First round of teaching funds awarded to faculty initiatives

As an expression of Emory's commitment to quality teaching, money from a new Teaching Fund has been awarded to 23 faculty members. Provost Billy Frye established the $250,000 fund last spring to support faculty in their efforts to change or improve their teaching. The recipients were selected this summer and will begin work this fall. As a condition of the support, the faculty members will share with Emory colleagues what they learn about teaching as they develop new courses, explore how to teach existing courses in new ways and, in some cases, investigate entirely new pathways for learning within the research university environment.

"The committee that selected faculty recipients wanted innovation, things that can be replicated and serve as models in other contexts," said Harriet King, vice provost for academic affairs.

The fund will support a broad range of teaching initiatives. For example, Juliette Stapanian Apkarian, associate professor and chair of Russian, Eurasian and East Asian Languages and Culture, received a grant from the fund that will be used to support a long-distance learning project already receiving support from the Instructional Computing Development Fund. "We will establish a pilot project to offer introductory Russian on the Oxford campus using teleconferencing technology," said Apkarian. In this project, a professor will teach in an Atlanta campus classroom with Emory College students, and audio and video of the class will be sent over telephone lines to a classroom at Oxford College, where students are also enrolled in the class.

"We're interested in making the jump from high tech to high quality instruction," she added. "This money will be used to help professors learn how to teach using this technology; for example we're planning to bring in some people from public television who are experts in using the technology. Faculty in our department will visit other campuses to see how they are using long-distance learning." Apkarian said during her past visits to the Oxford campus, there have been indications of tremendous interest among students in studying a non-Western language. She hopes to have the project ready to teach intensive Russian during the Spring 1997 semester.

"We hope this project is the natural first step," said Apkarian. "Our long-range hope is to integrate into the instruction of our department coursework from abroad."

William Branch, Carter Smith Sr. professor of medicine and director of the Division of General Medicine, received funds to develop an ambulatory learning experience for third-year medical students assigned to the medical clerkship at Grady Hospital. "What we want to do is give more of an introduction to out-patient and primary care in general internal medicine to the 120 third-year students who come through Grady," said Branch. "Students are here for a two-month internal medicine rotation, and up until now, their experience has basically been all in-patient care. With money from this teaching fund, we will develop a series of teaching conferences on primary care that will be given during those two months. We want faculty to get to know the students better and become more advisers and mentors for the students, showing them the model of primary care physicians. We want students to see the long-term management of disease, rather than just the acute phase when patients are having problems and in the hospital."

Bobby Paul, Candler professor of anthropology in the Institute of Liberal Arts, will develop a core curriculum and a colloquium in psychoanalytic studies with money received from the fund. "I'm looking to bring together several scholars in the arts and science faculty with those at the Emory Psychoanalytic Institute in the Department of Psychiatry to put together an ongoing academic program in psychoanalysis," said Paul. "We're going to develop a curriculum of regularly offered courses, primarily for graduate students, and a solid colloquium to augment their studies and add credibility to their work in this area at Emory."

The selection process for the awards was overseen by an ad hoc faculty committee. Half of the members were selected by the University Teaching Commission and half were appointed by Frye. The committee considered 51 requests totaling a little more than $600,000. The members of the commitee are: Kenneth Carter, assistant professor of psychology at Oxford College; David Kleinbaum, professor of epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health; Paul Lennard, associate professor of biology; Margaret Parsons, associate professor of nursing; Huggy Rao, associate professor of organization and management, Goizueta Business School; Walter Reed, professor of English; V.S. Sunderam, associate professor of math and computer science; Jonas Shulman, professor of medicine; and Luther Smith, associate professor of church and community, Candler School of Theology. King charied the committee and, with the help of Marcy Alexander, is administering the fund.

King said she expects the Teaching Fund to continue. and grow if the need is there "We expect to have the Faculty Council of the University Senate create a new University Teaching Fund Committee, much like the University Research Committee that is already in existence," she said. "Then that group will administer the funds each year and select the recipients."

--Jan Gleason

Note: For a complete listing of faculty who received teaching fund grants, go to Teaching Funds awards table

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