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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

WAC Fellows 2020-2021


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Duane Graysay

dtgraysa@syr.edu

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Courses he teaches at Syracuse:

  • Calculus I & II
  • Assessment and Data Driven Instruction in Mathematics
  • Research Seminar in Mathematics Education
  • Argumentation in Mathematics and Science Education
  • Modeling in Mathematics and Science Education
  • Teaching and Learning Geometry
  • Teaching and Learning Functions
  • Generalizing in Mathematics Education

As a mathematics instructor, I know that listening to student thinking, and reading students’ explanations of their work, are informative and useful assessment practices. The Writing Across the Curriculum program has helped me to extend that idea to include student writing as an important instructional practice. By incorporating more informal and formal writing activity in my mathematics and mathematics education courses I am learning more about what my students are thinking and what they are wondering. More importantly, by expressing their thinking and their ideas, my students are actively reflecting on course content to construct, refine, and deepen their understandings.


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Mona Eikel-Pohen

Assistant Teaching Professor

German

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

German language Literature and Culture

Modern Foreign Languages

332 HB Crouse Hall

meikelpo@syr.edu

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • GER 101
  • GER 102
  • GER 201
  • GER 202
  • GER 300 Introduction to German Literature
  • GER 357 German Culture and Civilization
  • CAS 201

"I have taught introductions to German literature in both German institutions and the US, however, I hardly ever took the chance to critically review and rename my goals with outside support.

WAC gave me that opportunity.

WAC also encourages me to explore approaches of critical pedagogy and tie them to my teaching so students have more agency in the set-up of the learning processes.

Pedagogically, the WAC program has turned me outside in and inside out and thus strengthened by abilities to merge critical thinking and critical teaching, at a time when pedagogies are faced with the challenges of 2020. It brought me closer to my colleagues from different disciplines and gave me new insights and connections. This program, to say the least, is transformative.


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Myrna García Calderón

Associate Professor

Spanish; Undergraduate Adviser

Director of Latino-Latin American Studies Program

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Latino-Latin American Studies

Modern Foreign Languages

Spanish Language Literature and Culture

310 HB Crouse Hall

mygarcia@syr.edu

2019-2020 Faculty Fellows


Katie M. Becklin

Katie Becklin

kmbeckli@syr.edu
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Isotopic Approaches in Global Change
  • Conservation Biology
  • Global Change Seminar

“As an instructor my primary goal is to help students become lifelong learners with the ability to think critically and deeply about science. For me, writing has always been an integral part of the learning process, but I have struggled with how to best implement writing in my classes, especially those with large student enrollment. Through the Writing Across Curriculum program I have explored new ways to use informal writing exercises to support student learning and encourage metacognition. I am especially interested in the potential benefits of writing-to-learn for students from historically underrepresented groups in science. It has been exciting to see students develop new knowledge and express their creativity in science through writing.”


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Theodore Cateforis
tpcatefo@syr.edu
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Fine Arts

Music History and Cultures

Courses he teaches at Syracuse:

  • American Popular Music
  • Indie Music
  • Music and Media
  • Music and Sports
  • Popular Music Studies
  • Rock Music

"I have taught writing assignments for many years, generally giving the students very goal-directed instructions that involve close-text reading or analysis of some kind. Through the WAC program, I have been encouraged to explore new, exciting avenues--ones, for example, in which the students interact with primary sources and adopt creative writing strategies to place themselves within the historical period we are studying. I am especially in favor of assignments that give students agency in their writing voice, while steeping them in the subject matter of the course. The WAC program has been a transformative experience for my teaching."


