By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Dr. Bernadette Jessie, associate professor in the department of criminology and criminal justice, and Dr. Lisa Russell, assistant professor of management, are the latest IU Southeast faculty to be welcomed into the ranks of the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET).
The induction took place at the annual FACET retreat, held this year at the Sheraton Indianapolis Circle Center in Indianapolis, Ind. in late May. Jessie and Russell were among 11 inductees.
FACET is an Indiana University presidential initiative that promotes and sustains teaching excellence. True to its mission statement, FACET is a dynamic, collaborative community of distinguished IU faculty who are dedicated to and recognized for excellence in teaching and learning. Membership includes some 600 faculty from across the IU system.
Through workshops, publications and other conversations, FACET disseminates best practices in teaching and learning, promotes assessment of effectiveness in these areas, and strives to unify faculty in a culture of teaching excellence.
Each year extraordinary faculty are nominated to FACET by colleagues. They compile a rigorous dossier of their teaching philosophy and experience, guided by FACET liaisons from their campuses. (Jessie and Russell were mentored in their dossiers by Faye Camahalan, associate professor of education and Alysa Lambert, associate professor in human resource management, among others.) The dossiers are reviewed by a campus selection committee, and if approved, are sent to the statewide FACET selection committee for final consideration.
Besides demonstrating a clear and ongoing pursuit of excellence in teaching, successful candidates evince a commitment to their own personal growth, the willingness to advocate for the importance of teaching and learning, a legacy of having advanced the craft of teaching through research and scholarship in the area. Once selected, inductees play an active role in helping to shape best practices.
Jessie and Russell were honored at a special reception, then they immersed themselves in the business of the retreat: seminars, workshops and conversations with a range of colleagues from around the IU system that explored the theme, “Discovering the Learner Within.”
Jessie teaches criminal justice in an interactive classroom setting that combines critical theory and experiential learning. In practice, the teacher guides and facilitates rather than dictates the individual student’s learning journey.
“I am truly motivated and invested in the learning and growth of my students, and look forward to working with the dedicated and innovative colleagues who make up this fellowship,” Jessie said.
Russell’s classroom approach synthesizes the online engagement with course fundamentals and face-to-face sessions that apply online content to real-life business scenarios.
“I recognize this learning opportunity [FACET] as one of the best places to learn, collaborate, and grow both personally and professionally among colleagues with similar goals and values,” Russell said.
IU Southeast maintains a strong presence in FACET, with 46 current members, including Dr. Robin Morgan, professor of psychology and director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ILTE). Morgan was herself inducted in 1993, and has served in many capacities since, including as director (2011-2015). Morgan was also editor of the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and founder and editor of the Journal for Teaching and Learning with Technology. She is the creator and co-editor of several volumes in the Quick Hits series of essay collections on topics ranging from teaching with technology to educating citizens. All are published by Indiana University Press.
Morgan has seen a positive impact of FACET membership on the personal and professional growth of faculty, with significant benefits for the entire campus, including students, as effective and innovative ideas generated and shared through FACET are put into practice in IU Southeast classrooms.
“Becoming a member of FACET not only recognizes those who are already excellent teachers but strengthens teaching by providing access to a community that cuts across campus and disciplinary boundaries to support scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning,” Morgan said. “It’s exciting and invigorating to talk with others who are committed to excellence in teaching, allowing each of us to identify new approaches to help us continue to improve our teaching efforts.”
Homepage photo: Bernadette Jessie (l) and Lisa Russell (r).