​​​​​​​​​Save the Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2021
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Denecker, Christine

Christine Denecker, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
Professor of English

Welcome to Excel@Teaching 2021 sponsored by the University of Findlay’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). This year’s theme, “A Community of Belonging,” challenges us to consider the campus climate and culture we all have a hand in creating. “A Community of Belonging” is a theme that asks much but promises much in return. In fostering such a community we must consider the following questions: Where are we actively rooting out division? In what ways are cultivating and nurturing seeds of unity, collaboration, and problem-solving? How do we, as a campus community, open spaces to grow our students’ voices, opinions, and abilities to think and act critically? And how can we as faculty and staff grow alongside them?

Excel@Teaching 2021 offers a unique opportunity for participants to explore and discuss these questions and more. Whether you’re a classroom instructor, TA, part-timer, staff member, or administrator, you can choose to contribute to building “A Community of Belonging” at UF. It is thoughtful work. It is intentional work. It is work that will have a lasting impact.

As you join in this year’s conference, prepare to be inspired, motivated, and engaged as you give witness to and appreciate what it means to “Excel at Teaching,” a motto, which is at the heart of the CTE’s mission. We hope you walk away with a renewed sense of belonging and with a goal of spreading that message throughout campus and beyond.

Thanks for choosing to be part of this important day!

Sarah Fedirka

Sarah Fedirka, Ph.D.

Excel @ Teaching Committee Chair        
Associate Professor of English
This past year has made me acutely aware of the importance of community—of the resources, support, and strength that come from belonging, of what can be accomplished when we work together. I am excited therefore that Excel@Teaching 2021 takes as its theme “A Community of Belonging.” As University of Findlay faculty and staff, we create communities for our students and for each other. We create spaces of belonging within our classrooms, offices, departments, areas, and colleges. These spaces extend across campus and out locally and globally. The conference planning committee invites you to share the innovative ways you create community in these and a myriad of other spaces. We are curious to know how, where, and with whom you create community. What’s worked? What hasn’t?

Again for 2021, a fully online Excel@Teaching will kick off Fall Welcome Week. What better time to consider this year’s conference theme than the start of a new academic year. Each year the Excel@Teaching conference 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 helps to grow the UF community to which we all belong.

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]                     ​​​ 
Drew Balduff (Shafer Library) ​[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]
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]