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Recap: 2019 Colloquium ON TEACHING AND LEARNING

Collaborations: Building Inclusive Bridges

April 5, 2019 – 8 AM – 5 PM
Stetson University, DeLand, FL
Lynn Business Center
(corner of N. Woodland Blvd and Michigan Ave [MapIt])

On Friday, April 5th, 2019 the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence hosted the 5th annual Colloquium on Teaching and Learning Innovation.  This all-day event boasted a variety of engaging and thought-provoking sessions aligned with the theme of Building Inclusive Bridges.  Please share your feedback so we can improve your experience next year.



Noel Painter, Executive Vice President and Provost
Stetson University

Keynote: Building Bridges and Forging Learning Communities in Carceral Spaces

Pamela Cappas-Toro, Co-Director– Strategic Planning

Andy Eisen, Co-Director– Program Coordinator,
Melinda Hall, Co-Director– Curriculum
Jelena Petrovic, Co-Director– Faculty and Student Liaison,

Stetson University

The Community Engagement Project (CEP) is Stetson University’s liberal arts higher education in prison initiative. It was established in January 2015 by Stetson Faculty members and is currently co-directed by Drs. Pamela Cappas-Toro, Andy Eisen, Melinda Hall, and Jelena Petrovic. In this address, CEP co-directors, incarcerated students, and student interns will describe their efforts to create a diverse learning community inside and outside of the Tomoka Correctional Institution. 

Concurrent Session A (10:30am-11:45am)

A1- Contemplative Practices in the Classroom

Morris Sullivan, Stetson University

A2- Putting Taboo on the Table

Zach Cordell, Daytona State College

A3- Bridges to Global Citizenship Through Place-Based Education, Community Engagement, and Project-Based Learning

Savannah-Jane Griffin & Roxanne Lewis, Stetson University

Concurrent Session B (1:00pm-1:50pm)

B1- Scholarly Writing: Carving Time from a Hectic Schedule

Debbi Dinkind, Jennifer Corbin, Grace Kaletski-Maisel, & Kelly Larson, Stetson University


B1- Internationalizing the Stetson Writing Center: Collaborating Across Campus

Leigh Ann Dunning, Jeanette Jakupca, Aiyanna Maciel, & Amber Biron, Stetson University

B2- Creativity vs. Technology: The Battle for Student Engagement

Lenore Brantley, Advent Health University & Paul Brantley, North American Division Seventh-day Adventist Church


B2- Using a Video Spectrum for Student Support in Online Delivery

Marino Nader, University of Central Florida

B3- Telling Other People’s Stories: Reflections on Responsibly Teaching Multicultural Content as White Faculty

Sarah Cramer, Sam Houston, & Andy Eisen, Stetson University

Concurrent Session C (2:00pm-2:50pm)

C1- Collaboration Across Campuses: Research Symposia as a Way to Connect

Janis Prince- Saint Leo University

C2- Do I Really Need to Learn That? Bridging the Gap Between Curricular and Co-curricular Activities

Veon Stewart, Nadia Edwin, & Patricia Clayton, AdventHealth University


C2- Greater as a Whole: Bridging the Gap Between Community and Classroom

Kendra Presley-Van Houten, Veon Stewart, & Nadia Edwin, AdventHealth University

C3- Illegal and Legal Privilege in College Admission

Susan Peppers-Bates, Joanne Harris-Duff, Joel Bauman, Jeff Altier, & Savannah-Jane Griffin, Stetson University

Concurrent Session D (3:00pm-3:50pm)

D1- Reflections on Deep Reading: Teaching Reading in the College Classroom

Megan O’Neill, Michelle Randall, Cathy Day, Andy Denhart, & Fran Duvall, Stetson Univeristy

D2- Active Learning Strategies for Teaching and Learning Engineering Courses and What Students Think About Them

Ricardo Zaurin, University of Central Florida


D2- Utilizing the Gradula Release of Responsibility Teaching Model to Engage in a Large Enrollment Chemistry Course

Nicole Lapeyrouse & Cherie Yestrebsky, University of Central Florida

D3- Using Standardized Patients to Train Allied Health Students

Shirish Lala, Melanie McDonough, & Samantha Stern, Daytona State College


D3- Stetson University Parkinson’s Disease Support Group Initiative

Kirk Roberson (Stetson University), Vince Kinsler (Parkinson Association of Greater Daytona Beach), Colleen Vanderlip (Stetson University), & Matthew Schrager (Stetson University)

Closing Reception (4:00pm-5:00pm)

Breathe the Machine

Studio Circle D takes over Davis Lab (106) for an interactive installation event. Participants will move from screen to screen, using human breath to move and change what happens on the labs’ computers and in a larger collaborative story set in a near future.

