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Rutgers-Newark Instructors Receive Honors for Excellence in Teaching

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Fourteen Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) faculty and graduate students were commended for their dedication to students in Ackerson Hall at the Association of College and University Educators Luncheon (ACUE) on March 29, honoring faculty who earned a national credential in effective instruction through ACUE. 

“Teaching is the number one thing that makes the difference for student success,” says ACUE Academic Director Dr. Martha Bless.

This year’s ACUE faculty graduates include: Camil Golub of the Philosophy Department, Paula Catalan of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, and Pushpi Paranamana from the School of Arts and Sciences-Newark (SASN);  Constance Sabon Sensor, assistant professor from the School of Nursing; Adam Strobel and William Clemons from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark (SPAA); and Leon Fraser from the Department of Management & Global Business at the Rutgers Business School (RBS). The luncheon also recognized graduate student instructors Huan Wang and Alexander Jaffery, both from the Department of Management & Global Business at RBS. In addition, Oren Rabinovich from SASN was recognized for completing the module on "Developing Self-Directed Learners." Each honoree received an honorary certificate and red graduation stole.

Four additional graduates received credentials in absentia. They include Benjamin Ashmore, second-year law student and mentor for Rutgers Law School's Minority Student Program, Helen Brown-Liburd, associate professor at RBS, Yuanyuan Li, doctoral student at RBS, and Chinmoy Bhattacharjee, teaching instructor in the department of Physics.

The event was hosted by the university’s P3 Collaboratory for Pedagogy, Professional Development, and Publicly-Engaged Scholarship, a comprehensive faculty development center that supports excellence in teaching, scholarship, and leadership for the emerging and existing professoriate. The P3 Collaboratory partnered with ACUE to equip faculty with the evidence-based strategies shown to promote student motivation, learning, and persistence. 

According to P3 Collaboratory Acting Director, Dr. Taja-Nia Henderson, the program has developed a series of programmatic initiatives that are designed to support instructors on all levels, from beginning to advanced, and helps build support and skill development opportunities.

“Out of those conversations around the new professoriate came the idea that we could, here at Rutgers-Newark, develop a comprehensive center for teaching, learning, and publicly engaged scholarship, that would serve students, faculty, and staff who are interested and would like to be engaged; that is what we’ve been doing,” says Henderson.

Henderson points out that with the help of the P3 Collaboratory, several graduate students are also benefitting from these initiatives. One of these, the Dissertation Boot Camp, provides graduate students with an intensive week-long dissertation writing workshop. 

“These students are graduating and going on to teach, travel abroad, and collaborate with other partners and are really doing great work,” says Henderson.

ACUE’s course in the foundations of effective college instruction is based on more than three decades of research that shows effective teaching improves learning for all students. Aligned with the latest research in cognition and adult learning, the course addresses more than 200 evidence-based teaching practices, covering how to design an effective course, establish a productive learning environment, use active learning techniques, promote higher order thinking, and utilize assessments to inform instruction and promote learning.

Participating faculty members shared detailed accounts at the luncheon about how the course requirements has changed not only their teaching practices but their confidence.

"I feel like everything I do in the classroom is more intentional,” says ACUE graduate Camil Golub, assistant professor of Philosophy. “I know its purpose. I know how to help my students.”

Golub also says that the teaching process for instructors also benefits the learning process of students as well. “It’s rewarding to see that students notice that too,” says Golub. “That what we’re doing in the classroom isn’t just for the sake of assessing, or doing some quiz on paper, but it actually fits together in a coherent classroom of teaching that students can feel the results of at the end of the term.”

Rutgers University-Newark has had seven cohorts of instructors complete the ACUE program and is committed to credentialing many more faculty in the coming years, as the P3 Collaboratory continues to build a culture of teaching excellence at the university.

Click image to watch interviews on ACUE/P3 innovation at Rutgers-Newark.

About Rutgers University–Newark
Rutgers University–Newark is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in New Jersey’s cultural capital.  Approximately 12,000 students are currently enrolled at its 38-acre campus in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School-Newark, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers Law School, the School of Criminal Justice, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration.

At a historical moment when our cities, our state, our nation, and our world desperately need higher education to fulfill its promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility, Rutgers University–Newark is exceptionally well positioned to fulfill that promise. It has a remarkable legacy of producing high-impact scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. It has the right mix of disciplines and first-rate interdisciplinary centers and institutes to take on those questions and challenges.  It is in and of a city and region where its work on local challenges undertaken with partners from many sectors resonates powerfully throughout our urbanizing world.  Most importantly, Rutgers University–Newark brings an incredible diversity of people to this work—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—making it more innovative, more creative, more engaging, and more relevant for our time and the times ahead.  For more information please visit www.newark.rutgers.edu.

About ACUE: The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) believes that all college students deserve an extraordinary education and that faculty members play a critical role in their success. In partnership with institutions of higher education nationwide, ACUE supports and credentials faculty members in the use of evidence-based teaching practices that drive student engagement, retention, and learning. Faculty members who complete ACUE courses earn certificates in effective college instruction endorsed by the American Council on Education. ACUE’s Community of Professional Practice connects college educators from across the country through member forums, podcasts, and updates on the latest developments in the scholarship of teaching and learning. To learn more, visit acue.org.