The Dr. John Chizmar & Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award recognizes and encourages high quality and quantity of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) work at Illinois State and in the discipline beyond Illinois State that contributes to the SoTL field, the SoTL body of knowledge, improved teaching, and enhanced student learning.
The Office of the Cross Endowed Chair at Illinois State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Rebekka Darner, Director of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology, is the recipient of the 2020-21 Dr. John Chizmar and Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. Darner has been recognized for her record as a productive SoTL scholar in her discipline and for her mentorship of and advocacy for junior SoTL scholars at Illinois State.
Dr. Darner has been a part of many SoTL projects, drawing collaborators from her Illinois State networks of fellow faculty as well as her students. Citing ties between her SoTL work and improved student learning outcomes, Darner is a reflective teacher-scholar and encourages the same practice in others. “ISU is unique among large public institutions, due to its SoTL community creating a culture of systematic reflection on teaching, regardless of one’s area of inquiry,” Darner stated in her award portfolio. She has found that she has found valuable support through working with her peers in a manner that “sets ISU apart among its institutional peers by enabling a unique approach to student success.”
Darner’s SoTL work has had a targeted focus, with three specific areas of concentration. Darner has worked extensively with the Noyce Scholarships for Teachers of Underrepresented Groups program, engaging with students in this program as both a teacher and a research mentor. With her colleagues, she conducted several SoTL projects to examine the evolution of professional identity in teacher candidates in STEM fields. Additionally, Darner has worked to better understand ways in which she might foster an accuracy orientation in her students. As the director of the general education introductory biology course that serves over 2000 students each year, Darner sought to generate scientific literacy amongst her students, and investigated the effectiveness of the ways in which she worked to accomplish this aim. Finally, Darner has been engaged in work with the Teaching for Transformative Experiences in Science model, which has led to a revisioning of a course curriculum for preservice teachers as well as a better understanding of how this model encourages students to develop a more sophisticated understanding of evolution.
Darner’s most recent publications have included the following:
As a prolific scholar, Darner’s work has been shared in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals, conference publications, and other venues. Her contributions as a mentor to colleagues and an advocate for SoTL at Illinois State have been consistent and impactful and are interleaved well with her roles on campus as a celebrated teacher and well-respected scholar.
The Office of the Cross Endowed Chair at Illinois State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Anu Gokhale, Professor and Coordinator of Computer Systems Technology, is the recipient of the 2019-20 Dr. John Chizmar and Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. Gokhale has been recognized for her record as a productive SoTL scholar and continued support of the endeavor of SoTL at Illinois State and beyond.
In her award portfolio, Gokhale shared that together with her colleagues also engaged in SoTL, “she pursues methodical inquiries into classroom practices [to] make strides toward systematic change to broaden participation and create inclusive environments in STEM+C” fields. She is a proponent of using “big data” as part of her SoTL projects, bringing a broad view of teaching and learning into her work. Gokhale represents the teacher-scholar ideal, frequently publishing her SoTL work and successfully pursuing grant funding to support her project. At the time this award was bestowed upon Gokhale, she had accrued almost $2 million in grant funding. Gokhale is a frequent invited speaker at national and international conferences and events.
Gokhale’s most current publications have included the following:
Gokhale has advanced SoTL at ISU by serving as a member of the SoTL Resource Group, a recipient of a SoTL University Research Grant (mentoring student researchers through this process), and as a SoTL Scholar-Mentor. Her continued engagement in SoTL highlights her determination to extend pedagogical content knowledge in her field and engage in continued efforts to grow the field of SoTL.
The Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL at Illinois State University is pleased to announce that Susan Hildebrandt (Ph.D., University of Iowa), Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, is the recipient of the 2018-19 Dr. John Chizmar & Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. Hildebrandt has been recognized for her excellence in research in the area of teaching and learning as well as her regular and enthusiastic support of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
Hildebrandt has kept SoTL at the heart of much of her scholarly work. In doing so, she has developed a three distinctive lines of research: teaching languages to students with disabilities, use of service learning as a pedagogy, and pre-teacher knowledge and skill assessment at its intersection with educational policy. Hildebrandt’s scholarship on teaching and learning has been disseminated across a variety of venues: authored and edited books, book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, blogs, and numerous local, regional, and international presentations. Hildebrandt has regularly received internal and external grant funding for her SoTL work. Hildebrandt states that the scholarship of teaching and learning has “informed her teaching while pushing [her] to find and develop a scholarly voice within national conversations on teacher assessments and world language teacher education programs.” Hildebrandt’s recent SoTL projects have included:
Hildebrandt’s body of scholarship on teaching and learning has been disseminated across a variety of venues: peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, weblogs, and presentations at numerous local, regional, and international venues.
Hildebrandt has advanced SoTL at ISU by serving as a member of the SoTL Resource Group, a frequent reviewer for and contributor to Gauisus (ISU’s internal SoTL journal), and as a University Research Grant reviewer for the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL. Additionally, she served as a mentor to a graduate student in the Certificate of Specialized Instruction in SoTL program.
