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CTE Faculty Associates

Since 2009, with the support of the CAO/Provost's Office, the CTE has welcomed faculty members to serve as Faculty Associate to develop programming in a key area of CTE activities and support other faculty members in achieving excellence in teaching, and enhance the learning environment at LMU. Faculty Associates expand the portfolio of activities of the CTE and build capacity on campus for faculty development. Typically, Faculty Associates organize workshops and presentations and are available for colleagues for consultations and assistance.

Call for Faculty Associate 2015-16

Adam Fingerhut, PhD, CTE Faculty Associate, Spring 2015

Adam Fingerhut is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in 2007. His research focuses on prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping, examining these phenomena from the perspectives of targets and perpetrators, individuals and couples. Examples of Adam’s research include: survey studies of heterosexuals’ stereotypes of gay and lesbian individuals; daily experience studies of stress among LGB individuals and same-sex couples during marriage campaigns; and experimental studies investigating the role of stereotype threat in healthcare decision making among African American women. For his contributions to scholarship and service, Adam received the Michele Alexander Early Career Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (American Psychological Association Division 9). At LMU, Adam teaches courses on experimental research methods, general psychology and social psychology.

Project: Diversity in the Classroom
At LMU, diversity is central to the work that we do. As President Burcham states: “Loyola Marymount University is committed to diversity in all its many forms. Diversity adds immeasurable value to an LMU education both inside and outside the classroom” (http://academics.lmu.edu/diversity /presidentsmessage/). In many ways, we have succeeded in creating a diverse student body; as a result, our classrooms are filled with students from varied backgrounds who bring to us wide-ranging skills and perspectives. How do we create safe spaces for these students and how do we maximize the benefits that diversity can bring to our students’ learning experiences?

The programming associated with this project will utilize a two pronged approach, taking advantage of experts both within and outside the LMU community. The first prong will focus on an understanding of the varied experiences/backgrounds that students bring into our classrooms and appropriate ways of handling diversity in the classroom. The second prong will focus on teaching “diversity” in our classrooms. Thus while the first aim does not include diversity as a content issue, the second aim does. Through panels, workshops and formal presentations, I hope to inspire a rich discussion about Diversity in the Classroom as a way to more fully open up our classrooms and the learning that can take place.

  Adam Fingerhut Photo

Nadia Kim, PhD, CTE Faculty Associate, Spring 2015

Nadia Y. Kim is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University who received her doctorate from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her research examines ‘race’; gender and relationality; citizenship; immigration and transnationalism; and community politics. She does so not just from a sociological perspective but that of Asian American Studies, Korean Studies, and Women’s/Gender Studies. Her book Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to L.A. (2008, Stanford University Press) explores how immigrants understand historically and transnationally their sense of belonging and citizenship vis-à-vis global American race inequality. She is currently penning another book for Stanford on how marginalized and undocumented US immigrants of color, mostly mothers, redefine “citizenship” by way of their community activism for clean air. Over the last 17 years she has taught at every type of higher educational institution and has focused much of her pedagogy on striking the balance between academic rigor and academic realities.

Project: Achieving a Rigorous Education that Satisfies Teacher and Learner
In an era in which the US education system ranks 17th out of 50 nations, the US lags behind global leaders in key subject areas, and universities debate whether high teacher expectations may be compromised by resource constraints, grade inflation, and teaching evaluations, the issue of academic rigor has never seemed more important. There are many ways to define academic or intellectual rigor, but most agree that it is expecting and receiving from students work based on skills of comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and critical thinking, not on conventional knowledge recall and recognition. As a teaching institution LMU is well-situated to enact the intricate pedagogy that can sustain and improve academic rigor in our classrooms but must do so while addressing today’s challenges in US higher education. This semester’s program will focus on how we at LMU can: (1) practically sustain and raise the various levels of rigor in our courses and curricula; (2) do so without sacrificing student self-confidence and our teaching evaluations; (3) do so in a way that better services our own teaching-research connections; and (4) use the widely-substantiated Pygmalion Effect (or self-fulfilling prophecy) as a major tool in our teaching – i.e., having higher expectations of students, and social interactions to that end, yielding the effect of higher student achievement.

  Faculty Associate Spring 2015 - Nadia Kim


Past CTE Faculty Associates

Rachel Washburn, PhD, CTE Faculty Associate, Spring 2014

Rachel Washburn is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University. She received her doctorate in medical sociology from the University of California, San Francisco. Rachel’s research explores the politics of knowledge production and technologies in the health sciences. She is currently working on a project that examines the politics of measuring human exposures to environmental chemicals in the US during the latter part of the twentieth century. At LMU, Rachel teaches courses on medical sociology, environmental sociology, and science, technology, and society.

Project: Engaging Students in Disciplinary Ways of Knowing and Practicing
As instructors, we often develop courses that emphasize specific subject area knowledge without making explicit the core assumptions that shape the production of such knowledge. Research has shown that deeper learning occurs when students understand the connections between the key concepts and methods of inquiry that characterize particular disciplines. This semester’s program explores strategies for making these connections more central in our coursework. Through workshops and formal presentations, faculty members will: a) examine discipline-specific approaches to producing knowledge, and b) identify the challenges they face in encouraging students to become independent thinkers capable of understanding and creating knowledge in their disciplines and beyond.

