Enhancing undergraduate education

Ruth Gregory, Nikolaus Overtoom, and Patricia Wilde.CAS faculty members are engaged in new projects to improve undergraduate education, thanks to funding from the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment.

“The wide scope of projects selected this year reflects a breadth of interests among faculty,” said Mary Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “Their work will impact students across the university.”

Ruth Gregory, scholarly assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies for the Digital Technology and Culture Program, for the project “Digital Technology and Culture in the Community AmeriCorps Program: Closing the Equity Gap in Internship Experiences and Compensation.” The program will address internship inequity by creating an AmeriCorps unit at WSU focused on providing students from marginalized backgrounds paid internship opportunities. Visit Handshake and search for AmeriCorps for details on 2021-2022 opportunities.

Nikolaus Overtoom, clinical assistant professor of history, for the project “Engaging an Equitable Antiquity.” The project will emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the study of antiquity by redeveloping two courses—History 337 (Women in the Ancient World) for the Global Campus and History 395 (Topics in History: Ancient Warfare and Society).

Patty Wilde, assistant professor and director of composition at WSU Tri-Cities, for the project “Culturally Responsive Approaches to Writing Instruction: Using a Multi-disciplinary Community of Practice to Improve Equity and Student Outcomes” with Tri-Cities faculty co-applicants Lori Nelson, scholarly assistant professor of biology; Tracey Hanshew, scholarly assistant professor of history; Robert Franklin, clinical associate professor of history; and Vanessa Cozza, scholarly associate professor of English; with facilitation by Janet Peters, scholarly associate professor of psychology. The project will use culturally responsive teaching knowledge to re-envision approaches to writing instruction, assignment design, and assessment in the context of their courses.

Since 2000, the endowment has provided support for dozens of faculty-initiated projects aimed at enhancing education. Thousands of learners have benefited from scores of innovative ideas to transform pedagogy and curricular issues, said Wack.

Top photo, left to right: Ruth Gregory, Nikolaus Overtoom, and Patty Wilde.

Originally posted at WSU Insider