Thank you to all who participated!  Be sure to  share your feedback so we can improve your experience next year.

Faculty Spotlight #3 October 24th

The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Thursday, October 24th at 4:00 PM in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room. The spotlights series is a bimonthly showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!

Details about the time and place can be found on Stetson’s Event Calendar

We have changed the format this year and will be having two sessions for thirty minutes each.

The two professors participating in our third spotlight are:

Dr. Rachel Core – Assistant Professor of Sociology

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Institutional Change and Tuberculosis Control in Shanghai

In a world where population growth, migration, travel and trade allow for greater interconnectedness and opportunities for disease transmission, Asian cities are crucially important to global health. This presentation will highlight the importance of medical and public health systems for controlling China’s most widespread and deadly infectious disease, tuberculosis (TB). The presentation will provide a brief overview to a comparative-historical book manuscript on a century of TB control in Shanghai, and it will introduce interesting findings from my research in the Shanghai Municipal Archives this summer.

Rachel Core is a medical sociologist with research and teaching interests in health inequalities, particularly in Asia. She speaks, reads and writes Mandarin and has spent seven years in China, including 18 months conducting research for her dissertation, “The Fall and Rise of Tuberculosis: How institutional change affected health outcomes in Shanghai, 1927-2013,” which was supported by a Fulbright Fellowship. She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation. Before coming to Stetson, Core held a post-doctoral fellowship in medical humanities at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In addition to Sociology and Anthropology programs, Dr. Core’s scholarship and teaching contribute to the Asian Studies and Public Health programs at Stetson University. Dr. Core aims to take students to Asia as often as possible, including to Shanghai over Spring Break 2020.

Petros Xanthopoulos

Dr. Petros XanthopoulosAssistant Professor of Decision and Information Sciences

Department of Decision and Information Sciences

Consensus of Algorithms: Towards More Robust Unsupervised Learning Methods

Clustering or unsupervised learning consists of all methods that try to group data into smaller subsets with similar characteristics. This problem is very important in various areas such as business, engineering, social media analytics and bioinformatics.  In this presentation we will demonstrate a methodology for building more robust such algorithms through consensus learning.

Dr. Xanthopoulos received his Ph.D. and MSc from Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Florida and a Diploma of Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece. His teaching and scholar interests include the areas of big data analytics, data mining, optimization and operations management. He has served as assistant professor and Lockheed Martin faculty fellow at the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Xanthopoulos’s research has appeared in journals like Omega, Annals of Operations Research, Expert Systems with applications and IEEE Transaction of Information Technology in Biomedicine. His research has been funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Office of Naval Research. He is associate editor of Optimization Letter (Springer) and he has served as a reviewer for more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and conferences. He is a member of INFORMS and IEEE.

Faculty Advisor Snack and Chat

Diane Everett, the Provost Faculty Fellow for Academic Advising, invites ALL faculty members to a session sponsored by Academic Success and Student Counseling Services to discuss the topics of student crises, issuing alerts on SSC, and supporting students’ mental health. They will also be providing a trail mix bar, so faculty and staff can make themselves an afternoon snack while having this discussion. The goal is to help faculty and staff aid students in their struggles with academic and personal lives that may hinder their success. This event will take place Wednesday, October 9th from 3:00-4:00 pm in the LBC Boardroom (213).

Please RSVP to by Monday, October 7th

Teaching and Learning Conference

The fourth annual Sunshine State Teaching and Learning Conference is approaching and proposals are now being accepted! This conference, hosted by the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida, is being held January 29th-January 31st 2020 at The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, FL. The conference will bring together higher-education scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers to share research, to discuss critical issues, and to promote opportunities for collaboration and features a variety of session formats in order to encourage interaction and engagement.

Call for Papers:

Participants of the T&L Conference are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations of any kind related to contemporary challenges in college teaching. 

Potential Topics:
  • the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)
  • course redesign
  • active-learning strategies
  • technologies to support student learning
  • big data in higher education
  • inclusive education
  • engaging students in online environments
  • high-impact learning experiences
  • ensuring accessibility for all students
  • designing and assessing learning spaces
  • reflection and mindfulness
  • teaching in politically and socially complicated moments
  • exploring the role/s of faculty in promoting and assessing student success
  • new frontiers in teaching and learning

This conference features a variety of sessions including:

  1.    15-minute research presentations
  2.    30-minute application/sharing sessions
  3. 60-minute workshops
  4. Poster Sessions

Deadline for proposal submission is 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 1st 2019. Acceptance notices should be expected by late October

