UGS Monthly: Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

 

February 2005 Issue:

 


The Art of Being a Good Teacher, by Diana Ahmad

Missouri S&T shares best practices at First Year Experience conference

Students prepare for Missouri S&T's Undergraduate Research Conference

Faculty explore new ideas for the Missouri S&T classroom

UGS calendar of events now available on-line

Nominations for Outstanding Academic Advising Awards due March 25th

Important information for undergraduate students


  The Art of Being a Good Teacher, by Diana Ahmad, Assistant Professor and University Archivist, Department of History & Political Science

Good teachers exude an enthusiasm and caring for their students and their subject that is palpable in the classroom. The teachers' passion for the subject and their students readily fills the air. The desire to have the students learn and grow by developing an understanding of the subject is ever present in good teachers. They long to make the subject come alive so that the topic touches the lives of those in the room.

Showing students that what they are learning has relevance to their lives is vital to good teachers. In the classroom and in the assignments, good teachers incorporate activities that show how important their subject is to the lives of their students. Good teachers communicate their excitement for their subject to their students. The thrill of one will be communicated to the rest. Designing assignments, lectures, and activities that encourage the students to stretch their minds and abilities are important. Good teachers ask their students what they think of a project or how they view a topic because students are eager to offer suggestions.

Another component of being a good teacher involves caring about the students. Good teachers discover new ways to communicate their knowledge by asking the students what activities the students are involved in after class. Making themselves available allows students to meet with their teachers in a casual atmosphere allowing the teachers and students to develop a closer relationship. Most often, all a student wants is two minutes of the teacher's time. Communicating with the students in this type of atmosphere opens doors to accepting each other that is unavailable in the formal classroom setting.

Good teachers hope to inspire, to excite, and to motivate their students. This can be achieved through a passion for the subject and caring for the students. Good teachers expect as much from their students as the students expect from their teachers.

Diana Ahmad teaches in Missouri S&T's Department of History and Political Science and is the Missouri S&T Archivist. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1997. Prior to coming to Missouri S&T, she taught in East Asia for nearly nine years and then in New York and Texas. Her specialty is the history of the American West.


  Missouri S&T shares best practices at First Year Experience conference

What do Missouri S&T math learning communities, faculty workshops, undergraduate research programs, and advising have in common? These are the topics of discussion Missouri S&T faculty and staff presented at the annual First Year Experience (FYE) conference February 6 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The First Year Experience conference is known throughout higher education as the conference where educators who work and care about first-year students share ideas, concepts, resources, assessment tools, programmatic interventions and research results focused on the first college year.

This year, Missouri S&T was selected to present information on its programmatic efforts to improve a student's first year experience. Representatives from Academic Support Programs, Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, and the Center for Educational Research and Teaching Innovation discussed how individual program efforts are having a combined, positive impact on our first year students.

For more information, contact Marcie Thomas at the Center forEducational Research and Teaching Innovation, 341-7648.


  Students prepare for Missouri S&T's Undergraduate Research Conference

Across the campus, Missouri S&T students are working with their faculty research advisors to prepare for Missouri S&T's Undergraduate Research Conference. This campus wide event will take place in the Missouri S&T Havener Center on April 13, 2005.

The Undergraduate Research Conference offers Missouri S&T students a competitive forum in which to present the results of their undergraduate research projects. The Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies (UGS) invites all students to participate in this conference.

The conference will include oral and poster sessions. Each session will be divided into four categories: Natural Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences/Humanities and Management & Information Systems. Cash prizes will be awarded for oral and poster sessions in each category.

Information is now available on-line to help students prepare for the conference. Students and faculty can download copies of the entry form, research paper, and poster guidelines at: http://ugs.mst.edu/conference.htm. (Students participating in the oral session are required to submit an abstract and a research paper with their entry form. Students participating in the poster session are required to submit an abstract with their entry form. )

All entries are due April 1, 2005. For more information, contact UGS at 341-7600.

 


  Faculty explore new ideas for the Missouri S&T classroom

"How should I handle a group project that results in an unequal distribution of workload?� asks a faculty member at the On Course workshop in January. This was just one of many questions asked by the group of 40+ Missouri S&T faculty and teaching support professionals at the 2-day workshop. To answer this question and holding true to the On Course methodology, Deb Pose, workshop facilitator, chose to use a structure known and "pair and share� to provide a framework from which the participants would explore the possible solutions and later share their collective knowledge with the entire group.

