Faculty Institute: Turning Innovation into Opportunity

The Faculty Institute returned to the NYC Campus to celebrate its 10th anniversary with two days of sessions and speakers devoted to trends in higher education, past successes, lessons learned, and plans for the future of pedagogy at Pace.

“This really was a big milestone for us—it was the 10th annual and we were very excited,” said Joseph Seijo, the assistant director for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT). This year’s theme differed from years prior in that it was dedicated to reflection on the past and speculation about future accomplishments.

The purpose of the Faculty Institute, both 10 years ago and today, is to “bring faculty together and really reflect on and celebrate what they do,” said James Stenerson, PhD, executive director for CTLT. At this year’s Institute, President Stephen J. Friedman presented Stenerson with an award for his vision and efforts in creating and facilitating the Faculty Institute over the last decade.

This year’s Institute was attended by keynote speaker W. Gardner Campbell, PhD, who addressed the role of technology in teaching and the effects technology has on scholarship. Attendees were also treated to a guest presentation by New York Times education reporter Tamar Lewin, a contributor to the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Class Matters, which examines social class in America and its implications on the way we live our lives. Another highlight was the Provost Panel, which included current Interim Provost Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN, as well as former provosts Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz, EdD, and Joseph M. Pastore, Jr, PhD. This panel discussed the evolution of teaching and technology.

“Pace has the talent and discipline to turn innovation into an extraordinary opportunity for our students,” said John Cronin, 35-year veteran of environmental studies and Senior Fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. During his presentation, co-lectured with Academy Director Michelle Land and New York Times blogger Andrew Revkin, Cronin proposed creating an environmental clinic that would incorporate Pace students from all areas and levels of study (including graduate, undergraduate, and law students).

“We want to engage departments through a unique suite of programs that are typically beyond the reach of just any one school,” said Land of the proposed clinic. “Ideally, it will be project based, outcome oriented, and student centered with a continuing and institutional memory.” Another high hope shared by all three lecturers is the possibility of mentorships created within the clinic between the upperclassmen and the younger students. “The clinic is to be a laboratory for collaboration,” expressed Revkin.

Other interesting sessions included the Pace E-portfolio as an Educational Passport, Developing Social Skills Through Internships and Technology, Incorporating the iPad into Pedagogy, and Internationalization at Pace.

Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Sheying Chen, PhD, promoted the Institute on his blog and invited faculty to join him in sessions aimed at increasing scholarly productivity and helping the University with its faculty development efforts. Representatives from support offices and programs also joined the discussion with information on fellowships, grant programs, and affirmative action.

To learn more about this year’s Faculty Institute, including post-conference materials and past conference themes over the last decade, please visit http://www.pace.edu/facultyinstitute .