Two projects, conceived and led by a total of 16 faculty from seven ACM colleges, have been selected to receive grants totaling $43,944 in the fall 2017 funding cycle of the Faculty Career Enhancement Program (FaCE).
Both initiatives focus on harnessing collaboration among faculty from, potentially, all 14 ACM colleges as the driving force to share information and expertise that will enrich courses and curricula for students.
In a project titled Tools for Teaching a Diverse Pre-Modern Western History, historians from Beloit, Cornell, and Lake Forest Colleges are teaming up to create an online set of resources for teaching Roman and medieval European history. The importance of educating students about this period in history is especially relevant for current political discourse, as white supremacists have been appropriating Crusader iconography in their messaging, for example at the march in Charlottesville last year.
Leaders of the project are planning an ACM-wide faculty workshop to share course materials and examine pedagogical and ethical issues, such as balancing the canon of classically-taught texts, subjects, and historic figures in courses with the voices and history of women, religious and racial minorities, and others outside the socio-economic elite.
The second project, titled Fostering Long-Term, Collaborative Research in Environmental Science at ACM Field Stations, aims to link faculty and staff who work at and manage the geographically-dispersed ACM college field stations in order to share expertise and databases, replicate experiments and observations across sites, and link courses on different campuses. This will allow ACM field stations to compete with groups from larger institutions when seeking funding to support longer-term collaborations, a major goal of this project.
“The organizers are very interested in broadening the discussions to include faculty from more disciplines and campuses,” said Ed Finn, ACM Liaison for Innovation and Collaboration in Teaching and Learning, who works closely with the FaCE Program.
“The field station project will celebrate the topographical variety found among the ACM colleges’ field stations, which encompass environments ranging from the Boundary Waters wilderness in northern Minnesota to prairie sites in Illinois and Iowa to the arid southwest in Colorado,” Finn noted. “In the history project, the project leaders are intent on drawing not just historians to the workshop but also classicists, philosophers, and other disciplines, as well as faculty focused on teaching and research in areas beyond Europe, such as the Middle East.”
Faculty at ACM colleges are encouraged to consider applying for a FaCE grant in the spring 2018 funding cycle. The deadline for submitting brief pre-proposals is February 23. See Apply for a FaCE Grant for complete details.
Projects Receiving FaCE Grants in Fall 2017
- Project focus: How do historians of Roman and medieval Europe present the complex nature of western history to students? How do they choose course content? And how do they ensure that students — regardless of political affiliation — leave the classes with a critical awareness of how the past is distorted for the sake of contemporary agendas? ACM colleagues will gather at a two-day workshop to seek pragmatic answers to these questions, and will follow up by creating an online repository of syllabi, texts, and assignments that will serve as resources for current and future ACM faculty.
- Leaders: Anna Trumbore Jones (history, Lake Forest College); Ellen Joyce (history, Beloit College); and Michelle Herder (history, Cornell College)
- Project focus: ACM colleges have a long tradition of establishing and managing field stations, to engage students in the study of the environment using active learning, and research- and place-based pedagogies. However, this work has largely been carried without cross-campus collaboration. This project establishes a network among four ACM institutions with strong traditions and multiple faculty and staff engaged in local field station research and teaching. The project goals are to identify common challenges in management, teaching, and research and to establish priorities for the future.
- Leaders: from Carleton College – Nancy Braker (biology), Daniel Hernandez (biology), Mark McKone (biology); from Grinnell College – Jonathan Brown (biology), Vince Eckhart (biology), Andrew Graham (chemistry), Peter Jacobson (biology); from Knox College – Katie Adelsberger (earth science), Stuart Allison (biology), Jennifer Templeton (biology); from St. Olaf College – Steve Freedberg (biology), Emily Mohl (biology and education), Kathleen Shea (biology).