Emory joins network to better prepare future STEM faculty

Emory Report | March 10, 2016

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Emory is now a member of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, backed by the National Science Foundation to improve teaching skills and increase the diversity of future faculty in STEM fields. Emory Photo/Video

Emory University has joined the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), established in 2003 with support from the National Science Foundation to improve teaching skills and increase the diversity of future university faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Emory is among 25 new members joining CIRTL during a recent expansion that more than doubles the network’s membership, bringing its total to 46 institutions. Like Emory, all of CIRTL’s members commit to developing local learning communities that promote proven teaching and mentoring techniques for STEM graduate students.

“It is an honor to welcome such a distinguished institution as Emory University to our network,” says Robert Mathieu, director of CIRTL. “We are excited Emory is joining with other top research universities dedicated to strengthening the teaching skills of our nation’s future STEM faculty.”

CIRTL stresses the use of successful, evidence-based strategies proven to promote active learning and to help STEM students succeed and complete their degrees. As a new CIRTL member, Emory will work with faculty, leadership and students to develop its own programs built on the CIRTL core ideas: teaching as research, learning communities, and learning through diversity.

In particular, this new local learning community will offer its own robust schedule of courses, programs, events, internships and resources. It will also collaborate with existing centers and programs at Emory, as well as cross-network projects with CIRTL partners.

As a champion for participation in CIRTL, Emory Provost Claire E. Sterk says joining this one-of-a-kind national learning community provides each member institution great value.

Emory sought to join the CIRTL Network to enhance our commitment to graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty to develop and implement advanced teaching practices that will engage and retain a diverse student body in the STEM fields," Sterk says.

“In addition to — and in partnership with — the work and training of Emory’s own Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, participation in the CIRTL Network will expand Emory’s ability to serve and mentor future faculty currently training at Emory, as well as our own early career faculty," she notes.

According to Laney Graduate School Dean Lisa A. Tedesco, Emory is "well-positioned to leverage the CIRTL core ideas into existing Laney Graduate School and campus-wide programs, several of which already engage a large number of graduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows in STEM disciplines.

 “Because of the longstanding collaborations between the Laney Graduate School and the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, our working plan outlines partnerships for program design, implementation and outcomes assessment," she adds. "Our well-established partnership makes for new excitement as we promote CIRTL teaching and learning activities, and assessment.”

The project will officially launch at Emory in fall 2016.

CIRTL is operated within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the highly ranked UW–Madison School of Education and supported by the National Science Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.