MTSU’s Experiential Learning Program celebrated the art of instructing students through hands-on work by presenting its top honors to some of its top practitioners.
The EXL Program issued the Outstanding Faculty Awards at an institute held Tuesday, June 11, in the James E. Walker Library’s Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center. The gathering combined a celebration of past accomplishments with discussion sessions on best practices for improving experiential learning in the future.
Some 50 attendees participated in the institute, which was “open to all faculty members interested in incorporating high-impact practices into their courses,” said Carol Swayze, EXL director for the University College.
“Student feedback and assessment indicates such assignments contribute dramatically to student engagement and retention,” Swayze added.
Dr. Cheryl Torsney, vice provost for faculty affairs, presented Outstanding Faculty Awards to Diane Edmondson, an associate professor of marketing; Lori Kissinger, an instructor of communication studies; and Todd O’Neill, an assistant professor of media arts.
All three participated in the discussion sessions, which also included Lucy Matthews, an associate professor of marketing; Lisa Sheehan-Smith, a professor of human sciences; and Janet McCormick, a professor of communication studies.
Two other Outstanding Faculty Award winners could not accept their certificates in person: Laura Buckner, an instructor of marketing, and Jane Lim, an associate professor of elementary and special education.
Students Lydia Hyche, Sebastian Bishop and Aleyah Chrystak delivered presentations on how experiential learning has enhanced their educations. Hyche worked with the Sexual Assault Center of Nashville, and Bishop and Chrystak worked with Vocal Arts Nashville.
The EXL program forges partnerships with area businesses and nonprofit organizations to give students opportunities to become involved in their areas of specialization before they enter the workforce. Opportunities include study-abroad courses, internships, service learning, co-op education, leadership development and much more.
For more information about experiential learning at MTSU, go to www.mtsu.edu/exl or contact Swayze at 615-898-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina Logue (email@example.com)