​​​​​​​​​​​Save the Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2022​​
Screen Shot 2022-05-31 at 10.37.53 AM.png

Denecker, Christine

Christine Denecker, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
Professor of English

Welcome to Excel@Teaching 2022 sponsored by the University of Findlay’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). This year’s theme, “Reset and Remember,” acknowledges the challenges of the past several years as well as the opportunities and innovations that can result when life has been turned upside down. This conference is your chance to reset—to recharge yourself and to reinvigorate those on-campus relationships that may have become distant as you’ve shouldered new burdens brought on by the pandemic and ongoing social and political unrest. This conference is also your chance to pause and remember what brings you to this work: passion for learning; pride in a job well done; joy in collaboration and problem-solving; and satisfaction in seeing students meet their goals and pursue their dreams.

Whether you’re a staff member, Teaching Assistant, full or part-time classroom instructor, or administrator, you deserve time to reset and remember—not only at this conference but in general. In order to thrive, we all need to attend to ourselves, take time to reflect on the good we’ve done and can do, and refocus our collaborative energy.

The planning committee has made every effort to assure that you will be inspired, motivated, and engaged as you participate in this year’s conference. Our goal is that you exit the day refreshed, renewed, and ready to embrace the good work of learning and growing that is the promise of each new semester.

Thanks for choosing to be part of this important day!​

Sarah Fedirka

Sarah Fedirka, Ph.D.

Excel @ Teaching Committee Chair        
Associate Professor of English

Back in February, I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that really stayed with me—"After the Great Pivot Should Come the Great Pause.​" Perhaps you read it, too. The authors argued that after consecutive semesters of disruption, higher ed needed “a great pause," a moment for us “to rethink our approach" to what we do. “The promise of higher education," the authors claimed, “lies in crafting a space in which all of us — administrators, faculty and staff members, and students — nurture and encourage thinking and growth." I couldn't agree more. That's why I'm so excited for this year's Excel@Teaching conference. Our conference theme “Reset and Remember" is an invitation to pause and reflect not just on what we do but how we do it and why. “Reset and Remember" also extends last year's conversations on creating a community of belonging. Thinking and growth are nurtured through collaboration, a hallmark of the Excel@Teaching conference. Whether your role is as faculty, staff, or administrator, we are curious to know how you have redesigned, reshaped, reimagined—reset—the work you do in your classrooms, offices, departments, areas, and colleges. To what effect? What's succeeded? What hasn't?

Again this year (our 8th!), Excel@Teaching kicks off Fall Welcome Week. What better time to pause so as to reset and remember than the start of a new academic year? The conference committee has planned a mix of in-person and virtual sessions, including a team-building activity that we hope reminds us of the joy (and learning) that occurs through play. Each year Excel@Teaching provides an opportunity for all faculty and staff to share their insights and expertise. It provides a forum to exchange our ideas and our stories. It is time we set aside to nurture thinking, growth, and our relationships with each other.

On behalf of the planning committee, I hope you'll join us in August.​

University of Findlay Committee Members:

Allison Baer (College of Education) [email protected]                     ​​​ 
Chris Denecker (Center for Teaching Excellence) [email protected]        
Sarah Fedirka (College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) [email protected]
Suzanne Surowiec (College of Pharmacy) [email protected]      
Allison Kiefner-Burmeister (College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences​) [email protected]
Rebecca Quintus (Library) [email protected]
Lisa Sakemiller (College of Health Professions) ​[email protected] 
Helen Schneider (College of Sciences) schneider@findl​ay.edu      
Beth Stewart (Center for Teaching Excellence) [email protected]
Brent Wickham (College of Business) [email protected]