Spring 2018 Resources

 Sessions and Resources

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Session 1       11:00 am – 12:00 pm

The power of visuals: conceptual maps, graphic novels & illustrations to enhance teaching & learning

 Presenter: Alessandra Seggi (Sociology)

Conceptual mapping can be used in a multitude of ways to enhance teaching and learning—from brainstorming to summarizing; from analyzing to evaluating; from note taking to problem solving. After a brief review of the literature on mind mapping, the presenter will offer examples of its many uses in a classroom setting. The presenter will also discuss the use of graphic novels in a classroom setting and share original illustrations of sociological concepts, to spice up research methods courses and introductory sociology courses, respectively. The audience will leave the session with ideas about how to make teaching and learning a more creative experience across disciplines, and also with a bibliography and list of useful links.

Click here for resources provided by the presenter.

Promoting meaningful engagement with CUNY EDGE students

Presenters: Nicole Elias (Public Administration, CUNY EDGE Faculty Fellow), Yelena Meytes (Director, CUNY EDGE Program), & Madeleine Marrin (CUNY EDGE Social Work Intern)

This workshop will share findings from a pilot study on engagement with CUNY EDGE students at John Jay College. CUNY EDGE students are in many ways nontraditional; they are recipients of public cash assistance, more than half are primary caregivers and about a quarter are over the age of 25. In order to maintain compliance for public assistance, CUNY EDGE staff collaborates with faculty in order to submit mandatory attendance. We will focus specifically on student perspectives of why engaging the CUNY EDGE population at John Jay College is important. Then, we will work with session participants to brainstorm how to foster greater engagement with the CUNY DGE population at John Jay College.

Changing the narrative about our students: A positive youth development framework

Presenters: Nina Rose Fischer (Interdisciplinary Studies) & Carla Barrett (Sociology)

Our objective is to introduce and practice the innovative positive youth development approach to provide a framework for self-reflection about perceptions of our students. We will lead interactive discussion about the narratives we have and hear about our students. We will share the principles and techniques of positive youth development strength based teaching. The class will apply the skills to the narratives. We will conclude with a discussion about how these skills are applicable to every aspect of teaching: grading, one on one office hours, as well as in the class room.

Sustainability & environmental justice across the curriculum

Presenters: Paul Bartlett (Economics) & Milena Popov (Art & Music)

Our John Jay students will face in their lifetime existential sustainability challenges and the distributive environmental justice issues they entail in everyday life and most careers. This workshop will show faculty how to easily incorporate Sustainability/Environmental Justice (EJ) content, learning activities, competencies and learning objectives in all disciplines. Sustainability core competencies include system thinking (e.g. complexity), temporal thinking, interpersonal literacy, ethical literacy, and creativity/imagination; building upon general education competencies. The workshop leaders work across the disciplines of science, economics, arts, education and statistics. The workshop uses the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) well tested workshop exercises and template and is supplemented by resources developed by the newly formed Sustainability Curriculum Consortium.

Bringing your work into the open: Improving discoverability & access


An exploration of some tools for sharing your scholarly works with the world. We will show how (and why) to claim your ORCID and edit your Google Scholar profile. We’ll talk about publishing in open access journals, and how to avoid predatory publishers. We will look at posting work on pre-print servers and freely accessible reputable repositories. We’ll look at the uses & limitations of commercial academic social networks: Academia.edu, ResearchGate. And conclude with a look at library databases that measure social media reach with Plum Analytics.

LUNCH  12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Anya & Andrew Shiva Gallery, L3.64.00

Enhancing our HSI status: What is to be done?

Presenters: Anne Lopes (Interim Provost), Avram Bornstein (Graduate Studies), Dara Byrne (Undergraduate Studies), José Luis Morín (Latino/a and Latin American Studies), Laura Ginns (VP for Policy and Strategic Initiatives)

This session presents a summary of what is being done this academic year to enhance our status as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Faculty presentations at the fall 2017 FDD, as well as in three position papers over the last few years, have outlined the importance of embracing our HSI identity and made clear recommendations. In light of this previous work, this session will explain steps taken during the fall 2017 semester, plans for the spring semester, and emerging plans for the near future. Discussion will include issues such as our student demographics, retention & graduation rates, curriculum, hiring, faculty development, website, student services, and engaging knowledge from outside the college.

SESSION 2     1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Finding open educational resources (OER)

Presenters:  Ellen Sexton (Library) & Vee Herrington (Library)

A hands-on exploration of the main discovery tools & repositories for open education resources, in the library classroom.

Click OER Workshop ActivityFaculty OER Workshop for resources provided by the presenter.

Understanding Latinx students’ career planning engagement

Presenters:   Mickey Melendez (Counseling & Human Services, Latinx Career Engagement Faculty Fellow), Will Simpkins (Director, Center for Career & Professional Development), Soheila Fortuna (Career Specialist & Advisor for freshmen and sophomore students), Digmarie Ruiz (ACE Career Employment Specialist)

John Jay College is a federally-designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, but do we engage Latinx students in culturally-relevant activities to assist them in planning for their future careers? This session will explore how, when, and where Latinx students engage in career planning, using faculty experiences as a key resource. Details about an ongoing research study on the same topic will be shared, and participating faculty will engage in a discussion of their own classroom and out-of-classroom mentoring and advising strategies for Latinx students.

