Faculty Scholars Program

The Faculty Scholars program reflects the University’s strong commitment to a scholarly approach to teaching and learning excellence by bringing together full-time faculty scholars to discuss and apply seminal and emerging learning science research and use what they learn to evolve their teaching and create deeper learning environments for their students.

Furthermore, this year-long program provides an excellent opportunity for faculty to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by treating the learning of their students as an object of scholarly inquiry and by contributing to the published scholarship on university learning and teaching.

The Faculty Scholars is a year-long cohort program, with an application process early in the Spring, acceptance announcement shortly thereafter, a two-day retreat to launch the year in the Summer and monthly meetings during Fall and Spring semesters.

Positioned at the intersection of inquiry and instruction, this work will enrich both faculty and students by supporting faculty as they explore and share evidence-based teaching practices, and pass the benefits of what they learn on to their students.

Meet the 2014-2015 Scholars Cohort



Ann McDonald, MFA
Associate Professor
Design, Interactive Media
College of Arts, Media and Design

Project:  Ann McDonald is studying how the competencies required in professional design practice can be visualized and whether doing so improves student understanding of projects and discussions. She is also investigating how assignments, discussions, and reflections can best be tied to the visualization of competencies and used as a road map to current and future learning outcomes.


Brian Robison, DMA
Assistant Academic Specialist
College of Arts, Media and Design

Project:  Brian Robison is investigating whether the use of concept maps can help undergraduate students advance from descriptions of isolated musical elements, toward prose that integrates multiple musical features and patterns. The two-dimensional concept maps will serve as a pre-writing activity, to help students organize their observations about music (which comprises activity along three dimensions, if not more) into a coherent narrative.


Bridget Smyser, PhD
Assistant Academic Specialist
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
College of Engineering

Project:  Bridget Smyser is examining the process by which students analyze experimental data and use that data to write lab reports. This information will be used to develop targeted feedback and rubrics that will help students improve their ability to draw conclusions from their data and to use their data to justify their ideas.


Casper Harteveld, PhD
Assistant Professor
Game Design
College of Arts, Media and Design

Project:  Casper Harteveld’s project is focused on integrating a game-based module on research methods into a variety of existing courses with the objectives to (1) learn how students learn research methods; and (2) determine the impact on student learning. Through observations, content analysis, and game analytics it will become clear how game-based technology can help create new curious minds with the competency to study the world around them.


Courtney Pfluger, PhD
Assistant Academic Specialist
Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering

Project: Courtney Pfluger is researching how integrating a theory course and a practice course, that are usually taught separately, impacts student learning. She is also investigating whether that approach influences students’ mindset towards their own learning abilities.


Jose Martinez-Lorenzo, PhD
Assistant Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
College of Engineering

Project: Jose Martinez-Lorenzo is investigating whether “flipping the class” and in-class group projects help enhance the overall learning experience for students in Electrical Engineering. Accompanying this is an inquiry into the use of machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in student data that predict future academic performance in his course.


Kathryn Schulte Grahame, PhD
Assistant Academic Specialist
Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering

Project: Kathryn Schulte Grahame’s project aims to explore how to increase engagement in a lecture-centric, traditionally math-based, sophomore-level engineering course.  She is “flipping” the class by incorporating more interactive activities and assessing results through testing and survey data.


Leslie J. Day, PhD, CSCS
Assistant Clinical Professor/Associate Chair
Physical Therapy
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Project: Leslie Day is conducting a quantitative study looking at the effectiveness of a flipped-classroom pedagogy in increasing students’ long-term retention, higher-level analytical thinking, and self-directed learning when compared to a traditional lecture. This study will use student data from two years of course work in Gross Anatomy and Kinesiology courses.


Lori Gardinier, MSW, PhD
Director/Associate Academic Specialist
Human Services
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Project: Lori Gardinier is examining global cross-cultural exchange through peer-to-peer project based community engagement. Her study analyzes a program based in Lusaka Zambia, with two sets of undergraduate students, one from the U.S. and the other from Zambia.  Together the students conceptualize, design and implement a youth summit in a residential program for orphaned girls.  This research will identify the perceived learning, and compare and contrast the experiences for the two groups.


Lorna Hayward, EdD, MPH, PT
Associate Professor
Physical Therapy
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Project: Lorna Hayward is investigating which factors in a large lecture format classroom contribute to Doctor of physical therapy (PT) students’ motivation for learning, applying and valuing evidence-based practice in physical therapy. She is also studying the process that Doctor of PT students undergo to become self-directed evidence-based practice clinicians.

MMMissy McElligott, PhD
Assistant Academic Specialist
College of Science

Project: Missy McElligott is scaffolding a series of exercises, written reflections, and a self-regulatory checklist into her curriculum with the aim of enhancing both metacognition and independent learning in her students.  She will be discussing the significance of metacognitive knowledge with her students and then modeling the process throughout the semester to enhance student motivation and self-directed learning.


Qinghong (Ann) Cai, MEd
Associate Academic Specialist
World Languages Center
College of Professional Studies

Project: Ann Cai’s exploratory study evaluates the use of a meditative practice designed to reduce college students’ anxiety while learning a foreign language. The practice combines bilingual positive suggestion with the benefits of guided meditation and relaxing background music.


Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Associate Clinical Professor
Health Sciences
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Project:  Shan Mohammed is incorporating and assessing team-based learning strategies to assist graduate students in developing interprofessional competencies for health professionals in communication and teamwork.  These competencies are part of the national Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice designed with the specific goals of improving patient care and population health.