Spring 2019 Agenda


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Session 1      9:45 am-10:45 am

Promoting Interaction and Engagement in the classroom

Presenter: Robert Garot

Room: 1.99 NB  

How can we excite students about the topic we’re teaching, assess student learning, and promote engagement and interaction all at once? Building off Vygotsky’s notion of the zone of proximal development, this workshop will feature the sharing of techniques in which students cannot help but be involved. Participants will be offered opportunities to experientially explore possibilities for the best practices for them to most effectively pass on their passion for their subject.


“When I Look at You, I Don’t See Color,” Is Not A Compliment: How Microaggression Disrupts the Educational Environment

Presenter: Wendy M. Nicholson

Room: 1.101 NB

Explicit bias appears to be ever-increasing, on a global level; mass killings, shootings, and other acts of hatred and hostility are an almost daily occurrence. Their proliferation remind us that although we have made great strides, there is still so much to be done. What is less understood, and even less confronted, is the implicit bias that equally, or more so, occurs daily. Microaggressions – verbal and non-verbal cues – that are inflicted upon marginalized communities, eat away at our ability to progress towards harmonious living. We invite you to this workshop to discuss the how and why of microaggression, but more importantly, to develop solutions to eradicate it.


Engaging CUNY EDGE Students: How to support students receiving Public Assistance

Presenters: Yelena Meytes

Room: 1.103 NB

The purpose of this Presentation is to discuss the CUNY EDGE Program Overview & Goals, previous engagement opportunities with faculty, future collaboration and answer ongoing questions that faculty may have.


Introducing the John Jay Justice eReader Project

Presenters: Suzanne Oboler, Olivera Jokic, Maria Rossi, Matthew Perry, Jamie Longazel, Raymond Patton

Room: 1.105 NB

Over the past year, an interdisciplinary faculty editorial board has been designing the John Jay Justice eReader, a collection of open and library-licensed texts and materials that will be available as a free resource for teaching and learning in the courses in (and beyond) the John Jay Justice Core of the general education curriculum. Come see a prototype model of the eReader, and hear about how it will contribute to teaching and learning in the general education curriculum, John Jay’s justice mission, and the college’s HSI/MSI identity. The editorial board faculty will discuss the work done on the eReader so far, and invite questions, ideas, and suggestions for the project moving forward. Attendees will also learn about how John Jay faculty can propose contributions to the eReader, as well as grant-funded opportunities for incorporating its materials into their courses.


Designing Driving Questions and Discipline-Specific Activities for Problem-Based Learning

Presenters: Mabel Gomes, Iralma Pozo, Kenn Vance.

Room: 1.107 NB

In this workshop, participants will be guided in designing driving questions for Problem-Based Learning in their courses, paired with discussing and refining discipline-specific activities suitable for Problem-Based Learning approaches.


 Blackboard – Introduction and What’s New

 Presenters: Helen Keier & Caroline Peppers

Room: 1.109 NB

Blackboard at CUNY has developed into an indispensable tool for teaching, for in-person, web-enhanced, and online courses. However, a number of faculty do not use Blackboard and the platform has evolved with each annual upgrade. This demonstration will introduce Blackboard to new faculty and provide all faculty an overview of features introduced by CUNY’s December 2018 upgrade. Among the new features in CUNY’s Blackboard installation are an updated interface, an attendance tool, one-click course availability, audio and video assignment feedback, a new Blackboard Instructor mobile app with grading, and cloud storage integration capabilities.



Session 2      11:00 am-12:00 pm

From the Heart, Through Art—Teaching to Inspire

Presenters:  Alessandra Seggi

Room: 1.99 NB

Which professor hasn’t felt defeated at least once at the thought of their students slipping away, not grasping the urgency of what was being taught? Let’s face it: Teaching is important. It’s extremely rewarding, but it’s demanding and challenging too. This presenter will show how she’s used art—mainstream, non-traditional, political and protest—to engage and inspire her students to think about Sociology more creatively. For instance, have you ever thought of using Kara Walker’s work to discuss systems of oppression and domination? Have you ever thought of using Donna Ferrato’s photographs about domestic violence to introduce one of the most common forms of violence in society? The presenter will also share several illustrations made ad-hoc, to teach concepts across the Social Sciences. The audience will leave the session with ideas about how to make teaching and learning a more creative experience across disciplines.


Effective Faculty-Student Mentoring in Research Beyond the Classroom                      

Presenters:  Nicole Elias & Maria D’Agostino

Room: 1.101 NB

This session will provide practical approaches and examples for effective faculty-student mentoring in research beyond the classroom. We will review key considerations to structure successful mentoring dynamics as well as identify the positive outcomes for both students and faculty. Participants will have the opportunity to assess their own mentorship style and strategize ways of integrating mentorship into their research projects.


