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Building a Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Community at a Small Liberal Arts College Hilda Speicher, Ph.D. Albertus Magnus College Talk presented.

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Presentation on theme: "Building a Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Community at a Small Liberal Arts College Hilda Speicher, Ph.D. Albertus Magnus College Talk presented."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Community at a Small Liberal Arts College Hilda Speicher, Ph.D. Albertus Magnus College Talk presented at Saint Anselm College April 1, 2011

2 Albertus Magnus College  Small liberal arts institution  500 Traditional Day students  1,000 evening UG  600 evening Graduate  42 full-time faculty  Catholic College (Dominican)  Mostly 1st generation college students  Diverse student population  Race & Ethnicity  Age

3 Albertus Magnus College  3 delivery systems  Traditional Day Program (semester-long)  Accelerated Degree Program (ADP; adult learners)  New Dimensions Program (ND; adult cohorts)  Multiple Graduate Programs  Art Therapy (evening semester –long courses)  Human Services (ADP – new!)  MFA Writing Program (ADP – new!)  Education (ADP)  Leadership (ADP/ND)  MBA (ADP)  Business Management (ND)

4 Enter Two Feisty Ladies  2003 Patricia Compagnone-Post (Biology) & Hilda Speicher (Social Psychology) join AMC faculty  Backgrounds, large research universities  Attitude toward research, teaching & students very different from AMC  AMC student-centered  Needed to learn the AMC way  Minimize sacrifice to our research programs

5 History of Research at AMC  Graduate Programs  Only MAAT program required primary thesis research  Other graduate programs required capstone projects This may lead to conducting primary research  Undergraduate Programs  No senior thesis requirements Not aware that the option is ever elected  Independent studies occasionally involve primary research  Practicum – research with faculty when couldn’t schedule off campus site placement (in Psychology only)  Colloquiums  Biology currently, Psychology formerly

6 History of Research at AMC  Faculty research  Not all faculty engaged in primary research  Evaluation/promotion more focused on teaching & community service Although scholarship is encouraged & recognized!  Faculty who currently engage in some form of scholarship Art Therapy, Biology, English, History, Humanities, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology  Collaborative student/faculty research presently limited to art therapy, biology & psychology

7 How to Create a Culture of Collaborative Research  Change norms on campus to a culture of research  Educate faculty, administrators & students about the nature of collaborative research/scholarship/creative arts  Highlight research that occurs on campus  Make clear advantages to both faculty & students  Disseminate research information to AMC community  Students  Faculty

8 Educating Faculty  Address faculty concerns about collaborative research How can students be involved – Must I spend more time I don’t have guiding their research? – Can they further my own research? What is scholarship across disciplines – No, research does not just happen in the sciences!  Attend conferences on “High Impact” practices and UR  A small set of faculty & administrators did so and had the “aha” moment

9 Educating Faculty  Value of involving students in faculty research programs  Collaboration can advance your research agenda  Yes, it takes more time & produces less than doing it yourself—but who has time to do it all – We have a 4:4 teaching load – Most faculty teach more than 4 courses a term  Can provide fresh insight to research questions  Can help with literature reviews for publications  Allows speedy data collection and entry  Can lead to conference presentations

10 Educating Administrators & Students  Benefits of student involvement in research  Is high impact co-curricular activity  Fosters engagement in learning For students & faculty  Form of experiential learning, using problem solving & application Evidence leads to  Greater comprehension  Greater retention  Increases knowledge of most recent work in the field For students & faculty

11 Educating Administrators & Students  Benefits of student involvement in research  Is integrative learning – reinforces learning from multiple courses  Develops skills Students more competitive for  Jobs  Graduate programs  Encourages relationships between faculty and students Promotes academic & career advising Mentoring  Is fun! Both students and faculty enjoy it

12 Promotion of Student Research at AMC  Two dreams are better than one  Dr. Compagnone-Post (Biology) & Dr. Speicher (Psychology) share their dreams Her desire for more resources for scholarship and to create a culture of research on campus My desire to recreate the college-wide UR program I served while in graduate school at Univ. of Delaware  Formed a Faculty Council on Student Research (FCSR) in 2007  E-mail sent to all faculty inviting them to join

13 FCSR Members 1.Patricia Compagnone-Post, Biology and Chemistry 2.Hilda Speicher, Psychology 3.Stephen Joy, Psychology 4.Loel Tronsky, Psychology and Education 5.Evie Lindemann, Art Therapy (Master of Arts) 6.Karen Kendrick, Sociology 7.Robert Bourgoise, Anthropology 8.Deborah Frattini, English 9.Howard Fero, Leadership (Master of Arts) 10.Robert Imholt (History) – new! 11. Sean O’Connell, Dean Traditional Day Program/Philosophy 12. Melissa DeLucia, Internship Coordinator/Communication – new! 13. Anne Leeney-Panagrossi, Director of Library Services

14 FCSR Mission Statement DRAFT The mission of the FCSR is to design and implement a curriculum that incorporates student- faculty collaborative research across all academic disciplines. This mode of scholarship is formulated to heighten engagement and creativity in the learning process for both students and faculty.

