The start of the New Year often means fresh starts and eyes wide open to new possibilities and learning, which is why it’s a perfect time to hold the first of two University Faculty Development Day sessions.
Every year, faculty members across the University become students for a day and a half of workshops ranging in topics from team building to personal and professional growth.
This year, the sessions kicked off on Thursday, January 3, in the Lombardi Classroom as faculty attended Session 1 – Cultural Competency, presented by Gary Chu, OD, MPH, FAAO, senior director of public health and community collaborations at the New England College of Optometry; Ruth Shoge, OD, FAAO, assistant professor in the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO); Lachelle Smith, MS, CVRT, director of the Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Program in the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation (CER); and Kenneth Newton, MS, CCC-SLP, instructor in the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program within CER. Dr. Shoge, Smith, and Newton are also members of the University’s newly established Diversity Committee.
The four-hour session covered the topic of diversity, introduction to the new committee, and short and long-term goals for the institution. Faculty members attending the session also were asked to interact with each other as part of the presentation in group activities.
That evening, a faculty social was held in the Bennett Lounge of the Hafter Student Community Center. It was here that faculty and University president, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, officially welcomed Dr. Barry Eckert, PhD, the University’s new provost, who will start in February in addition to Alan Kabat, OD, FAAO, PCO professor. Other faculty members Doan Kwak, OD, FAAO and Erin Sherman, OD, FAAO were recognized for their fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) as well as Bisant Labib, OD, FAAO, for her recent accomplishment of becoming a Diplomate of the AAO. Dr. Labib is the youngest female ever to be named diplomate of the AAO. Faculty development day is also the perfect opportunity to recognize faculty scholarships.
The sessions continued on Friday with an hour-long presentation entitled Meeting Happiness™ spearheaded by Rafael Perez, CEO of Do It Better Wellness. The presentation was based on work/life balance, wellbeing and professional development.
The third session - Universal Design for Learning & Blackboard Ally - presented by Jill Leslie, assistant director for Instructional Technology; Jamie Maffit, MS, COMS, CLVT, director of the University’s Orientation & Mobility program; Glenn R. Roedel, MS, director of Client Services in the Department of Technology and Library Services; and Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD, interim CER dean.
The fourth session - Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (EPCC) Update was presented by the EPCC Committee while the last session - Salus Health Intercollaborative Practice – was presented by Lindsay Bondurant, PhD, CCC-A, director of the Pennsylvania Ear Institute ; Maria Parisi, OD, FAAO, associate dean of Optometric Clinical Affairs; and Bob Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, clinical director of the Speech-Language Institute.