How do faculty at CUNY discuss justice pedagogies with their peers? A survey of program models

Presenters: Alfred Waller (Center for Teaching & Learning, Baruch College) & Lindsey Albracht (Center for Teaching & Learning, Baruch College)

This session considers how faculty across the CUNY system have organized learning communities, interest groups, reading and discussion circles, and other models for learning more about socially conscious pedagogies. We will explore what faculty and staff participants have identified as the affordances and limitations  of each model & well facilitate a brief discussion about models that faculty at John Jay might consider for the future.

Let’s talk about capstones!

Presenters:   Lissette Delgado-Cruzata (Sciences), Jessica Gordon-Nembhard (Africana Studies), Olivera Jokic (English), Nathan Lents (Honors Program and Sciences), Alana Philip (Honors Program), Valerie West (Criminal Justice), Michael Yarbrough (Political Science)   

What is a capstone project and why do we ask students to do them? What do we hope students learn and accomplish with their capstone work? How do we prepare them to undertake these ambitious projects? How do we celebrate the achievements that come from capstone projects?  These are just some of the questions that we will explore with the participants of this session in our attempt to identify and share best practices around student capstones at the college. Perhaps even more importantly, we’d like to discover what the college can and should be doing to help students and faculty in this crucially important pedagogical effort. Come join the discussion!

Best practices for writing letters of recommendation for graduate/medical/law schools

Presenters:  Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin (Associate Director, PRISM, and Sciences) & Elizabeth Broccoli (Assistant Director, Pre-Law Institute and Center for Post-Graduate Opportunities)

Writing a strong recommendation letter for a great, deserving student can be one of the best parts of working in Academia, and is part of our duty as educators and mentors. It gives us the chance to pass along the torch and help our students and mentees continue their academic path and become experts in their disciplines. Not all letters of recommendations are created equally, and different types of post-graduate programs (like medical or law school) expect recommenders to provide particular information about each applicant. In this panel we will discuss best practices of writing a strong and fair letter of recommendation and the particularities of letters of recommendations for different disciplines. We aim to discuss what constitutes a strong letter of recommendation, what information will be most useful to admission committees, and how to determine if you are the right person to write a letter of recommendation for a particular student.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.


Session 3      2:45 – 3:45

Motivate students by periodically uploading the course-grades computed with Excel to Blackboard

Presenter:  Thurai Kugan (Mathematics & Computer Science)

Blackboard and Excel software are compatible. Downloading “Grade Center” of Blackboard to Excel and uploading back to “Grade Center” are as easy as a few clicks. Learn how to do all of the course-management related work starting from creating attendance rosters to managing grade-records, and computing course-grades, by using Excel software without having to type anything but the grades. Compute course-average for the entire class by using a simple click-and-drag. Implement any of your grade-computing strategy such as curving or dropping the lowest test-grade by a simple click-and-drag. Motivate your students by keeping them posted of their current grades periodically, by having the grade book uploaded to Blackboard, which shows each student his/her progress only. When a student sees the grade deteriorate, he/she is likely to take action. Bring a laptop for hands-on learning.

The Resiliency Principles in assignment and course design

Presenter:  Kenn Vance (Political Science)

The Resiliency Principles (2009) as developed at CUNY by Gina Rae Foster provide a framework through which to understand when a student is most able to learn, develop skills, and engage in critical thinking. Are your students attempting to read your most thought-provoking readings while being jostled on the Subway? Do your assignments offer a chance for growth over the semester? We will explore how resiliency principles of stability, capacity, flexibility, and community can help us prepare reflective courses to get the most out of your students by targeting assignments to when they are most ready to learn, and designing a scaffold into the course schedule itself. Time will be reserved to share experiences with students, successful assignments, and disaster assignments.

Learning in difficult times: Helping students make practical connections to social justice

Presenter: Gina Rae Foster (Director, Teaching and Learning Center)

In this workshop, participants will develop class activities, assignments, and projects that make use of the Learning in Difficult Times website. This website, created at the suggestion of John Jay faculty, provides resource links to support awareness of and action in 20 social justice areas (for example, racism, immigration, and health care). Workshop participants will engage with the site and design student connections to use in their own courses as well as suggest next steps in the site’s evolution.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.

Incorporating information literacy into your course

Presenters:  Ray Patton (Director, Educational Partnerships and General Education), Kathleen Collins (Library), Marta Bladek (Library) & Jill Grose-Fifer (Psychology)

Teaching our students to be competent and critical users of information has never been more important – or more complex. Our students need to know how to find, evaluate, and use credible information to succeed in their majors, but also for successful professional and civic lives. This session will provide faculty with examples and guidance as they develop strategies for teaching information literacy in the context of their own disciplinary and course context.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.

The art of op-ed writing

Presenter: James Dao (Op-Ed Editor, New York Times)

This session will focus on what makes a good op-ed piece and what it takes to get it published. Media outlets are looking for opinion pieces that offer a unique insight or provocative perspective on the big issues of the day. As you know, getting op-eds published can be difficult. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from an expert about best practices for writing op-eds, from selecting timely topics and the importance of originality to word count and editing.