Honoring Our Adjunct Faculty
April 2, 2018 |Dear colleagues,
Some are you are departmental fixtures, others new to us this semester—you, the more than one hundred adjunct faculty members who teach in the college we share.
You may not know the names of every person who greets you on Xavier's academic mall, but I hope you know how much we all appreciate the critical contributions you make to our students and our community.
I can’t (and certainly don’t) thank our adjunct faculty enough for all the ways you make us better. That’s become all the more clear during these extraordinary days, as you have rapidly adopted new tools and techniques to continue supporting our students and their learning.
So it’s especially disappointing that we could not honor you this week over drinks and hors-d'oeuvres at the annual reception Fr. Graham hosts for adjunct faculty members. Canceled by coronavirus, like so much else.
In lieu of toasting you in person, I’d like to honor all our adjunct faculty today by naming just a few of you, individuals whose hard work and care for students has earned the praise of your department colleagues.
Like many of our other adjunct faculty, Jason Fisher and Yemi Oyediran have full-time careers outside Xavier. While adapting to working remotely as software developers, they’ve also transitioned their Software Engineering classes to offer students real-world software development experience under unexpectedly challenging circumstances.
How can you teach Physics labs remotely? Now you can ask Jeff Stapleton (Color and Image) and Lee Widmer (Our Sky), who both conduct their newly designed experiments from their homes over Zoom.
Meanwhile Paul Fox reworked his community-engaged courses on Public Relations, coaching students through their remote group work and client pitches and offering career advice to seniors.
Many of you know instructional designer Amy Gardner as leader of the IOCD course whose expertise has guided many faculty making to remote learning. You may not know that she’s also been busy converting her own User Experience class for the college’s Human-Centered Making minor.
A longtime contributor to the Art department, Jordanne Renner quickly adapted her popular Photography classes to continue providing the thoughtful engagement and expert critiques that have long characterized her teaching.
Xavier graduate Kay Earnest promotes the All for One spirit as she reaches out to students in Chemistry labs—asking after overdue reports or just checking to make sure they’re ok.
Cheryl McKinley has been offering online sections of Philosophy 100 at Xavier for several years. These days department colleagues especially appreciate the timely expertise that Cheryl, who recently earned a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology, shares with them as they learn effective remote teaching techniques.
Students in Theology 111 likely appreciate Don Maloney’s cura personalis even more than his doctorate in Religious Studies; as they all adjust to learning away from campus, he continues to support both their learning and their well-being. Students also praise Nicholas Yoda’s sections of the same course, as he walks with them through their exploration of fundamental human questions. Now he does all that remotely, along with serving as pastor of Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church.
Already before the pandemic Jesse Clark was teaching his Advanced Political Analysis course online, while he writes his dissertation at MIT. Now that his students are adapting to the challenges of college-from-quarantine, his good humor and support for his students stand out.
For decades James Uhrig, a Xavier graduate, has taught in Xavier’s History department, starting years before his retirement from Roger Bacon High School. A loyal colleague and favorite of students, he has now added remote learning to his wide teaching experience.
Thanks to all of you—and to our many other adjunct faculty colleagues who over the past weeks have exemplified the mission and character of our college.