Six Smith Teaching and Learning grants awardedadriana
Proposals from 13 Washington State University faculty working independently or in groups have been awarded six Smith Teaching and Learning grants for 2023–24. Faculty will use the awards to address equity gaps in student performance and experiential learning to help meet employment criteria. The awards will also help faculty eliminate differences in student achievement across multi-section courses.
“The proposals we have chosen to support this year are very diverse and will have the potential to impact the education of thousands of WSU students in the future,” said William B. Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “We are pleased that many faculty applied for a Smith grant and that proposals had solid and creative ideas to benefit teaching and learning.”
Smith awards are funded by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment, established in honor of retired WSU President Sam Smith in 2000. The grants are overseen by Davis.
The Smith is one of two types of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) grants available each year to specifically advance teaching and learning. Criteria detailed in the Smith grant proposal change each year.
Awardees in the College of Arts and Sciences and their projects are:
Samantha Swindell, associate dean and faculty in the Dept. of Psychology, will engage in a project titled, “College of Arts and Sciences’ Integrative Interest Clusters.” This award will support the creation of “interest clusters” that will help WSU students develop skills using a unique curricular framework, connecting thematically related courses into integrated learning experiences that foster a sense of community. Clusters will likewise provide faculty with the opportunity to engage in collaborative teaching arrangements with colleagues who share similar interests but bring different expertise and perspectives to the teaching/learning context.
Ashley Boyd, from the Dept. of English, received a grant for a project titled, “Integrating Social Justice and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies Across English Education.” Her co-applicants from English are Jeff Jones, Kate Watts, and Rachel Wolney. This project seeks to streamline social-justice content and pedagogies across the four required courses in WSU’s English teaching program. The award will support efforts to: ensure the success of all students, including those who are first-generation, students of color, and/or students who are differently-abled; and to establish coherence in instructors’ engagement with materials, texts, and teaching activities to cultivate teacher-candidates’ knowledge and application of IDEA.
Emily Sablan and Christy Jacobs, from the Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, received the award for a project titled, “Improving STEM Pathways in Math 100.” The goal of this project is to redesign the MATH 100 (Basic Mathematics) course to reduce the C-/D/F/W rate. Instructors will create short lecture videos for students to watch before class, activities for students to work on during class time, and weekly “Canvas check-ins.”