End-of-the-Year Center for Teaching Update

From: “Victoria Russell (vrussel3)” <vrussel3@umw.edu>
Date: Monday, May 4, 2020 at 11:54 AM
To: “Victoria Russell (vrussel3)” <vrussel3@umw.edu>
Subject: End-of-the-Year Center for Teaching Update

Hi, everyone,

Grades are in (or almost!) and we’re getting ready to close the chapter on a most unusual academic year. Before the semester officially closed, we wanted to get out a few messages:

Summer Teaching Meet-Ups

CfT and DLS are co-hosting Summer Teaching Meet-Ups this week for anyone teaching a summer class and looking for a chance to ask questions, brainstorm, and connect with other summer faculty. Meet-Ups via Zoom are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, May 6th at 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 7th at 10:00 a.m.
  • Friday, May 8th at 11:00 a.m.

All meetings can be accessed via this Zoom link. You will be in a waiting room once you connect–the hosts will let you in, so don’t disconnect!

Also, summer teaching resources are available via the CfT’s website. Technology-specific guides can be found at DLS’s Online Teaching Tools and Resources page.

CfT Staff Messages


I’ve reached the end of my two-year special assignment as your Center for Teaching Faculty Program Director and I just wanted to take a brief moment to say thank you. We’ve had a lot going on these past two years (and in these past six weeks – wow), but throughout it all, I have been so grateful for your ideas, suggestions, and even just words of encouragement as we pass on campus walk. Talking about and reflecting on your teaching can be a vulnerable task, but I know I speak for the entire Center for Teaching team when I say how much we’ve appreciated you entrusting us with helping you walk through your teaching issues and professional challenges. I’ve loved hearing you present your teaching innovations and research, meeting with you one-on-one to help brainstorm a tricky teaching problem, and hearing your ideas about how we could reimagine our teaching center. Some of our programs have been hugely successful, and others still need some tweaking, but as the Center for Teaching evolves and adapts under the capable guidance of Victoria, Melissa, and future faculty fellows and staff, I hope that you’ll continue to be involved, take advantage of programming, and make your voice heard. I’m looking forward to returning to my role as a full-time faculty member, and I’m very excited to see what the Center for Teaching has in store in the months and years ahead.

– Caitie


‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem enough for all the ways you offered your support and encouragement this year. Teaching centers flourish when there is a relationship of trust with the faculty–and your trust is something we didn’t take lightly. Every interaction, whether a consultation, workshop, critique, or suggestion, opened up dialogues about teaching and learning. I’m a better colleague for these discussions and the Center will continue to develop from your support and involvement. Please take some time in the next days and weeks to rest and reflect–we’ll be here when you’re ready.

Also, the biggest thank you to Caitie. While she keeps telling us “I’m not going anywhere,” we know we have to let her get back to her other love, geography. She ran the Center alone for nearly a year and, in that time, also drew up the blueprint on which we will continue building into the future. Thank you for always advocating for faculty needs and seeing the best in our teaching (and us). We’ll try not to flood your inbox with too many questions! 🙂




Hi everyone!  It’s hard to believe I am wrapping up my first year serving as a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Teaching, but what a rewarding experience it has been!  I have loved the opportunities to learn with and through so many of you in workshops, Faculty Pedagogy Colloquium, Fourth Fridays in the dining hall, and our SoTL Community of Practice.  While the end of the semester was nothing like any of us were expecting, I have still gotten to brainstorm with you over email, phone, and Zoom as you worked hard to take your in-person learning environments and migrate them to an online space (and you’ve helped me think through some of these issues in my own courses too).  I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with you in the fall, however that eventually takes shape.  For now, finish the semester strong, take care of yourselves this summer, and remember fondly these days of no struggles to find parking on campus.




Look for information about summer programming for fall teaching in the days to come (we all need a breather before staring that challenge in the eye…). In the meantime, feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or ideas.

Happy summer!

Caitie, Victoria, and Melissa