fdc-logo-48x56    Faculty Spotlight  

Faculty profiles in recognition of unique and special contributions by our colleagues.


Several CSU Dominguez Hills faculty members presented at the CSU Symposium on University Teaching at Cal State Los Angeles (March 13th and 14th, 2015). The following faculty members represented us well:

Nourishing Grit: Counter-storytelling as High Impact Practice
CSUDH Presenters: Carolina San Juan, Marisela R. Chavez, Corina Benavides-Lopez, and Cristina Rose Smith

Bait, not Switch: Step Away from the Syllabus to Engage Students Mindfully
CSUDH Presenters: Kirti Sawhney Celly and Charles Thomas

Cultivating Citizen Activism beyond the Classroom
CSUDH Presenter: Nancy Armstrong-Sanchez

Collaboratively Teaching Students to Collaborate
CSUDH Presenters: Emily Magruder & Jill Aguilar

Critical Education and Service Learning with Communities of Color and Working Class Students
CSUDH Presenters: Vivian Price, Kirti Celly, Brenda Riddick, Ellie Zenhari, Jose Prado and Cheryl McKnight

 Aguilar, Magruder

Over 30 CSUDH faculty attended the CSU Symposium on University Teaching (March 13th and 14th, 2015). Below are a few “nuggets” that some of our faculty took away from the symposium.


Nuggets from the CSU Symposium on University Teaching
I think the most valuable thing I learned was that positive vocabulary is critical in facilitating student persistence and achievement. For example, the presentation “Building Grit in Remedial Freshman English: A Unique Collaboration” distinguished the term, “remedial” from the term “underprepared”. Remedial can be viewed by students as immutable, where in contrast underprepared focuses on the surrounding factors, which can be changed.~Prof. Charles Thomas 
From the presentation "The Nitty-Gritty of Literature Reviews—Teaching with a Constructivist Approach" by Katherine O'Clair, Cal Poly SLO:
For those of us who teach writing intensive courses that require literature reviews, this brilliant 10 minute video — that can be shown in class — explains what a literature review is in 10 minutes: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/litreview/
Prof. Sharon Sharp
I came away with many valuable new ideas and strategies for teaching, but one thing that really stood out to me was the need to shift my thinking about students’ generational status in regard to college attendance. My assumption was that students who were the second generation or beyond in college attendance had a more developed sensibility and were savvy about college life, expectations and opportunities. But I was wrong. It turns out that especially among Latinos/as, I need to be as proactive with these students as with first-generation college students. That was eye-opening.
Prof. Marisela Chavez

Chavez, San Juan, Benavides-Lopez, Smith

Including students as presenters in professional conferences can be a powerful teaching tool for both the student presenters and the audience members. A group of powerful young women, “comadres,” presented alongside Professor Miguel Lopez of CSUMB and told their stories via prose and poetry of their journeys to overcome obstacles. These high school students truly represented the conference theme of “grit” and taught the audience about the importance of hearing various voices.
Prof. Keisha Paxton
Recommend: Immersion beyond the session(s) we present in because it is:
Inspiring to interact with the community of concerned CSU faculty committed to education.
Validation: listening to the theory and practice in keynotes helped with understanding that there is empirical support, that is "the why" of many things we do intuitively.
Value-add: to our student Erik who dedicated the day to listen and participate. Erik is an adult learner, entrepreneur, first generation college student, who is headed to graduate school (yay!) and had never been part of an academic symposium.  He attended sessions all day, presented with our faculty in the last session of the day, and was impressed by the dedication, energy, and questions we were collectively asking and addressing.  Step to success and future educator in the CSU?  Who knows?  
Prof. Kirti Celly

Celly, Thomas

The nugget that I took away was to find ways to assess students as often as possible in class so that you can get immediate feedback regarding the effectiveness of one's teaching.
Prof. Amy Allen
Workshop "Nourishing GRIT: Counter-storytelling as High-Impact Practice."
This workshop resonated with Critical Race Studies, a class I am currently teaching, and also the foundation of CSUDH MSW program. The workshop also made me aware that there is a significant group of faculty using CRS's related themes on my campus, and even a learning community! This is my second semester at Dominguez, so this workshop (and lunch with the presenters afterwards) made me feel part of a campus-wide community.
Prof. Maria Avila
Another idea to share is that publishing a multimedia textbook* is a very effective approach for engaging students. It has many good features including customization which allows instructors to
  • Determine which chapters to be included in the book
  • Include his/her own chapters
  • Embed link to his/her own digital supplementary material, example, exercises, case studies, exams, etc.
  • Integrate selected YouTube videos, simulation software and much more.
  • Include Instructor name, course title, and university name on the cover page.
Prof. Mohammad Eyadat
There was a consistent theme that ran through the collective body of [presentations I attended]: scaffolding teaching techniques and learning strategies yield dynamic results. In each workshop, a core tenet to student success rested squarely in lectures, activities, and assignments that invoked students' prior knowledge and progressively built upon students' evolving understanding of a given task.
Prof. Nancy Armstrong-Sanchez


Resilience by Design: Writing as a Means of Empowerment To overcome the fear of writing especially among students whose first language is not English, the professor gave them an exercise to write for 10 minutes timed. The rules were:
1. Just keep writing as fast as possible on computer.
2. No deleting.
3. Don't worry about grammar, spelling or structure.
4. No backspacing.
5. This becomes the first draft for their assignment.
One student, Arturo, who was present on the panel wrote 800 words as "raw thoughts" in 10 minutes, which became his first draft of about five subsequent drafts. He received an award for his paper about his experience and emotions in his high school years working in the fields alongside his mother. He explained how he was able to compare his first draft to his final draft, was able to tell a story, reflect and rewrite, and provide an example for other students to read and say "I can do this too!"
Prof. Margaret Manning
Many students need a clear, written format for the assignments with: a purpose, instructions and directions for success.
Prof. Begona De Velasco
I got a couple of nuggets from Joe Dulla's seminar on critical thinking.
One is a worksheet that lists assertions, reasons and evidence (ARE) in a logical progression, only some items are missing and students must fill them in. It challenges them to think critically about what would go in the boxes that are blank.
Another class exercise gets students thinking about how reliable or unreliable sources are. The sources are listed separately on poster boards or scrambled on a graphic, then students put them in order, rating them on a scale of high to low reliability. This exercise engenders debate as students argue for their choices.
I plan to use both ideas in my writing classes.
Prof. Marie Barteld
I was thrilled to know that my colleagues from throughout the CSU system have been excited about their interaction with students in the classroom so much that they'd be willing to invest the kind of wonderful effort that brought this event to fruition. I'm inspired to reproduce events like this on campus through any of the campus organizations of which I am a part.
Prof. Jose Prado
I feel I learned from the mentoring workshop. One of the students talked about how much her mentor helped her by sharing her struggles in school. A participant asked if there could be just a few minutes break between “speed mentoring” sessions as he felt he was flooded with information that he did not have time to reflect (process) on what he had learned. Most of the participants agreed.
Cheryl McKnight, Dir., SLICE
Zenhari, McKnight, Prado, Ceja, Celly