As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to take time again this year to thank the individuals who have made this work a rewarding part of my life.
As I have done in the past, however, I want to acknowledge that not everyone celebrates this day as a holiday, particularly many Native Americans who mark this as a National Day of Mourning that commemorates the start of their peoples’ genocide and forced relocation. To learn more about the myths around Thanksgiving and its impact on native peoples, see this short video called Don’t Forget Indigenous Struggles on Thanksgiving or this article, “Everything You Learned about Thanksgiving Is Wrong.” For more information about IUB’s work with indigenous people, see the First Nations Educational & Cultural Center’s site.
In the broader spirit of thanksgiving that stretches beyond the problematic Pilgrim narrative, I want to express my gratitude for the many opportunities, collaborations, and friendships that I have experienced in the CITL.
Thanks to the many faculty colleagues who co-facilitated workshops with us, presented at our teaching symposium, and offered to help colleagues from across campus. And also to the Associate Instructors who hosted the sessions at our AI Orientation. Their generosity, talent, and leadership make this work richer and more enjoyable.
I am particularly grateful for everyone who has supported SEISMIC efforts on campus this past year, working to promote equity and inclusion in STEM education. Special shout-outs to Martha Oakley, Jill Robinson, Nikeetha Farfan D’Souza, Madeleine Gonin, and Stefano Fiorini…, and the many more instructors working to help all IUB students successful in STEM.
I also want to publicly thank Eliza Pavalko for her service as VPFAA, and for being such a good partner on many initiatives over the years. Eliza’s commitment to faculty success has been a valuable support to our work in the CITL, and she has always been a gracious and supportive partner on projects.
I cannot overlook my gratitude to our colleagues in FACET. Whether it is co-sponsoring our lunches with our SoTL speakers, collaborating on peer review of teaching, developing the Teaching for Student Success modules, or helping us find faculty experts for specific projects, FACET continues to be a great partner and advocate for excellent teaching. Special kudos to Michael Morrone and Clark Barwick for making this all happen.
And my most heartfelt thanks go to my talented and dedicated staff here in the CITL. Their commitment to the instructors and students of IUB amazes and inspires me. Let me express my gratitude to:
- Jeanne, who seems to effortlessly keep our work on track, and whose dedication to our office community makes this a great place to work;
- Jess, whose dedication to the community and skill in organizing is helping them build rich networks with our community partners;
- John Paul, whose kindness and intelligence teaches me lessons daily about how to be a good colleague and leader;
- Leslie, whose deep commitment to IUB’s graduate students reminds us of the important role they play in the life of this university;
- Lisa, who brings her wonderful combination of expertise, experience, and creativity to addressing complex challenges, and who always finds time for colleagues and clients;
- Madeleine, whose leadership and positive energy make our work so enjoyable and rewarding, and who tirelessly addresses the technology needs of our instructors;
- Mary Helen, whose passion for both the written word and her students makes Writing Tutorial Services a valuable resource for our students and a wonderful professional experience for our tutors;
- Matt, who keeps our electronic resources running smoothly, despite endless changes to platforms and processes;
- Michael, whose dedication to community—both within the CITL and across Bloomington—reminds us of the importance of our connectedness;
- Nzzy, who contributes so much to our work with instructional technologies that it is hard to remember she is only here part-time, and who is always quick to pick up that extra Canvas consultation;
- Sarah P, whose pedagogical experience, enthusiasm, and drive to build partnerships have made her an important member of our team after only six months with us;
- Sarah L, the newest member of our team, who brings her passion for teaching to her work with our service-learning student ACEs;
- Sean, who keeps the wheels on at WTS with a caring and intelligence that have quickly taken the office to new levels of service and collegiality.
- Shannon, whose commitment to SoTL keeps us in touch with the newest books and most influential thinkers about teaching and learning;
- Zack, who is committed to online learning and instructors, and to helping us find the tools we need to support our own work.
And I cannot pass up the opportunity to thank our colleagues who have left the CITL in the past year. We all miss your collegiality and contributions to our work—Jennifer Turrentine, Jessica Adams, Joan Middendorf, and Megan Betz.
Thanksgiving may only come around once a year, but I am grateful for all of these people—and more—every day I come to work in the CITL. They make my work more enjoyable and meaningful, and they remind me of the important work we do for the students of our fine university.
Wishing you all a relaxing break, safe travels, and a second slice of pie.