Spring 2019 Resources

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Session 1      9:45 am-10:45 am

Promoting Interaction and Engagement in the classroom

Presenter: Robert Garot  

According to Peter Lindsay, “Teaching becomes an activity whose goal is to make itself superfluous… We want, as the cliché goes, to create ‘life-long learners’” (The Craft of University Teaching, p. 35). How can we excite students to our topic so that they carry their enthusiasm for learning outside of the classroom and into their future selves? Building off Vygotsky’s seminal notion of the zone of proximal development, in this workshop we will share techniques for active learning. Participants will be offered opportunities to experientially explore possibilities for the best practices to most effectively pass on their passion for their subject. Bring a lesson or set of readings from one of your Spring courses that poses a challenge for you to apply active learning techniques. Together, we will brainstorm ways to transform our classrooms into spaces that entice our students to the joys of discovering new knowledge.

Click here for resources provided by the presenter.

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

Presenter: Wendy M. Nicholson

Microaggressions – those often unconscious or unintentional slights against people of color – are no small matter; they build up over time, causing emotional and psychological trauma in millions of individuals. Faculty, staff, and students of color experience microaggressions daily, both in the educational environment and in the normal course of their day. These assaults negatively affect the personal and professional environments in which people of color traverse. In the educational environment, this is evidenced by attrition, poor grades, and decreased productivity.

It is imperative that institutions of higher learning establish an environment, undergirded by policy and practice, that recognizes the impact of the negative persistence of racial microaggression, and consciously works towards accepting and valuing all staff, faculty, and students, particularly those of color. In the context of Critical Race Theory, this session will open a dialogue surrounding what racial microaggression is, understanding its impact in the educational environment, and strategies to disrupt it.

Click here for resources provided by the presenter.

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

Presenter: Soheila Fortuna     

Did you know that over 300 John Jay students are recipients of Public Assistance? The purpose of this presentation is to provide John Jay Faculty an overview of important factors that affect engagement with students receiving public assistance. During this session, the CUNY EDGE Program team will share resources and techniques with proven success since the program started in 2016. Participants will also increase their understanding of:

  • Demographics and facts about the John Jay CUNY EDGE student population
  • Barriers to learning and professional success many of CUNY EDGE students experience
  • Current CUNY EDGE Program and College support services
  • Research and assessment of the CUNY EDGE Program to date
  • Come with your own questions and experiences to share!


Introducing the Justice eReader Project

Presenters: Olivera Jokic, Jamie Longazel, Suzanne Oboler, Matthew Perry, Raymond Patton, & María Julia Rossi

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.

Faculty attendees will learn about this new resource for teaching and learning in the John Jay Justice Core. Faculty will learn how they can take part in a shared community of educators for justice by proposing materials for inclusion in the reader, and by drawing on resources compiled in the reader to improve teaching and learning in their courses.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.

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

Presenters: Mabel Gomes, Iralma Pozo, & Kenn Vance

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Project-Based Learning are experiential learning pedagogies that have proven particularly effective when paired with culturally responsive teaching for students representing diverse demographics. These approaches also work well in courses that prepare students to meet professional expectations of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. In Problem-Based Learning (PBL), driving questions combine a sense of urgency relevant to student concerns, indications of a need for networks, and resistance to easy solution. Driving questions form the basis of effective PBL activities, and yet these can be challenging to design. Participants in this workshop will be guided by PBL Seminar faculty 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. Effective group collaboration strategies will be practiced with hands-on problem solutions and tips.


Blackboard – Introduction and What’s New

Presenters: Helen Keier & Caroline Peppers                     

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. Faculty new to Blackboard will gain an overview of the platform, and all faculty will be introduced to new faculty-centric features.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.


Session 2      11:00 am-12:00 pm

From the Heart, Through Art—Teaching to Inspire

Presenter:  Alessandra Seggi                                                                    

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: Maria D’Agostino & Nicole Elias                                                                      

Nicole Elias and Maria J. D’Agostino co-founded Women in the Public Sector (WPS) at John Jay College to promote gender equity and provide opportunities to address gender issues in public service. WPS enacts this mission by educating, engaging, and fostering a consortium of students, faculty, public service practitioners, and community members interested in women in public service.

WPS affords students the opportunity to learn and practice valuable research and grant writing skills. Since the 2013 academic year, 18 students have served as WPS graduate assistants and interns. In 2018, WPS received the inaugural Presidential Student-Faculty Research Collaboration Award to work with undergraduate students on a research project exploring how municipalities are addressing gender equity. Based on the past five years of experience working with WPS students, 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.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.

Assessment that Works!                                                              

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

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. Faculty will be challenged to make their class a more interactive, and effective learning experience.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.

