lawler and Anthony Joseph

Title: Expanding Learning of STEM Students through Opportunities with Marginalized Populations

Abstract: A challenge for academic institutions is expanding the learning opportunities for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students beyond mere technology. To address the challenge, the presenters discuss the diversity practices of a program that is engaging and focusing on the sensitivity of the students to be increasingly thinking of marginalized populations of society, such as people with disabilities, who are often without proper solutions of technology. The program is expanding the non-STEM skills of the students to be thinking of projects of technology more personalized to those with disabilities.

The presenters discuss a curricula outreach program for inner-city people with disabilities that is engaging STEM students in exciting projects beyond the curricula of STEM. The students are interacting one-on-one with an open mind with people with disabilities, at the actual facilities of non-profit organizations, on personalized projects of technology tailored to this population. The extra-curricular portion of the program is involving the STEM students in film festivals, family field projects and gala showcases at the university with the people with disabilities, which are essentially projects expanding the horizons of the students to be advocates for the population instead of bystander mere technologists. The presenters discuss the pedagogy of the program, in which the students integrate blogs, critiques and journals of people and project reflections in the semesters, through the internal e-Portfolio system. From the program, the STEM students are definitely increasing their critical thinking skills to be attuned to community people with disabilities who they would not have met without the program.

The outcomes of the program are especially positive for the STEM students in learning to be thinking more about those without technology than those with technology. The presenters will present empirical evidence of the progress of the outreach program, in the perceptions of the students with their partnered persons with disabilities, and with a representative of the spring 2018 students at the session. This presentation will be helpful to faculty interested in an inventive program for inspiring students, in STEM or in non-STEM, to be more proactive about problems of society beyond mere classroom topics.

Presenter: Rachel Simon

Title: Managing the Challenges of Difficult Classroom Conversations

Abstract: We are always striving to expand effective instruction and often face challenges when issues of race, class, sexuality, gender identity, ability, immigration status, politics, and many others that we may not feel well versed in. Even when the course subject has no clear connection to issues of social justice we have all seen contemporary challenging issues arise in class. This workshop will explore strategies to expand classroom comfort to create a positive learning environment when we are faced with uncomfortable topics.

Presenters: Gina Scutelnicu, Rebecca Tekula, Beth Gordon, and Hillary Knepper

Student Presenting: Victoria Gonzalez

Title: How Consistency in Online Learning Can Contribute to Student Critical Thinking and Learning: The Story of the Public Administration Department

Abstract: Institutions of higher learning are currently using online course templates which provide standardization for students in online course navigation (Ley & Gannon-Cook, 2014) and foster early student engagement (Borgemenke et al., 2013), comfort (Dykman & Davis, 2008) and success (Miller, 2012) in online learning. While some institutions are taking a top-down approach to institutionalizing Quality Matters or other similar rubrics, the faculty in the MPA program at Pace University chose to pursue this process in a highly collaborative bottom-up approach, which yielded a similar outcome in terms of the results. In trying to answer the question: To what extent are online course templates beneficial to student critical thinking and learning? This proposal discusses the benefits of the Pace University Master of Public Administration (MPA) online template that was assessed by our students and faculty through an online survey conducted in the Fall 2017 semester. For the 2018 Faculty Institute we would like to propose an interactive session that will consist of a brief presentation of our story followed by simultaneous breakout working group sessions on several aspects of utilizing a consistent online template to facilitate critical thinking, specifically:

  • Interactive discussion forums
  • Mobile online learning
  • Using Turnitin as an editing tool and
  • Overall online template benefits.

Friday May 18th

Presenters: Luke Cantarella and Jillian McDonald

Title: Critical-Making: Materialization as an Alternate Mode for Concept Work.

Abstract: The worlds of Art and Design have rich and discrete histories of thinking through making. Designers and artists have developed material practices that respond to the intellectual, social and cultural issues in the form of objects, situations, and systems that embody forms of critical thinking not solely reliant on writing or language.

In this workshop, professors Jillian McDonald (art) and Luke Cantarella discuss the use of creative prompts and responses as an alternative teaching method to help students engage with critical issues across the disciplines. Come prepared to create! Participants will work collaboratively to create speculative tools and objects in response to the theme of this year’s Institute – “helping students listen and thoughtfully consider others’ points of view, even when those opinions conflict with their own.”

