Professor Encourages Fellow Educators to Share What They’ve Learned in the Classroom
Kristine Horvat, Ph.D., the recipient of last year’s William L. Bucknall Excellence in Teaching Award, recently hosted a poster showcase that brought together faculty from across the University to share what they’ve learned about project-based learning.
November 9, 2022
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Kristine Horvat, Ph.D., is committed to inspiring her students and to bringing her passion for engineering into the classroom. She also wanted to share her dedication for teaching with her fellow educators at the University, and she recently brought her colleagues together so they could inspire and learn from each other.
Dr. Horvat, who received the prestigious William L. Bucknall Excellence in Teaching Award last year, used some of the award’s funding to host the Project-Based Learning Poster Showcase. It brought more than a dozen of the University’s most dedicated faculty together to present to each other what they’ve learned from teaching.
“I wanted a way for everyone to be able to share what they do in the classroom,” said Dr. Horvat, an assistant professor of chemical engineering. “Everyone does creative things, and we don’t always get to discuss them. This was a great opportunity to do that.”
‘Think outside the box in the classroom’
Faculty from a variety of fields and disciplines created posters and discussed the real-life scenarios and hands-on activities they use to train students and create meaningful experiences for them. Their posters explained a variety of projects and initiatives, such as capstone projects, research, the Makerspace, and project-based learning.
“Sharing our innovative strategies can help elevate pedagogy,” said Melissa Whitson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology whose poster explained participatory action research projects and the use of photovoice in the classroom. “Seeing these posters and learning from each other will help us think outside the box in the classroom.”
The event drew faculty from myriad fields and disciplines who came to become the students, learning from the work of their fellow educators. Presenters included information such as course objectives, examples of students’ work, and the lessons they learned from their work with students. Mary Isbell, Ph.D., and Patrick Rivers, Ph.D., previous recipients of the William L. Bucknall Excellence in Teaching Award, were also among the presenters.
The Bucknall Award provides an honorarium of $15,000 and an additional $10,000 to support the recipient’s new teaching initiatives. It is supported by longtime University benefactor William L. Bucknall Jr. ’63, ’65, ’08 Hon., a member of the University’s Board of Governors and a former board chair, and his daughters, Elise Bucknall and Kristin Loranger.
“It was great to be able to share what we’re doing in class with the University community,” said Dr. Stasulli, who presented 3D-printing problem solving as part of a hypothesis-driven research project course on microbial interactions. “It’s good to get ideas, and what we’ve shared can be implemented in other fields. I’m inspired to try new things.”
Dr. Horvat hopes the event, hosted in collaboration with the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence and the Provost’s Office, continues to foster creativity, interdisciplinary collaboration, and excitement for teaching.
“I loved the variety of fields represented here,” said Dr. Horvat. “The posters have sparked lots of conversations, and I hope everyone left feeling energized. I hope more faculty will implement real-life project activities and continue to feel inspired.”