Changing Our Teaching and Awareness through Participation in John Jay’s HSI  Faculty Seminar: Faculty Reflections

Presenters: Giazú Enciso-Dominguez, Jill-Grose-Fifer, Eloísa Monteoliva-García, & David Shapiro                                    

This panel will share reflections from two different cohorts of HSI Faculty Seminar participants in Spring and Fall 2018, which intersected with the HSI Speaker Series each semester. Seminar faculty engaged in discussions facilitated by the visiting speakers, read and commented on the speakers’ published research, and made changes to courses and mentoring practices based on their shared and individual learning. Panelists from each seminar will discuss their own changes in awareness and teaching practices through seminar participation and share what working with peers has inspired in these challenging conversations over a year of working with external experts and each other. Representing a range of disciplines including Fraud Examination and Financial Forensics, Cognitive Neuroscience, Spanish Interpreting and Translating, and Critical Social Psychology, the panelists will share their seminar and post-seminar experiences and respond to audience questions.

Click here for resources provided by the presenters.

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

Presenters: Daniel Auld & Paul Bartlett

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.


Learning to teach online: Applying concepts through discussion forums

Presenter: Lauren R. Shapiro 

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 is demonstrated in face-to-face courses. For example, the discussion forum simulates the classroom environment by providing students with a means for interacting with the instructor and each other and allowing them to learn from each other.  The questions used to stimulate conversation must balance what is learned in the textbook or readings and  in the posted lessons and supplements with what is needed for real-world application. Students must also be encouraged to foster the discussion by responding to each other, as they would do in a classroom. For this session, I will review different discussion  topic questions that could be used to motivate students to integrate and apply what they read to facilitate learning in both online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate courses.

Click here for resources provided by the presenter.


Special Session

Faculty leadership on student learning and success

Q & A with Provost Li

Time: 1:15 pm– 2:15 pm


Session 3      2:30 pm-3:30 pm

An Introduction on Working with Reporters                           

Presenter: Richard Relkin

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. Faculty will learn how to better handle requests from reporters and how to present themselves and their work in a more appealing way to encourage more and better coverage.

Click here for resources provided by the presenter.

Increasing HSI Awareness and Practices Working Group

Presenters:  Eloísa Monteoliva-García & David Shapiro

This working group began meeting in September 2018 following their common experience in the Spring 2018 HSI Faculty Seminar. Participants have met monthly this fall to share individual and shared projects and to discuss ongoing concerns about raising HSI awareness at John Jay and teaching our Latinx student population more empathetically and effectively. Current activities include:

  1. Destigmatizing therapeutic counseling for students
  2. Creating an open source, student-centered syllabus
  3. Faculty Development Day session on HSI experiences with JJC alumni
  4. Latinx art exhibited in the Lynch Theatre atrium space
  5. Identifying oneself as Latinx to students when not appearing Latinx
  6. Designing a diversity safe space logo to post outside offices and centers
  7. How to safely mentor students while respecting college policies

Those interested in learning more about these emerging projects and partnerships are encouraged to attend.

Click here for resources provided by the presenter. 

Best Practices for Writing Recommendation Letters

Presenters: Elizabeth Broccoli & Edgardo Sanabría-Valentín

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 presenter. 

Justice eReader Interest Group

Presenters:  Justice eReader Editorial Board

Building on the morning panel discussion, this workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to sit in on and contribute to a John Jay Justice eReader Editorial Board meeting as we continue to design, build, and organize the eReader to facilitate use in the classroom to support student learning of critical skills and to advance the college’s justice mission and identity as a Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution. Participants will be able to participate in the project by sharing texts and materials that work well for teaching courses in the Justice Core of the Gen Ed curriculum. All are welcome, but faculty who teach courses in the Justice Core (100 level FYS and 300 Level Justice Core Courses), as well as other general education courses, are particularly encouraged to attend.


Problem-Based Learning/Project-Based Learning Interest Group

Presenters: Joel Freiser, Mabel Gomes, Iralma Pozo, & Kenn Vance

Project-Based Learning (PjBL) and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) are question-driven pedagogical approaches that ask students to engage in real-life projects in their chosen fields that require both independent effort and teamwork. In PBL and PjBL, instructors present students with a professional problem or project, which students then investigate, define goals, and build critical extensive and practical knowledge bases under the instructor’s guidance. While there are extensive PBL resources for pre-college and standard liberal arts courses, materials and assessment for John Jay-specific curricula are less easy to find. In filling this gap, our PBL/PjBL interest group brings to together faculty who have been participating in TLC seminars as well as those already practicing and those interested in incorporating these experiential pedagogies into their own teaching.


Online Teaching and Learning Interest Group

Presenters: Daniel Auld, Paul Bartlett, & Beata Potocki

This group brings together faculty and staff who teach and support teaching online. Professional development, support, and resources can be challenging to find for teaching online: building a peer network of faculty to respond to these challenges has the potential to increase student learning success and faculty teaching satisfaction. Faculty who participated in the Design, Develop, and Deliver (D3) and Improving Teaching Online seminars as well as those present for the Faculty Senate Technology presentations at last August’s Faculty Development Day are likely to participate and find connections in this group. We are planning to have representatives of John Jay Online, Blackboard, PATT (Pedagogy and Technology Training), and the TLC present to support discussions.