15 Aims of the FCSR 1.Identify AMC faculty with specific research interests who would participate in the program. 2.Develop a set of program objectives and assessment tools to monitor the pedagogical impact of a research-inclusive curriculum. 3.Disseminate the results of both undergraduate and graduate research projects by hosting on-campus annual symposiums and participating in local and national research meetings. 4.Establish liaisons at other academic institutions and organizations (public and private) to help develop research-based educational opportunities. 5.Identify sources of $$$$$$$$$$ to support student and faculty research agendas.

16 FCSR Activities to Promote Collaborative Research Culture  Presented workshop to AMC faculty on student research aimed at – Defining research across disciplines – Presenting models of existing AMC student- faculty collaboration  Applying for a workshop sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)  Sponsored annual student research presentations  Poster Sessions (years 1-3)  Experiential Learning Day (this year)

17 Student Research Presentations  1 st Year (Symposium)  Biology, psychology, art therapy, anthropology, education, chemistry (N = 17)  Undergraduates (accelerated and day programs)  MA Students (Art Therapy & Liberal Studies)  Students worked on AMC and Yale campuses  Impact  Well attended by faculty and administration “Most important initiative at Albertus in decades”  Students attended if assigned to do so  Truly transformative – the AMC community began a new era: collaborative student/faculty research


19 Student Research Presentations  2 nd Year (Symposium)  New programs and disciplines added to the program  Business UG and MS in Business Administration  Student internship at CT Agricultural Experiment Station  3 rd Year (Poster Session)  No talks – so renamed the event  New programs and disciplines added to the program  Humanities, leadership, cultural history

20 Experiential Learning Day Is Born  History  Week of student research presentations accompanied by awards ceremony for internship students & site supervisors  Internship coordinator wanted to add “pair & share breakfast”  Concern: too many events in one week, poor turnout  Suggested combining events – canceling classes for the day  Models encountered at AAC&U conference on UR  Dean of Day Program approved  Faculty approved  All forms of experiential learning included Research/scholarship Creative & performing arts Internships & Practica Student organizations

21 ELD Program Pair & Share Breakfast for Internship program Concurrent sessions – students presenting – Research, scholarship, performances, student club activities – 12 talks (4 sets of 3) Awards Ceremony (internships & research) Luncheon Exhibits – Research Poster Session, Art Showcases, Student Club table top displays, Athletics, AMC support services (ITS, Career Services)


23 ELD Impact – Unsolicited Evaluations  Faculty “It always is gratifying to play even a small role in a successful event. Because of your extensive planning, your belief in the possibility of success for this day, and your remarkable organizational skills—as well as your creativity in drawing people to the event—I felt an exhilaration that is all too rare in educational ventures. This was a most wonderful day in the life of AMC, and I look forward to ELD #2” [Education] “…My students were required to go, and as an assignment, they had to write a reflection on the Day. The results have been informative. First, students LOVED the many activities. Second, they learned so much…” [Humanities] “I noticed only students who were required to go did, so I am thinking about what kind of assignments to give them next year so they will attend as it is such an important experience, I want them all to share in it. I am also thinking of research projects my student might do and present next year.” [Business] “…I was so impressed hearing [students] speak so eloquently about [their] research, it made me feel very proud!” [Art Therapy]  Students “No, thank you guys: students and especially faculty!! You all gave me such endless support – and I really appreciate it. It was such a great turnout and we all did a really good job. I’m proud to have done this with you ”

24 FCSR Activities to Promote Collaborative Research Culture  Disseminate information on Student Research Opportunities  Created the Student Research Brochure  Creating booklet describing faculty research interests (Psy, AT, Bio, Engl, Educ, Soc, History, Poli Sci)  Building dedicated “Experiential Learning” website  Developing protocol for nominating students for small research grants

25 The Who & How of Student Research at AMC  Who?  Current Students (Day, ADP, ND, MA programs)  Former Students (alumni, students of alumni)  How Do Students Participate In Research?  In class as a project  As a Practicum or Internship (on or off campus)  As Master’s Thesis (possibly senior thesis?)  As volunteer

26 Models of Student-Faculty Research Collaboration 1. Psychology of Intimacy Lab (H. Speicher) - library research (e.g., journal articles) - data entry & analysis using SPSS - design and conduct original studies - code data (videotapes, written text) - organize research files and research library - co-author conference presentations & manuscripts 2. Chromatin modification effects on gene expression (P. Compagnone- Post) - laboratory component of biology department courses - summer interns - tours of off-campus research facilities - attendance at departmental seminars

27 Administrative Support  Administration provided a small budget to  sponsor annual ELD  print brochures  support conference attendance & presentations  make small research grants  Faculty have always had a small stipend to support scholarship & attending conferences  Faculty Development & Welfare has always had additional funds one can apply for

28 Culture of Collaborative Research at AMC Today  Wide administrative support  The president participated in ELD the entire day!  More disciplines provided student research presentations at this year’s event  English & Art  Faculty & administration have greater understanding of UR and the process of collaboration  Aquinas Scholars Program (interdisciplinary research cohorts)  More have provided research descriptions for booklet  RESOURCE: Univ. of DE UR Program  Provides good models of collaborative research across disciplines

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