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Nicole Fonger

nfonger@syr.edu

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • Precalculus
  • Calculus
  • Methods and Curriculum in Teaching Mathematics
  • Candidacy Student Teaching
  • Research Seminar in Mathematics Education

“One of my mantras for teaching mathematics is “We learn mathematics by doing mathematics.” Since participating in the WAC fellowship program, I have incorporated a new mantra into my teaching practice: “We learn mathematics by writing about and reflecting on mathematical ideas.” These mantras together have helped me refine my teaching philosophy; mathematics is a social activity that involves the practice of representing mathematical ideas in spoken and written forms. With the support of WAC faculty, I have created new course assignments that encourage mathematics and mathematics education students to regularly engage in the process of writing as a way to synthesize the ideas they are learning.”


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Genevieve Waite

gowaite@syr.edu

Assistant Teaching Professor
French Language Coordinator
Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • Translingual Francophone Authors
  • French Phonetics and Conversation
  • Intermediate French

“The Writing Across the Curriculum program allowed me to effectively apply writing-to-learn pedagogy to a literature course that is taught in a foreign language. In addition to designing more interactive presentations that prompted students to participate actively in class, I learned to edit my assignments so that students could more effectively produce a scaffolded, thesis-driven final paper. I was delighted to receive many insightful recommendations for improving my course, and I look forward to implementing these changes in the spring.”



2018-2019 Faculty Fellows


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Timur Hammond
Assistant Professor, Geography
twhammon@maxwell.syr.edu
Faculty Profile

Courses he teaches at Syracuse:

  • Geography of Religion
  • Introduction to Human Geographies
  • Geographies of Memory
  • The Global Middle East
  • Seminar in Cultural Geography


“When I’ve assigned writing to students in the past, it has usually been in the form of final research papers, with a few signposts set out along the way to help me organize the assignment. One of the best lessons I drew from the Writing Across the Curriculum program was the need to ask a seemingly basic question when I designed my syllabus: How did my course’s writing assignments actually help students learn course material more effectively? Instead of using writing assignments as a way to demonstrate learning that had happened elsewhere, working with the Writing Across the Curriculum program gave me the opportunity to better integrate writing assignments as part of an ongoing learning process.”


Linda Ivany

Linda Ivany
Professor, Earth Sciences
lcivany@syr.edu
Faculty Profile

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • Earth Science
  • History of Earth and Life
  • Introduction to Paleobiology
  • Paleoecology
  • Geochemical Patterns in the History of Earth and Life
    Topics in Paleobiology


“I have been teaching a writing-intensive course (EAR 325–Introduction to Paleobiology) here at SU for a number of years. Nevertheless, though I’ve been at this for a while, there were things about the way writing was integrated into the class that didn’t seem to work as well as I’d have liked, and each year I tried to adjust it but was never quite sure how best to do so. When I saw the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program announced, I jumped at the chance to interact with people who thought explicitly about this issue–how to effectively incorporate writing into courses that focus on other diverse topics.”


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Sarah Fuchs
Assistant Professor, Music History and Cultures
sefuchss@syr.edu
Faculty Profile

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • Film Music
  • European and American Music Since 1800
  • Introduction to Music History


“From the outset, one of the aspects of the Writing Across the Curriculum movement that attracted me most was the concept of “writing to learn,” in which students engage in informal, in-class writing exercises as means of making the course content their own. In an effort to integrate such practices into the curriculum and the classroom, I replaced the scaffolded research project I had previously assigned with prompts that will invite students to think critically and creatively.”


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Laura E. VanderDrift
Associate Professor, Psychology
lvanderd@syr.edu
Faculty Profile

Courses she teaches at Syracuse:

  • Close Relationships
  • Social Psychology
  • The Social Psychology of Interpersonal Relations
  • Research Methods in Social Psychology

“I’m not prone to hyperbole, but this program was absolutely a career-changer. I hadn’t realized it, but going into this program, I had lost track of how to teach effectively, what my goals as an instructor were, and how to connect with students. In learning how to incorporate writing into the curriculum, my goals as an instructor became laser-focused. I want students to be engaged and think deeply about the material I teach and its applicability to their life and career path. On top of helping me realize my goals, this initiative gave me the concrete tools to achieve them.”