By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Faye Camahalan, dean of the School of Education and Margot Morgan, assistant professor of political science, have received the prestigious P.A. Mack Fellowship for 2018-19 granted by Indiana University’s Mack Center for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning, administered by the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET).
The Mack Fellowship aims to promote and enhance the community of IU faculty engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
The fellowships enable Camahalan and Morgan to pursue two important long-term projects that directly impact teaching and learning in classrooms.
Camahalan received support for her project, “University-Based Civic Engagement: Influence on Students, Instructors and Community Partners.”
Recognizing the interdependence of universities and the communities they inhabit, Camahalan’s project sets out to understand the nature and scope of that relationship, and to suggest avenues for shaping instruction and involvement in such a way that maximizes the positive impact that the institution might have in the community.
This ambitious project will involve 200 students, 10 instructors and five community partners.
“”We must broaden our understanding of how students and instructors can use higher education’s infrastructure to make an impact to improving society’s quality of life,” Camahalan said.
Morgan received support for her project that aims to adapt the pedagogical program for history, “Reacting To The Past” (RTTP), for instructors of political science.
An enthusiastic adopter of RTTP for her courses, Morgan was recently voted Faculty Innovator of the Year at IU Southeast for her incorporation of this role-playing resource in her approach.
But much of that innovation actually involved tweaking RTTP to her own purposes.
“My concern with RTTP games is that many of the learning objectives they were designed to meet are specific to the history field,” Morgan said.
For example, knowledge of historical detail and the assessment of motivations are important to historians, while for political scientists, the analysis of social systems, the ways that power is situated and expressed, and the formation of ideologies are of greater significance.
Morgan will incorporate three RTTP games into her honors course on Political Freedom in the fall semester, and one game in her course on American Political Thought. The insights derived from those experiences will form the basis of her research.
“I hope to establish a set of best practices for the use of RTTP games in political science courses,” Morgan said. “In doing so, and by demonstrating the utility of the games for political science instruction, I will be making a contribution to multiple SoTL disciplines.”
The work of Camahalan and Morgan exemplify the range and heft of faculty research at IU Southeast, while also delivering benefits for students, who profit from direct involvement in cutting-edge scholarship.
The awards are further recognition of IU Southeast’s dedication to remaining at the very forefront of classroom innovation.
“Receiving a Mack Fellowship is a significant accomplishment because proposals are submitted from all IU campuses,” said Robin Morgan, director of the Institute for Learning and Teaching Excellence (ILTE) at IU Southeast. “It’s also significant because your peers across IU are recognizing the high caliber of your work.”
Robin Morgan, who is also a professor of psychology, was the last IU Southeast faculty member to receive a Mack Fellowship, in 2007-08.
“Having two Fellows speaks highly of our campus commitment to high-quality teaching, which includes documenting what we’re doing with the scholarship of teaching and learning,” she said. “This campus commitment can also be seen in our new SoTL conference, and fits well with IU President McRobbie’s call for documenting excellence in teaching.”
Homepage photo: Dr. Margot Morgan (l) and Dr. Faye Camahalan (r).