Plenary: Christy Price, Professor, Dalton State College

Winner of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council of Advancement and Support of Education

Why Don’t My Students Think I’m Groovy? The New “R”s for Engaging Modern Learners

What factors influence student motivation and desire to learn?  Obviously, there are some influences beyond the professor’s control, but research in educational psychology suggests one thing we can do to increase student engagement is to create learning environments that are in some ways linked to, and supportive of, the current student culture.  During this session, we will briefly review the literature regarding the culture of students of today and apply the findings of the presenter’s research regarding modern learners (both our traditional age 18-24 and non-traditional learners age 25 and older).  We will specifically discuss the characteristics of ideal learning environments for modern learners, their preferences regarding assessments, their perceptions regarding the characteristics of the ideal professor, and their ideal institutional practices. Throughout the session, participants will engage in activities that will require them to reflect on their own teaching methods and/or institutional practices.  Open-ended questionnaires, check-lists, and video clips of faculty and students will be utilized in order to create personal action plans regarding practical steps we can take to meet the needs of modern learners.

Conference Details:

While the finalized agenda will be ready in early December, 2019, below is a rough outline.

Wednesday, January 29

  • 11:00 – Registration opens
  • 12:00 – Opening buffet lunch
  • 1:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 5:00 – Adjourn
  • Dinner on your own

Thursday, January 30

  • 8:00 – Buffet breakfast
  • 9:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 12:00 – Buffet lunch
  • 1:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 6:30 – Buffet Dinner

Friday, January 31

  • 8:00 – Buffet breakfast
  • 9:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 12:00 – Adjourn
Conference Registration: 

Attendees and presenters are required to pay the full conference registration. This goes to support the cost of the meeting rooms and catering for the event. Registration will be open in November. 

                               Early Bird fee: $325

                               Full Registration: $375

Conference Hotel: 

The Teaching and Learning Conference offers discounted rates of $139/night (parking is included, but there is also a $20/day resort fee). This rate applies for the conference nights of 1/29 and 1/30, and may also be applied for three days prior to the conference, or three days after the conference–a great weekend bargain!


Check out archived conference details (including past agendas) here or email any direct questions to

Grading Open House Featuring Chair Massages for Faculty!!

Grading got you down? Looking for some company ?

The Brown Center is hosting a grading open house on Wednesday, May 8th. We will have plenty of coffee on hand, some snacks.

AND Bodhi+Sol is offering free chair massages from 10:00-2:00pm in honor of teacher appreciation week!!

Space is limited, so please help us plan by letting us know when you plan to come, by completing this simple RSVP.

Save-THE-DATE: Faculty Resource Network 2019 NAtional Symposium

Conversation has always been at the core of education, with discussion-based seminars serving as a key paradigm for learning in college. This symposium examines the essential role of the Academy in cultivating meaningful conversations on campus and in the classroom. During this two-day symposium, which contains keynote presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions, we encourage you to engage in your own conversations about these important issues. [learn more]

Registration Deadline: November 8, 2019
Hotel Reservation Deadline: October 21, 2019
Participation in the National Symposium is free of charge for Stetson University faculty members and staff.

Stetson Spotlight Series Presents: Dengke Chen

The 2018-19 Stetson Spotlight Series continues on April 26 with a presentation by Dr. Dengke Chen, Assistant Professor of Digital Arts, who will speak on “A Comparative Study and Virtual Representation of Construction Technique and Traditional Carpentry of Dong and Han’s wooden Architecture.

Date: Friday, April 26
Time: 1:30 pm- 2:30 pm
Location: Lynn Business Center 124
Snacks will be available. All are welcome!

Please encourage your students to attend.

Click here for a complete schedule of Stetson’s Spotlight Series.

A Comparative Study and Virtual Representation of Construction Technique and Traditional Carpentry of Dong and Han’s wooden Architecture

As one of the minority groups primarily located in the mountains of southern China, Dong people are famous for their unique carpentry skills and traditional construction techniques. By the impact of urbanization and lacks of succession to the young generation, these skills are endangered. My project attempts the preservation of the rare cultural heritage by analyzing and virtual representing Dong’s carpentry skills and construction techniques through interdisciplinary design.

Dengke Chen holds an M.F.A. in new media from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.F.A. in animation from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He comes to Stetson from the Pennsylvania State University, where he taught as an adjunct professor and an instructor.

Chen specializes in 3D animation and digital video. As a graduate research assistant, he created animations to describe a balanced approach to integrating environmental, economic, sociological and aesthetic dimensions of landscape through strategic research and design. He has worked on numerous commercial projects and also as an art director for a popular children’s TV show for China Central Television. With a strong art background and professional experience, he explores the magical world of storytelling in his work, which can be new media, 2D or 3D animation, digital painting and comic art.

