Dr. Craig Nelson
Professor Emeritus of Biology
Craig received the Outstanding Research and Doctoral University Professor of the Year award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching/Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in 2000, and also served as a Carnegie Scholar from 2000-2001.
Other career distinctions include receiving Indiana University's President's Medal for Excellence, and serving as the first president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Since retiring in 2004, Craig's research interests have shifted from biology to college teaching. His areas of expertise include critical thinking; increasing achievement, equity, and retention across the curriculum; and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
At the Provost's Academy this year, Craig will examine several questions with the group, providing at least partial answers to each: Why don't all of my students triumph academically? How can I improve critical thinking using active learning? How can I have distinctly brighter and harder working students just by changing pedagogy? How can I better foster higher order outcomes including advanced critical thinking, effective communication, ethical reasoning and responsibility? Why are these changes so urgently needed now? Key studies and effective ways of implementing change will be considered throughout the presentation.
Craig earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas.
Dr. David M. Dees
Associate Professor of Cultural Foundations
Kent State University
For over 25 years of teaching and learning in higher education, David has been trying to answer the question, "What is quality teaching?" During the last decade he has specifically focused on the aesthetic dimensions of teaching and learning, how the human brain works, and the impact that rural/Appalachian cultural has on learning in higher education.
Currently, David is conducting two longitudinal studies that examine rural/Appalachian high school students' perceptions of higher education, as well as current college students' conceptions of quality learning environments. As a self-proclaimed "hillbilly" from Kentucky, he is proud to have been recognized for his teaching through two student-nominated awards (Outstanding Teaching Award, Kent State University and Teacher of the Year, Gannon University).
David has published numerous articles on teaching and learning and has offered a variety of workshops at various universities on such topics as learner-centered teaching, inviting students' brains to class, how assessment can make students think, and how to create engaging environments that promote deep learning.
David's presentation at this year's Provost's Academy will again focus on how to consider educational practices that align with the most recent research on the biology of the brain. Additionally, he will offer some insights from his recent research project on students' conceptions of quality learning environments and how educators can use these ideas to improve student learning.
David earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations from Kent State. His M.A. in Theater and B.S. in Communications are both from the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Barbara J. Millis
Director, Teaching and Learning Center
University of Texas at San Antonio
Barbara frequently offers workshops at professional conferences, particularly the Lilly Teaching Conferences, and for over 300 colleges and universities, including ones in Qatar, Turkey, and New Zealand. She publishes articles on a variety of faculty development topics such as cooperative learning, peer classroom observations, deep learning, the teaching portfolio, microteaching, syllabus construction, classroom assessment/research, critical thinking, writing for publication, focus groups, writing across the curriculum, academic games, and course redesign. Several of her articles are available at the IDEA Center website.
Barbara is the co-author or editor of four books: Cooperative Learning in Higher Education: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy (2010, Stylus Press); The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach (2008, Jossey-Bass); Using Simulations to Enhance Learning in Higher Education (2002, Stylus Press); and Cooperative Learning for Higher Education Faculty (1998, ACE/Oryx Press).
Barbara is an Executive Editor for College Teaching, and served on the Core Committee of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education. While at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Barbara won both a teaching award and a research award. In 2002, she loved being a Visiting Scholar at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
Barbara received her Ph.D. in English literature from Florida State University.