Center for Academic Excellence

Center for Academic Excellence

Our Mission

Two professors explain advanced concepts to students on a chalk board.‌The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) supports innovation and scholarship in teaching and learning across Fairfield University. Our vision of education assumes that all of the diverse members of our university community serve as both teachers and learners who engage the world.

Drawing on the principles of Ignatian pedagogy, we encourage teaching that uses reflection on experience, action in the world, honest evaluation of results and awareness of context. Through learning communities, workshops, events, consultations with individuals and groups, we support faculty members and professional staff as they experiment with innovations in professional practice throughout their careers. We also work with leaders, departments and other campus constituencies to promote organizational development.

Our objective is to create a community that promotes the strategic vision by focusing on integrating learning across the core and in the majors, and connecting learning to life outside the classroom.

 

Initiatives

The CAE is working intensely with many collaborators across campus to advance the University's strategic goals (Core Integration, Living & Learning, the Jesuit mission, and diversity) and enhance the quality of teaching & learning.

Affiliates

Faculty Liaisons, 2017-2018

Fall 2017

Dr. Michael Cavanaugh 
Associate Professor of Management
E-mail: mcavanaugh@fairfield.edu

Dr. Laura McSweeney
Associate Professor of Mathematics
E-mail: lmcsweeney@fairfield.edu

Mehdi Safari
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: msafariqariq@fairfield.edu

Spring 2018

Dr. Mike Andreychik
Associate Professor of Psychology

E-mail: mandreychik@fairfield.edu

Dr. Shannon Kelly
Associate Professor of English
E-mail: skelley@fairfield.edu

Dr. Valeria Martinez
Associate Professor of Finance
E-mail: vmartinez@fairfield.edu


Faculty Liaisons, 2016-2017

Dr. Mike Andreychik
Associate Professor of Psychology
CAE Liaison
E-mail: mandreychik@fairfield.edu

Dr. Valeria Martinez
Associate Professor of Finance
CAE Liaison
E-mail: vmartinez@fairfield.edu

Dr. Kris Sealey
Associate Professor of Philosphy
CAE Liaison
E-mail: ksealey@fairfield.edu

Dr. Harsha Srinivas Sundarram
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
CAE Liaison
E-mail: ssrinivassundarram@fairfield.edu

Faculty Liaisons, 2014 - 2015

Dr. Betsy Bowen
Professor of English
CAE Liaison to Arts & Humanities
E-mail: bbowen@fairfield.edu

Dr. Laura McSweeney
Associate Professor of Mathematics
CAE Liaison to STEM & Nursing
E-mail: lmcsweeney@fairfield.edu

Dr. Kathy Nantz
Professor and Chair of Economics
CAE Liaison to Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, and Education
E-mail: nantz@fairfield.edu

Faculty Leadership Fellows, 2013 - 2014

Dr. Valeria Martinez
Associate Professor of Finance

Dr. Glenn Sauer
Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Emily Smith
Associate Professor of English Education

Contacts & Location

Center for Academic Excellence
DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Room 106
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
Fax: (203) 254-5575
cae@fairfield.edu
Twitter: @CAE_Fairfield

Carol Ann Davis, MFA - Director of Curriculum Development, Center for Academic Excellence
Associate Professor of English
cdavis13@fairfield.edu

Jay Rozgonyi, MA, MLS - Director of Learning Technologies, Center for Academic Excellence
Instructor, Educational Technology
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2416
jrozgonyi@fairfield.edu

Emily R. Smith, PhD - Director of Faculty Mentoring, Center for Academic Excellence
Associate Professor, English Education
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2396
esmith@fairfield.edu

Chris Vescovi, MA - Curriculum & Technology Specialist, Center for Academic Excellence
Instructor, Educational Technology
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2416
christopher.vescovi@fairfield.edu

Cynthia B. Delventhal, Program Assistant, Center for Academic Excellence
Library Room 106
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2876
cdelventhal@fairfield.edu

Newsletter

The CAE newsletter is issued at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. Each edition highlights CAE news, information on our offerings, campus resources, and opportunities to engage in various teaching and learning activities.

Previous newsletters

What We Do

The CAE offers opportunities for professional and organizational development through various activities (e.g., workshops, group or individual consultations, annual conference, institutes) and resources (e.g., library books). Below you will find an overview of the CAE's offerings.

Professional Development Programs

Communities of Practice

The CAE facilitates the formation of various communities of practice across campus. These informal communities include: teaching circles, writing circles, and mentoring circles, all of which are intended to assist in building networks and help individuals meet their teaching and scholarship goals.

Faculty Leadership Fellows

Beginning in Fall 2012, the CAE's Leadership Development program will work to build campus expertise and cultivate campus leadership for teaching and learning. Fellows will gain hands-on experience through ongoing CAE leadership roles in mentoring, campus partnerships and collaborations, sustained learning communities, integrative teaching and learning, engaged teaching and scholarship, strategic planning, grant writing, assessment, conference and event planning and management, SoTL research and publishing and other CAE endeavors.

New Faculty Mentor Program

Every year the CAE sponsors a new faculty mentoring program in which incoming faculty members are paired with tenured colleagues. Mentors are selected from outside the new faculty member’s department in consultation with the department chair and dean. Goals of the Mentoring Program are to help new faculty: (a) meet and network with other faculty and staff; (b) become familiar with university culture, and resources; and (c) adjust to the new environment and become active members of the university community.

Organizational Development

The CAE is available for group consultations on a variety of topics pertaining to faculty, instructional (course and curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation), and organizational development (focus on the facilitation and implementation of institutional strategic initiatives).

To schedule a group consultation, please e-mail the CAE.

Individual Consultations

The CAE offers consultations to individuals on a variety of topics whether in-person, over the phone, or via e-mail. These consultations are confidential. Previous consultation topics include: the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), interpreting student evaluations, discussing classroom strategies and pedagogies, elements of course design.

Mid-semester Assessment of Teaching (MAT) by appointment (Fall and Spring Semesters)

MATs are confidential, informal, off-the-record, formative feedback from your students about which processes in the classroom are helping them learn and which would help them more.  For more information on the MAT procedures, please view our informational MAT handout (PDF).

To schedule a MAT for your course, look for the call from the CAE in your inbox.

*Confidentiality Policy:
To retain our formative / improvement function, we do not reveal which individuals have used our services without prior consent. We also do not advocate for or argue against promotion, tenure or retention of faculty.

To schedule a consultation, please e-mail the CAE.

Workshops & Events

Workshops on Teaching & Learning

Every academic year the CAE hosts or co-hosts workshops for faculty and professional staff on a variety of teaching and learning topics. Previous topics include: Critical Thinking, Classroom Discussion, Engaging Students through Active Learning Strategies, IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction, Community Engagement as Scholarship, Classroom Assessment Techniques.

Institutes

Based on the popularity of the CAE's Summer Institutes on Integrative Teaching and Learning (2010-2012), the CAE will host Institutes focused on a range of topics (e.g., course design, assessment, dossier preparation). The 4-day Course Design Institute offers individual faculty the opportunity to design a new course or revise a course using the 2-day Assessment Institute is designed for department and school teams to develop assessment plans and accomplish their work on outcomes based learning.

Teaching Resources

Lending Library Collection: Our collection of books and other materials from general teaching guides to resources on collaborative learning, Ignatian Pedagogy, the assessment of student learning, etc. Find Titles Online (Power Search, location: CAE-Lower Level) or browse our shelves (between Library rooms 107A&B), and check materials out at the circulation desk.

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