Stetson Spotlight Series

The Stetson Spotlight Series at Stetson University is a showcase of faculty research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement to the campus community. Presenters are primarily recipients of grant awards through the Stetson Summer Grant Program.

Click here for a complete schedule of the Stetson Spotlight Series.

Stetson Researcher Discovers Plethora of Parasites Infecting Pygmy Rattlesnakes – Stetson Today

[This story was reprinted in its entirety from Stetson Today]

The Burmese python is one of the largest snakes in the world and a native of southeast Asia. For more than 15 years, the gigantic snake has decimated species and become the ruling reptile in the Florida Everglades.

Prior research by Melissa Miller, Ph.D., interagency python management coordinator of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and her colleagues found that in addition to eating many birds and mammals, the Burmese python problem has reached a new level of worrisome concern because it carries a parasite that infects native snakes in south Florida.

(Left to right) Biology junior Jenna Palmisano, Ryan McCleary, Ph.D., Brown visiting teacher-scholar fellow in biology, and biology senior Maddy Wheeler conduct a lung flush to obtain a parasite egg sample from the lung of an anesthetized pygmy rattlesnake. The lung flush determines if the snakes have mature parasites in the lungs. Photos/Terence Farrell, Ph.D.

A new study, “Spillover of Pentastome Parasites from Invasive Burmese Pythons to Pygmy Rattlesnakes, Extending Parasite Range in Florida, USA,” is based on research by Terence Farrell, Ph.D., professor of biology at Stetson University; Joseph Agugliaro, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University; Heather Stockdale Walden, Ph.D., assistant professor of parasitology at the University of Florida; Jim Wellehan, Ph.D., associate professor of zoological medicine and microbiology at the University of Florida; April Childress, lab manager at the University of Florida; and Craig Lind, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Stockton University.

The research findings published in the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles’ journal Herpetological Review suggest that pentastome parasites or worms, are the likely culprit behind the deaths of three pygmy rattlesnakes at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs, Florida. Pygmy rattlesnakes are venomous snakes native to the southeastern United States.

The research was funded by the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence at Stetson University and a research and professional development grant from Stockton University.

Last August, Farrell and Stetson’s former Brown visiting teacher-scholar fellow in biology Lind, found one of the pygmy rattlesnakes they were studying dead with parasitic worms crawling out of its mouth.

A dead pygmy rattlesnake is shown with parasitic worms crawling out of its mouth.

“Dr. Lind and I have been studying pygmy rattlesnakes for decades and found this occurrence pretty alarming,” said Farrell. “We conducted research and found that these types of parasites have never been found in pygmy rattlesnakes before.”

Stetson’s biology faculty and students conducted the preliminary testing, including examining and dissecting the three pygmy rattlesnakes, and found the parasites in the lung and trachea areas, and was consistent with past parasite research findings. These parasites typically reside in the lungs of reptiles that become infected after eating contaminated prey.

The Stetson team collaborated with professors and a lab manager at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida who administered a polymerase chain reaction test, which provides researchers with additional DNA and a better way to identify pentastome parasite species. The DNA sequences of the parasites found in the pygmy rattlesnakes were consistent with the parasite species from southeast Asia, which are normally found in Burmese pythons.

Farrell and his team of researchers have found the parasites in Central Florida, which is more than 100 miles away from where the Burmese pythons reside in the southern portion of the state.

“Our research shows that the parasites are moving north rapidly along the peninsula and appear to have some major health effects on pygmy rattlesnakes,” said Farrell, who was the paper’s senior research author.

Terence Farrell, Ph.D.,

Burmese pythons evolved in Asia with these parasites, but it’s a new problem for pygmy rattlesnakes and other Florida snakes.

“The parasites that were found in the pygmy rattlesnakes were larger than the ones found in Burmese pythons,” said Farrell. “It’s a nasty situation because the pygmy rattlesnakes haven’t evolved or developed defenses against the parasite.”

Stetson’s biology students are obtaining hands-on experience and conducting cutting-edge research about this new snake epidemic. The study will provide them with the tools they need for their science career.

“I have never worked with snakes before this project, so it has given me a greater understanding and appreciation,” said biology senior Maddy Wheeler. “In the future, I plan to get involved with conducting research on biological and environmental factors that may affect native species and ecosystems as a whole, so this study provided me with research that was geared towards conservation.”

The parasite phenomenon is a reason to worry.

“The research tells us that there’s a whole new concern about invasive species and the diseases and parasites that they bring with them,” said Farrell. “This parasite isn’t just a Florida problem. We have no idea how much of the U.S. this parasite will spread and move into, which may cause it to become a nationwide problem in a few years.”