Presenters: Emily Bent, Brian Evans, Keith Gorman, Michael Finewood, Pamela Fuentes, and April Keane

Title: “What’s my professor doing here?” Expanding the Boundaries of Learning - Faculty Engagement in the Residence Halls

Abstract: This session explores how faculty engagement in the residence halls contributes to an expanded and critical learning experience for Pace University students. Research shows student engagement with faculty outside of the classroom benefits students and the university at large, increasing student retention and graduation rates, as well as student satisfaction with their college experience. It also expands the boundaries of higher education learning by disrupting traditional power dynamics inherent to the classroom experience. Pace University boasts a long history of faculty-student engagement outside the classroom through professional development and experiential learning activities (i.e., Pace Path); this session however considers the unique opportunities for expanding our educational comfort zones inside the residence halls. It draws from the expertise of former and current Faculty-in-Residence members, representatives of the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and students and faculty who have done programming with or inside the residence halls in NYC and Pleasantville.

Presenters: Linda Herritt and Jillian McDonald

Title: Collaboration and story-telling as tools for expanding experimentation and critical thinking in the studio context

Abstract: Studio art instruction traditionally centers on projects created by individual students, linked by an assignment and a critique of finished work. Some Pace faculty in studio art are choosing to enhance the hands-on approach to include student-initiated content and collaboration. Professor Jillian McDonald presents strategies and examples of student work from her “Live Art” course, which engages students in self-directed performances that reflect their personal stories and experiences. Professor Herritt provides an overview and examples of team problem-solving from “Traditional Animation.” Both courses employ story-telling, collaboration, and experimentation to encourage students to critically examine their own experiences in relationship to the broader culture.

Presenters: Anna Shostya and Joseph Morreale

Students Presenting: Mariana Villada, Gregory Coleman, Edgar Yanez

Title: Developing Critical Reading Skills in Social Sciences: A Case Study

Abstract: Economics is a social science that studies how people respond to incentives. As any other social science, it deals with human behavior. At the same time, the discipline of economics is a unique blend of theory and practice that relies on analytical skills, model-building, and quantitative and qualitative analysis. This workshop explains why critical reading is fundamental to studying any social science and what elements of critical reading used in economics can also applied in political science, history, sociology, psychology, and other related fields. Although we focus on how to advance critical reading skills in introductory courses, we also provide a complete framework of developing critical reading skills up through intermediate and capstone research courses in economics. Using specific pedagogical examples, we demonstrate how to develop critical reading and thinking skills to make students more “economics literate,” and thus more proficient in economic principles, economic theory, and economic policy-making. We also show how these pedagogical techniques can be utilized in other social science disciplines.

Presenter: Emily Bent

Title: So You Want to Change the World? Best Practices for Social Justice in the Classroom

Abstract: This session highlights successful pedagogical practices for engaging students in and beyond the classroom, enhancing critical thinking, and expanding teaching – learning comfort zones through an intersectional feminist lens. I suggest infusing social justice frameworks into the classroom allows students to more readily connect with course material and translate learning into everyday practice. Universities across the United States encourage high-impact learning practices, which enhance student-learning outcomes in college-level coursework. Research suggests students involved in such courses experience increased student learning, critical thinking and effectiveness, improved interpersonal skills and professional / vocational development, and enhanced global awareness. In this session, I therefore propose to share best practices from several high-impact learning courses and assignments developed for the Women’s & Gender Studies Department (WGS) including: Gender & Human Rights: Transnational Feminist Activism at the United Nations; and Introduction to Feminist Activism. The session will involve simulations, small group activities and discussion, and multimedia.

Presenter: Courtney Gosnell

Title: Incorporating Current Event Analysis and Blogging Into the Classroom

Abstract: In this session, we will discuss the use of classroom blogs that challenge students to make connections between current events and class content. With Pace’s unique Pace Path program and our focus on helping students make real-world connections, teaching students how to apply classroom material to real-world issues and then present it in an approachable manner aligns well with our university goals and may help students market themselves in the future. In this session, I will discuss some of the prior research on blog use in classroom settings and share examples of how I incorporated a current event blog into a psychology course. As a group we will brainstorm ideas both of how to utilize blogs in other ways and in other courses as well as how we might use other outlets to allow students to create connections to real-world events in creative ways.