This was just one example of the lively discussions and hands-on activities participants experienced in January during On Course, CERTI's first faculty workshop of the semester. On Course, developed by Skip Downing, is famous for its learner-centered strategies. Faculty explored important topics such as student responsibility, interdependence, and motivation while participating in active learning classroom structures such as the aforementioned, "pair and share.�

Overall, faculty noted their appreciation for the opportunity to discuss and explore these classroom challenges with their peers and gained many new ideas and approaches for encouraging student success in the coming semester. Faculty were encouraged to commit to implementing these new ideas in the classroom and 79% of those surveyed reflected that commitment.

Faculty can look forward to other workshops this semester such as Active Learning, Higher Level Thinking, and Educational Research in STEM disciplines. For specific dates and times please visit http://ugs.mst.edu/CERTI/workshops/schedule.htm .


  UGS calendar of events now available on-line

Check this site regularly for a complete list of UGS program activities, including Undergraduate Research Day on April 13th, and the Academic Advising Awards ceremony on April 27th. Also included is a full list of CERTI activities such as the Leadership Luncheon Series, On-Course User's Group meetings, and upcoming faculty workshops.

The calendar is located at: http://ugs.mst.edu/Calendar/UGS2005.htm


  Nominations for Outstanding Academic Advising Awards due March 25th

On April 27th, UGS will present awards to seven outstanding academic advisors on the campus. Annual awards will be given to one faculty member from each school/college, one staff advisor, one freshman advisor, and one transfer student advisor. All Missouri S&T students, faculty and staff are welcome to submit award nominations.

Nomination packets are due by 4:30 PM on March 25, 2005 to Dr. Jerry Bayless, Selection Committee Chair [c/o the Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies, 246 Schrenk Hall].

For more information on the awards criteria and the content required for the nomination packets, please visit our web site at: http://ugs.mst.edu/advisorrecognition.htm , or contact Amy Gillman, Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies, at gillman@mst.edu/ 341-7600.


  IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Nominate an outstanding academic advisor

On April 27th, UGS will present awards to seven outstanding academic advisors on the campus. Annual awards will be given to one faculty member from each school/college, one staff advisor, one freshman advisor, and one transfer student advisor. All Missouri S&T students, faculty and staff are welcome to submit award nominations.

Nomination packets are due by 4:30 PM on March 25, 2005 to Dr. Jerry Bayless, Selection Committee Chair [c/o the Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies, 246 Schrenk Hall].

For more information on the awards criteria and the content required for the nomination packets, please visit our web site at: http://ugs.mst.edu/advisorrecognition.htm , or contact Amy Gillman, Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies, at gillman@mst.edu/ 341-7600.

The Writing Center assists undergraduate research students

The Writing Center is available to assist students who are preparing for Missouri S&T's upcoming Undergraduate Research Conference. In addition to helping students with routine writing assignments, writing tutors can assist students in completing their abstracts, research papers and posters. Students are encouraged to stop by the Writing Center for help Monday-Thursday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM, or Sundays 12:30-5:00 pm. For more information, contact The Writing Center at 341-4436.

It is time to prepare OURE research reports for the 2004/2005 academic year!

In order to receive final payment, all OURE students must submit their project reports to the Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies (UGS) by April 1, 2005. Reports may be mailed to UGS at 207 Parker Hall or e-mailed to ugs@mst.edu .

Each report must be approved by the faculty research advisor before final payment will be authorized. UGS will accept a signature from the research advisor on the final report, or an email from the advisor as official authorization. April 1, 2005 is the deadline for submitting reports and faculty authorization.

April 1st is also the deadline for 2005/06 OURE applications. For more information, or for a copy of the OURE applications, please visit our web site at: http://ugs.mst.edu/OURE.htm If you have any questions, please contact UGS at 341-7276.

OURE Students: We want to hear from you!

If you are a student that participated in OURE this year, please take the 2004/05 OURE Survey at http://campus.mst.edu/ugs/OURE.htm. The results of this survey will help us improve the OURE program and enhance the learning experience for all participating students at Missouri S&T. Thank you!

Writing contest open to undergraduates

Entries for the annual Missouri S&T undergraduate writing center contest are being accepted through April 13. The categories are as follows: short story (general topic), short story (science fiction or fantasy topic), autobiographical personal essay, research paper (any topic), analytical essay and a category called English 20. Entries should be submitted electronically to Lorraine Woolsey (lorrain@mst.edu ) by April 13.

Entrants should include their name, email address, year in school, major and category they are entering with their submissions. Class and instructor information might also be necessary. Submissions should be less than 3,000 words. Only Missouri S&T undergraduate students are eligible to enter. Multiple entries are accepted, but only one entry per single category is allowed.

First, second and third place prizes are awarded in each category. An awards ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. on April 27 in the writing center. For more information call 341-4436 or go to: http://campus.mst.edu/~wac.