The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), in partnership with the Office of Academic and Student Support Services and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, held the 12th Annual Power Up Your Pedagogy (PUP) Conference on January 3 and 4. This year’s theme was “Reflect, Renew and Recharge: Creating a Lasting Impact for Our Students.” On January 3 the conference was held at the Ernst Center at the Annandale Campus and on January 4 at the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (RCWET) at the Woodbridge Campus. On a cold, wet winter day, 550 NOVA faculty participated in the two-day event offering more than 70 breakout sessions so faculty could learn about classroom-related topics that interest them.
Tuesday’s event began with sabbatical reports. Dr. Sue Bhati (MEC) wrote a book on the relationship between sleep disturbance and postpartum depression. Philip Tirpak (AN) co-developed an instrument for the 2014 systemwide assessment of oral communication competencies, the only faculty-created instrument ever implemented within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Dr. Ali Soleymani (AL) attended the annual Apple Conference in San Francisco, where he learned about Swift, a groundbreaking computer language more relevant to iPad and iPhone development. President Scott Ralls also announced the 2017-2018 President’s Sabbatical awardees Jonathan Kolm (AL), Kathryn O’Sulllivan (MA) and Abe Eftekhari (AN).
Attendees heard rapid-fire lunchtime presentations called Ignite. With an “inspire me, but make it quick” format, speakers have five minutes to discuss their passion using 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds. John Kincheloe (LO) said he attempts to “Make it awkward. Break down reality for students by removing the truths they thought they knew.”
Stacy “Sly” Young (AN) who struggled through school, said, “It takes only one person to change the trajectory of a student’s life.” Young is an adjunct instructor, a talk show host and teaches inmates.
Honors biology student Caitlyn Bryan shared her passion for service learning by addressing a practical need for homeless women who have no access to basic feminine hygiene products. Bryan and a friend began a feminine hygiene products drive to give homeless women health and dignity.
Dr. Mariale Hardiman, co-founder and director of the Neuro-Education Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, delivered keynote remarks. Hardiman attempted to dispel educational myths such as: there are critical periods for learning, you only use 10 percent of your brain, you are left-or right-brained, etc. She suggested if a student is not learning, there may be an emotional hindrance.
“An emotional impediment messes with higher-order thinking,” she said. “One caring adult can make a big difference. An off-handed remark from a teacher can change the trajectory of a student’s path.”
Ralls opened the last session by discussing the critical importance of solid advising for students and how a strategic pathway model can make a difference for students.
Annandale Liberal Arts Dean Burt Peretti illustrated pathways in world languages; Alexandria Liberal Arts Dean Jim McClellan provided examples of courses in social sciences and humanities in the social science pathway and Woodbridge Provost Sam Hill discussed the importance of narrowing the science pathway from six to four courses to enhance transferability. Woodbridge Assistant History Chair Charles Errico and College Senate Chair Maggie Emblom-Callahan served as moderators.
NOVA Video Services also recorded “The State of the College Address” by Ralls; PUP Conference keynote presentation “Brain-Targeted Teaching and Learning” by Hardiman; the College Strategic Council Panel presentations and discussion; and the Presidential Sabbatical 2015 – 2016 presentations by Soleymani, Bhati and Tirpak (aka “Superman”).
To access these videos from the 2017 PUP Conference, please go online, select Faculty and Staff Resources. Use your My NOVA login. All of the 2017 videos will be in the recent folder to your left as well as in the PUP folder with all past PUP videos further down the page.
Special thanks to CETL Interim Director and Learning and Technology Resources Dean Frances Villagran-Glover and the PUP team for the tremendous work and energy involved in planning this outstanding event.