CTL Faculty E-Newsletter


How to prepare for the curriculum review: Senior Symposium, April 19th
How about a front-row seat while HWS seniors grapple with Cossacks or cancer cures, with sexism or bloody shrimp?  How about a close-up of HWS students tackling identity formation, fracking, or social justice—or all three? 

During the 5th annual Senior Symposium on April 19th, 100 students will provide a look at the impact and outcomes of an HWS education.  Arranged in (mostly) interdisciplinary panels of 3-4 students each and running from 8 am through 5 pm, the Senior Symposium offers us a chance to assess:  how do we see an HWS education in action in these accomplished students?  What critical thinking and oral communication skills do our students show?  What methods and projects have most impacted their learning?

As always, the CTL invites faculty to use the Senior Symposium as a learning tool for their current classes (oral presentation analysis and learning methods as well as content learning).  But this year, we also invite faculty to use the Senior Symposium as a vehicle for thinking about curriculum issues.

Take one hour, and get 4 different disciplinary samples of an HWS education.  Take 2 hours, and get 7-8 samples.  Take the day, and get even more!

Schedules and locations for Symposium panels soon will appear on the CTL's website. We look forward to seeing you there!

*NEW* CTL Website
We are happy to announce that our redesigned website is live.  Please click here to check it out. If there are resources that you would like to see, please contact Susan Pliner at

Open Teaching Weeks
Between March 25 and April 5, nine newly-tenured faculty from across several disciplines opened their classrooms and 18 untenured faculty members took advantage of this generous opportunity to visit one or more classes in the first Open Teaching weeks.  This “open house” style opportunity for untenured faculty to informally observe their colleagues’ classes and learn more about teaching at HWS was created in response to feedback from the recent classroom observation lunches sponsored by CTL and CoFac.

First-Year Writing Prize Reception: April 12
This spring, the CTL Writing Fellows and the Writing Colleagues Program have collaborated for the first annual First-Year Writing Prize.  Eleven faculty who taught First-Year Seminars in the Fall 2012 nominated 16 first-year students’ essays as excellent examples of college writing. In order to nominate students, faculty submitted a paragraph explaining why the essay(s) they selected were exemplary and the writing prompt for the nominated essays. Nominated students submitted a cover letter detailing their writing process in addition to their essays.  A selection committee of Writing and Rhetoric Faculty, CTL staff and two senior students who are both Writing Colleagues and CTL Writing Fellows, completed two rounds of blind reviews of the essays: first using a clearly-defined rubric to identify the top seven essays and another to select the finalists.  In the end, three finalists were selected whose essays demonstrated variety of genre, complexity of thought, and clear, organized prose.  All nominees will be honored at a reception on April 12 at 4:30pm in the Seneca Room.

Barbara Applebaum Visits Campus: April 22
On April 22, faculty in the Whiteness and Critical Race Theory Faculty Learning Community will welcome Barbara Applebaum to campus.  This semester, the group read Applebaum’s book, Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy.  Applebaum is an Associate Professor of Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University.  Her visit will be co-sponsored by the CTL, the Race and Racism Coalition, and the Social Justice Studies Program.

Applebaum’s talk, entitled “Being White, Being Good, Being Vigilant,” will be in the Sanford Room from 4:30-5:30 on April 22.  We hope you will be able to join us!

Critical Thinking Workshop by the Faculty Learning Community: May 22
Faculty in the Teaching Critical Thinking Faculty Learning Community, who are reading Brookfield’s Teaching for Critical Thinking (2012) as well as other scholarship on the teaching of critical thinking, will offer a workshop for the larger HWS community on the teaching of critical thinking.  Details to follow.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.