-Sandra Carr

Source: Stetson Researcher Discovers Plethora of Parasites Infecting Pygmy Rattlesnakes – Stetson Today

Stetson Cardiac Cell Scientist Receives Funding – Stetson Today

[This story was reprinted in its entirety from Stetson Today

Heather Evans-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of health sciences at Stetson University, is the recipient of a PALM Network fellowship and the 2019 Willa Dean Lowery grant. She will use the funds, totaling $13,000, to create a student-centered, technology-rich and active-learning classroom for her anatomy and physiology classes and further her research on communication between cardiac cells during the early stages of heart development using CRISPR technology. The funding also provides an opportunity to present her research at national conferences.

“Applying for funding requires persistence,” said Evans-Anderson. “These funds also will provide a great opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research that I would not otherwise be able to do. I apply for as many opportunities as I can in order to expand possibilities for my students.”

The research process includes traveling to conferences and meetings to present and share research findings with field colleagues and experts. Travel and research expenses can add up, but funding from fellowships and grants can provide a researcher with financial support.

“Attending scientific meetings provides invaluable networking opportunities,” said Evans-Anderson. “In addition, the reagents that I need for conducting CRISPR studies, particularly the genomic sequencing, are very expensive. I wouldn’t be able to do these things or provide such exciting opportunities for my students without these funds.”

Heather Evans-Anderson, Ph.D.

The PALM Network is a national group of dedicated teachers who are committed to active teaching and learning in life science education and STEM classrooms. The fellowship, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Coordination Networks, provides funding to support training in order to promote use of evidence-based, active-learning strategies in teaching.

The organization also provides a chance for fellows and mentors to collaborate on specific goals as well as participate in journal clubs to discuss teaching strategies that promote learning.

“The PALM Network program will provide me with an opportunity to grow as an educator by promoting my ability to conduct active-learning strategies in my classroom to enhance student engagement,” said Evans-Anderson. “Strategies, such as, peer collaboration and encouraging in-class participation will help students connect with and gain more from the course content. I also will be assessing my students’ learning success by comparing test results before and after implementing active-learning assignments and obtaining feedback from students.”

Evans-Anderson will be working with an expert on the science of learning. Her mentor, Mari K. Hopper, Ph.D., is the associate dean of biomedical sciences at Sam Houston State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Huntsville, Texas, has published several papers on active learning. Evans-Anderson will be presenting preliminary data from the pedagogical research that has been conducted as a result of The PALM Network program during the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society conference in Portland, Oregon in May.

“Being a part of The PALM Network fellowship program allows me to be a part of an elite group of dedicated teachers whose mission is to improve student learning,” said Evans-Anderson. “I am very proud to be part of this organization and look forward to the exciting opportunities it will bring.”

The Willa Dean Lowery grant will provide Evans-Anderson with an opportunity to further her research using CRISPR technology, which allows a user to cut and replace DNA sections to edit genes in a living organism. Evans-Anderson and her students will use CRISPR to study endothelial and cardiomyocyte cell interactions by genetically modifying an invertebrate organism to investigate the regulatory mechanisms of heart development. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.

“Once my students and I successfully edit genes using CRISPR, we will then use next-generation sequencing to examine the entire genome of our mutants in order to determine the overall impact of target-gene editing,” explained Evans-Anderson. “This information will provide significant insight into how the selected target genes impact heart development as well as provide potential new targets to examine.”

Evans-Anderson collaborated with Lynn Kee, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Stetson, and her advanced genetics class students for preliminary work required for the Willa Dean Lowery grant. The students will be presenting their work during the Stetson Showcase on Tuesday, April 16.

Evans-Anderson sees great potential with using CRISPR technology as an educational tool and will present her classroom work with CRISPR during the annual American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando on Sunday, April 7.

Students also will have an opportunity to present preliminary research findings during the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and American Society for Cell Biology conference next fall as well as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, the Stetson Showcase and Florida Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference in spring 2020.

The project’s preliminary data will be used for additional grant applications. Evans-Anderson — who says she wants to take students to conferences and meetings to “show them the exciting world of research by interacting with renowned scientists in the field” — expects that she and her students will publish scientific research papers in academic journals.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women and an estimated 610,000 people die in the United States each year. The research findings may provide important clues that could support new treatments for preventing and treating cardiovascular conditions.

“Understanding how different genes work together to build the heart can help create new therapies for addressing cardiac defects and disease,” said Evans-Anderson.

-Sandra Carr

Source: Stetson Cardiac Cell Scientist Receives Funding – Stetson Today