Tom Lake: Books for Big Ideas

Awarded to: Bryna Siegel Finer, Daniel Pintos, Oksana Moroz, Leo Yan, Melanie Holm, Dawn Smith-Sherwood, Lynn Botelho, Zeeshan Siddique, Oksana Moroz, Aleea Perry

We are proposing funding for copies of Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. We are all members of a working group for the Certificate in Big Ideas: Transformative Culture and the Professions, which aims to enhance students' humanities awareness and skill-set as a compliment to their majors in sciences and other disciplines. Tom Lake explores the Big Ideas of memory and love, and what about ourselves we are willing to reveal to even our closest family. This is particularly pertinent to this semester’s Big Ideas classes that explore the question, “what kind of person do I want to be?”

Using Digital Tools to Enhance Faculty’s Ability to Write and Mentor Graduate Students

Awarded to: Kelli Jo Kerry Moran, Crystal Machado, Mimi Benjamin

Competing demands on faculty time often limits faculty’s ability to engage in the scholarship. The Faculty Writing Group circle, which meets every Friday via Zoom, provides circle members with a virtual space for discussing and engaging in scholarship related to teaching, learning, and student success. Grant funding will be used to purchase software that Faculty Writing Group members can use to improve their skills as writers. In addition to enhancing their productivity as scholars, they will be better able to mentor and assess graduate students’ assignments, dissertations, and publications.

Improving Student Feedback

Awarded to: Lora Hromadik, Elaine Little, Rebecca Zolocisk, Lori Trimble, Teresa Gongloff, Rebecca Smith, Lauren Succheralli, Ben Martin

Students are dissatisfied with the quality of feedback in nursing coursework. Therefore, a teaching circle was developed to improve the knowledge and skills of faculty related to student feedback. Mini-grant funds are requested to obtain educational resources to support this objective.

Putting Out the Flame of Student Burnout

Awarded to: Meigan Robb, Kristy Chunta, Taylor Edwards

Burnout is a stress response college students can experience in the academic environment. Recent literature has identified Gen Z adults, the current generation of college students, report stress levels that supersede previous generations. Educators need to be prepared to implement best practice strategies that support students’ psychological well-being and academic success. The goal of this project is to identify and implement pedagogical approaches to support students’ psychological well-being and academic success. Funding is being sought to assist in the professional development of faculty.

Engaged Learning Practices Teaching Circle

Awarded to: Mimi Benjamin, Julie Ankrum, Rachel Sternfeld, Terilyn Huntington, Elaine Little, Dawn Smith-Sherwood, Sadie Miller

The goal of this teaching circle is to provide faculty with the opportunity to read, think about, and discuss engaged learning. Faculty are typically engaged with their discipline but may not have many opportunities to review general pedagogical literature or have conversations with colleagues about particular practices that result in student engagement in the classroom – a valuable consideration for teaching. This teaching circle will offer that opportunity through guided discussion of a specific book. In addition, the author of the book has agreed to Zoom into a meeting each semester to participate in the discussion.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence with a Jetson Nano Board

Awarded to: Samuel Grieggs, John Chrispell, Francisco Alarcón, Rick Adkins, Channa Navaratna, Raj Ezekiel

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are starting to become almost ubiquitously prevalent across our culture. The applications of these emerging technologies are only limited by our creativity and imagination. This proposal aims to acquire a low cost development Jetson Nano Developer Kit (a small powerful computer) that can be used to implement neural networks with applications that include both computer vision and audio recognition. The low-cost and versatility of the kit’s wide ranging applications will allowus to explore how the technology could be incorporated into student and faculty research and in courses in the department of mathematical and computer sciences.

Increasing Student Engagement in an Academic Makerspace

Awarded to: Sharon Massey, Sean Derry, Ben Ford, John Lipinski, Erick Lauber

We are applying for funding to purchase consumable materials for some of the digital fabrication tools located in the new library makerspace, including a resin 3D printer and digital embroidery machine. As faculty learn to use these tools, it is necessary to operate the machines and use consumable materials which can quickly become cost-prohibitive.

Use of AI Technologies in Language Teaching and Learning

Awarded to: Jean-Louis Dassier, Lydia Rodriguez, Marjorie Zambrano, Dawn Smith-Sherwood, Heide Witthoeft

The focus of our teaching circle for this academic year will be on discussions of use of AI technologies in language teaching and learning (LTL). Generative AI technologies, led by Open AI, have captured world-wide attention across fields since November 2022. These technologies, based on large language models, have special applications for LTL. The facilitator has done some research and will facilitate discussions on this topic at IUP. In addition to the free AI tools (e.g, Bard, BingChat), we request funds to support our exploration of advanced versions (e.g, ChatGPT4, Claude2) and special AI tools for LTL that involve fees.