Assessment that Works!

Presenters: Shu-Yuan (Demi) Cheng, Sandra Swenson, Andrew Sidman, Denise Thompson, Raymond Patton, Dyanna Pooley

Room: 1.103 NB

Seeing the concrete evidence that our students are learning is one of the most satisfying aspects of working in education, not only for faculty and staff, but for other internal and external stakeholders as well. How do we know that our students are learning what we say they are learning? Assessment of course! As we all know, not all assessment is equal, or even meaningful. How do we ensure that assessment provides us with useful data about the things that are important to us? Following best practices will place us on the path to finding what we are looking for. Join your colleagues (faculty and staff) for an exciting discussion about best practices for student learning assessment.


Changing Our Teaching and Awareness through HSI: John Jay HSI Seminar Faculty Reflections

Presenters: Jill Grose-Fifer, David Shapiro, Eloisa Monteoliva-Garcia, Giazú Enciso-Dominguez

Room: 1.105 NB

This panel will share reflections from two different cohorts of HSI Faculty Seminar participants. Panelists will discuss their own changes in awareness and teaching practices through seminar participants and share what working with peers has inspires in these challenging conversations over a year of working with external experts and each other.


Team Project Based Learning, Guided Inquiry with ePortfolio: How to & Lessons Learned

Presenters: Paul Bartlett & Daniel Auld


  1. This workshop will demonstrate and share experiences on ways to design curriculum and facilitate effective team project based learning at CUNY. The competency of interpersonal literacy (e.g. teamwork), is the most lacking and needed according to recent research on sustainability in higher education. Traditional general education skills are insufficient for lifetime personal, work and social well-being. Guided team project based learning can result in deeper learning and retention while building interpersonal and ethical literacy. Unfortunately facilitating team work is a bumpy path, faculty and students have mixed experiences and face resistance. We will share different approaches (in-class and online) to form teams, facilitate weekly team discussion and work, project design, and implementation. We will compare pros and cons of technologies, with an emphasis and demonstration of using ePortfolio for team projects supplemented by Blackboard. Participants will engage in a hands on workshop to create a team project ePortfolio web page. Sustaining student engagement in an online course;
  2. How much student interaction is desirable in an online course?
  3. What are the benefits and challenges of asking online students to work in groups?
  4. How can an instructor manage assignments and deadlines so as to accommodate varying student schedules and life commitments?


Learning to teach online: Applying concepts through discussion forums

Presenter: Lauren R. Shapiro

Room: 1.109 NB

As instructors, we are concerned that the online environment may not provide the same learning opportunities or that students may not produce the same quality of work as demonstrated in face-to-face courses. I will review activities and discussion topics that forced students to integrate and apply what they read in online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate courses. You will also have the opportunity to share your concerns and successes.




Session 3      2:30 pm-03:30 pm

An Introduction on Working With Reporters                           

Presenters: Richard Relkin

Room: 1.99 NB

Reporters speak a different language and often times have different priorities than academic professionals, but that shouldn’t stop us from having the media tell our stories and sharing our expertise. Learn the basics on how to work with reporters: understanding their deadlines and needs, setting the ground rules for your conversation, finding the hook to tell your story, what to expect in the final product, and more. Faculty will learn basic facts with limited role play geared towards telling their story in the most appealing way possible.


Increasing HSI Awareness  and Practices

Presenters:  Robin J. Kempf (Public Management) and Kathleen Collins (Library)

Room: 1.101 NB

Using fiction as a pedagogical tool – in any discipline – can facilitate understanding of complex or abstract ideas by presenting them in simulated environments that are accessible and relevant to students’ learning. Research shows that using literature to explore course concepts in a language in which students are comfortable can promote active learning and a satisfying teaching experience at a low cost for students. This session explores the use of fiction in the higher education classroom. After reviewing pedagogical literature about how fiction can be a tool to advance learning, especially in the majors and programs available at John Jay, presenters will provide examples of how literature can be incorporated into a course. Then, presenters will provide sources that instructors could use to identify books for their classes. Finally, a new platform on the John Jay Library website will be introduced, which will be used to crowdsource ideas for fiction appropriate for John Jay classes.


Best Practices for Writing Recommendation Letters

Presenters: Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin & Elizabeth Broccoli

Room: 1.103 NB

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.


Justice eReader Project

Presenters:  Justice eReader Editorial Board

Room: 1.105 NB



Problem-Based & Project-Based Learning Interest Group




Online Teaching and Learning Interest Group

Room: 1.109 NB