Erin Mikulec (Ph.D., Purdue University), Associate Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, is the recipient of the 2018 Dr. John Chizmar & Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. Mikulec has been recognized for her excellence in research in the area of teaching and learning as well as her regular and enthusiastic mentorship of her ISU colleagues in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
At ISU, SoTL is defined as “the systematic study and/or reflection of our ISU students made public.” Throughout her tenure at ISU, Mikulec has used this definition to guide a great deal of her scholarly work. In doing so, she has studied the impact of new and unique clinical experiences on her students’ learning, refining her teaching in response to her findings. As Mikulec’s SoTL work has consistently focused on historically under-studied topics in the field of SoTL (e.g., out-of-class learning, study abroad), her efforts have helped to build an emerging evidence-base for other academics to apply to their own teaching and learning practice or research. Mikulec’s scholarship on teaching and learning has been disseminated across a variety of venues: peer-reviewed journal articles, a book chapter in a book she edited, blogs, and at numerous local, regional, and international presentations.
Mikulec’s contributions as a SoTL mentor and advocate at ISU are notable. In 2016, Mikulec served as a SoTL Scholar-Mentor in the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL. In this capacity, Mikulec served as a co-editor for Gauisus (ISU’s internal SoTL publication), regularly contributed to the SoTL Advocate blog, and assisted in the development of ISU’s first “Go Global with SoTL” mini-grant program. In the last three years, Mikulec has also co-created and co-facilitated a variety of SoTL faculty development workshops and has served as a regular Gauisus reviewer. Recently, she co-developed a project to study the campus-wide impact of study abroad at ISU and will mentor two “new-to-SoTL” faculty colleagues as part of this SoTL grant-funded endeavor.
No award was given this year.
Jennifer Friberg (Ed.D., Illinois State University), an Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Illinois State University, is the 2015-16 recipient of the Dr. John Chizmar & Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. She teaches in the area of speech-language pathology, and has published SoTL research based on her experiences with students on topics such as student engagement, diagnostic decision making, and the impact of cross-curricular integration. This SoTL research has been presented at international SoTL conferences such as ISSOTL and EuroSoTL and published in journals such as Perspectives on Issues in Higher Education and Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Along with three colleagues from CSD, Friberg was an inaugural recipient of the “Walk the Talk” Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) award at ISU.
Friberg has served as a SoTL Scholar-Mentor at ISU for three years, working closely with the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL to mentor faculty and students in conducting teaching and learning research, deliver numerous SoTL-focused workshops, develop and edit The SoTL Advocate blog, and present original SoTL work locally, nationally, and internationally. She has served as a co-editor for Evidence-Based Education Briefs and is an editor of Gauisus, the internal SoTL publication at ISU.
Friberg has been a strong advocate for SoTL, co-authoring a position statement on SoTL in her discipline, co-founding a disciplinary SoTL journal, and authoring the first-ever text on SoTL in communication sciences and disorders: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: Evidence-Based Education. She has served as the chair of the SoTL Committee for the Council of Academic Programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and was the four-year national chair of Issues in Higher Education, a special interest group focused on SoTL within the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is a current member of the Advocacy & Outreach committee for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
No award was given this year.
Cheri J. Simonds (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is a Professor of Communication at Illinois State University. She has Co-directed Communication as Critical Inquiry for the past seventeen years. She and her colleagues were integrally involved in general education reform at ISU. She teaches in the area of communication education and has published several articles in national peer reviewed journals including Communication Education, Communication Teacher, and The Basic Communication Course Annual.
Throughout her tenure at Illinois State University, she has collaborated with colleagues to develop two lines of research on the Scholarship of Teaching Communication as well as the Scholarship of Learning. In terms of the former, she has published work on classroom management training, speech evaluation training, criterion based assessment, interactive instructional strategies, and authentic portfolio assessment. These efforts have been recognized by the Basic Course Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) in naming ISUs Communication as Critical Inquiry Course as the Inaugural Program of Excellence Award in 2008. In discussing her SoTL scholarship in the Communication discipline, Simonds stated that the link between teaching and learning is communication, a clear justification for her research agenda. In terms of the Scholarship of Learning, she has studied the effects of teacher self-disclosure on Facebook on teacher credibility, student motivation, affective learning, and classroom climate. She has also explored the effects of teacher clarity, immediacy, and credibility on student learning. These efforts have provided opportunities to inform teachers of various disciplines the communication skills needed to be effective teachers.
Simonds has co-authored textbooks on Classroom Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Public Speaking. She is the Outgoing Editor of Communication Teacher, lead author on the NCA Resolution on the Role of Communication in General Education, and Chairs the NCA Task Force on Strengthening the Basic Communication Course. The National Communication Association recently honored her with the Inaugural Basic Communication Course Distinguished Faculty Award.