Presenter: Lisa Farber

Title: Critical Thinking and Academic Integrity in the Age of Online Information and Social Media

Abstract: This session will focus on how students can develop critical thinking skills to evaluate, verify, and document information from online sources and social media. The goals of critical thinking include independent thinking, reasoned judgment, intellectual integrity, and ethical use of information, and thus, the goals of teaching critical thinking skills are parallel to the application of academic integrity. To promote academic integrity, students are taught the importance of acknowledging sources of information in their written and oral work. In the past, when teaching students how to find scholarly sources, put information and ideas into their own words, and document their sources properly, instructors focused primarily on traditional sources: books, journals, established news media, and reputable websites. Instructors provided students with the appropriate forms for citing these traditional sources. In the last few years, there has been a fundamental shift in how people receive information. Increasingly, we are challenged to question what we read on the internet, to distinguish between facts and misleading information, and to be on the alert for fake websites, hoaxes, unreliable sources, and altered photographs. Students need more training to apply critical thinking skills to evaluate whether information found online and through social media is reliable, credible, current, accurate, and objective.

This workshop will provide faculty with information about how to:

  • Teach students how to apply critical thinking skills to evaluate the reliability of online sources including social media
  • Promote academic integrity by emphasizing ethical use of information found on the internet and social media
  • Provide students with the tools they need to cite information found on the internet and social media, for example, on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram.

Presenter: Harold Ingram

Title: A Program for Fostering the Development of Critical Thinking in Students in Freshman Composition Courses

Abstract: I do not think that the ability to think critically comes from education per se. Rather, I think that it comes from engaging in a set of practices related to an interest in certain kinds of topics, especially those that are issue-oriented and of a more or less serious nature. These practices include reading high quality newspapers and magazines, watching news programs that presuppose an intelligent audience, and engaging in discussion with fellow critical thinkers. I would like to present the program I have designed, on the basis of this view, to foster the development of critical thinking in students in freshman composition courses. It includes a bit of logic and consideration of the procedures for determining what is true in various fields, including science, social science, jurisprudence, and journalism. Mainly, however, it consists in the systematic analysis and production of argument, although not without regard for humor and fun.

Presenter: Francisco J. Quevedo

Title: LIFE MAPS: Personal strategy planning for student success

Abstract: Let the student take command of his own success, by facilitating visualization and personal planning, a process that can, and should be aligned with the students' academic work, major, and life goals, and that would allow them to focus, prioritize, while drawing a clear path to high achievement. Adapting Kaplan and Norton's (2004) method of "strategy maps", the student, with the professor's support, and even with the participation of other Pace offices, would generate a "life map". This proposal draws on the work of Davis (2009), Maxwell (2013), Burke, Shanahan and Herlambang (2014), Grande and Simons, J. B. (1967), Powell and Lines (2010), Steen, Henfield and Booker (2014), and McMurray and Sorrells (2007), among other educational researchers, and on 33 years of strategic planning experience. I would focus on the 5-D’s: Define, Design, Develop, Document, and Deploy, to implement this proposal, so that professors have the appropriate tools (a how to manual) to guide their students.

Presenters: Adelia Williams and Harold Brown

Title: Saving a course by engaging with students in and beyond the classroom

Abstract: In Spring 2016, we offered a Learning Community entitled Montaigne to Beaumarchais: Classical Influences on Contemporary France. We intended to examine French philosophy and literature beginning with the work of the philosopher Montaigne and concluding with the playwright Beaumarchais, with particular attention to the social, political and ethical effects on contemporary France. The course was to conclude with a 7 day trip to Paris.

Presenters: Joseph Ryan and Kimberly Collica-Cox

Title: It is About the Students: What is Critical Thinking? the Criminal Justice Department’s Pace Path

Abstract: The Criminal Justice (CRJ) Department believes that critical thinking involves having students examine every aspect of their learning experience, while understanding how one’s behavior affects theirs and other’s lives. Students come first. A major focus of our discussion are the rewards and challenges involved in providing students with an active learning experience inside and outside the classroom.

To achieve the goal of putting students first, the CRJ Department provides learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom. The CRJ curriculum is designed to progressively become more detailed each year (100-400 level courses) to examine the increasing complexity of the CRJ system and how what they learn in the classroom is relevant to their personal career paths. Students can participate in civic engage service courses or a variety of field trip experiences, where classroom knowledge integrates with real world field experience.