Crafting assignments that explicitly communicate expectations and provide the guidance necessary to facilitate independent thinking are essential to introducing students to ways of thinking and practicing in different disciplines. By identifying and describing all of the steps involved in preparing for and completing assignments, we assist students in producing thoughtful, high-quality work. We will explore and discuss best practices and examples from across disciplines.

  Rachel Washburn photo 

Beth Brewer, EdD, CTE Faculty Associate, Fall 2013

Beth Brewer is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Specialized Programs in Urban Education at Loyola Marymount University. She received dual BAs from the University of Southern California and holds her EdD in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Beth’s research is in education, assessment, and teacher preparation with a focus on social media and the role of technology as a pedagogical tool in schools. Through her work in teacher preparation and in her professional development presentations and workshops, she seeks to provide teachers and university faculty with the tools needed to reach 21st century learners

Project: Rethinking the Student Learning Experience 
Incoming undergraduate students experience education and learning in a multitude of ways that are influenced by standardization (e.g., the Common Core State Standards), federal and state legislation (e.g. NCLB), and learning frameworks intended to create competitive academic and professional environments. Upon entering the university community, they adapt these experiences and their learned skills as best possible to facilitate academic success. How can understanding our students' experiences support student learning and our teaching, in particular, our ability to develop courses that are rooted in rigor, creativity, innovation, and wonder? What can we do to meet students where they are and challenge them to think critically and consciously? How do we improve the overall student learning experience?
By examining the impact of standardization, the Common Core State Standards, Webb’s Depths of Knowledge, and 21st Century Learning Skills, we will discuss the impact these policies have on students' expectations of learning as they enter their undergraduate courses. Exploring and understanding the current pre-university educational environment will help shape pedagogical practices and highlight the importance of innovation and collaboration in higher education. The programming will focus on how our pedagogical choices may be enhanced while working collaboratively to addresses the learning needs of 21st century learners.

  Beth Brewer Photo

 Todd C. Shoepe MS, CSCS, ACSM - HFS, CTE Faculty Associate, 2012-13

Todd Shoepe is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Health and Human Sciences. He received a BS in Health and Human Performance and an MS in Exercise Physiology from Oregon State University. Todd's research interests include cellular adaptations to exercise interventions, training modalities for improved exercise performance, and a number of ongoing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects. These SoTL works involve project-based learning activities presented at the annual meeting for the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, Lilly West Conference, and the International Institute for SoTL Scholars and Mentors. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Learning Technologies at Pepperdine University where he is investigating the role of the instructor in facilitating student engagement in synchronous online classes.

Project: Examining the Pedagogy of Online Education and Technology
Online and technology mediated education are likely to become ever more important in higher education. What aspects of teaching and learning do online tools and technology lend themselves to? What are their advantages? What are the challenges? How different are online and technology-mediated instruction from traditional pedagogy? What kind of online instruction and technology can support the educational mission of LMU and its Strategic Plan? 

We will facilitate the dialogue about the opportunities and state of online instruction through discussions and presentations. Programming will also focus on the role of technological pedagogy in different kinds of classrooms and learning contexts. Through panels, workshops, and mentorship, we plan to address the efficacy and concerns of online instruction and discuss currently available online tools and methods. We will supplement the programming through reviews of available tools and literature on online education and technology. 

Vandana Thadani, Ph.D., CTE Faculty Associate, 2012-13

Vandana Thadani is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UCLA. Vandana’s research is in educational psychology with a focus on classroom teaching and its measurement, education technology, evaluation of educational initiatives, and bridging qualitative and quantitative methods. Prior work includes evaluations of educational interventions and professional development/teacher preparation programs in K12 and university settings. She has also provided professional development for teachers and administrators in the areas of academic motivation, critical thinking, and education technology.

Transfer involves applying knowledge learned in one context to other "near" or "far" contexts. As instructors, we all aim to help students transfer learning from our lessons and readings to something else: course papers, projects, assessments, and ultimately (we hope!) to contexts outside of our classrooms. Indeed, transfer is, as Halpern and Hakel (2003) describe, “the first and only goal” of formal education. Yet, as many of us have experienced firsthand, transfer is very difficult to achieve, with students too frequently not grasping how knowledge acquired in one lesson, topic, etc., applies to other contexts. This year’s program explores what research tells us about conditions that support (and do not support) transfer. We will explore teaching and learning practices that can improve students’ ability to transfer as well as their motivation to do the effortful work that transfer requires. The current year’s program extends topics introduced in my “Student Engagement and Reflective Learning” program from last year.
  Vandana pic

Vandana Thadani, Ph.D., CTE Faculty Associate, 2011-12

Vandana Thadani is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UCLA. Vandana’s research is in educational psychology with a focus on classroom teaching and its measurement, education technology, evaluation of educational initiatives, and bridging qualitative and quantitative methods. Prior work includes evaluations of educational interventions and professional development/teacher preparation programs in K12 and university settings. She has also provided professional development for teachers and administrators in the areas of academic motivation, critical thinking, and education technology.

Project: Student Engagement and Reflective Learning 
How can we help our students to enjoy and value their learning? How can we help them be better learners? Vandana’s project theme,“Student Engagement and Reflective Learning,” addresses these questions. Engagement keeps students persisting, even in the face of challenging work. Reflection (also called metacognition” or “self-regulation” in the research) can be a powerful vehicle to effective learning. Students who are reflective know what they know and do not know, use past experiences to steer future learning, and are better able to deliberately apply their knowledge to new problems (including social problems!). Through presentations, discussions, and sharing of innovative teaching practices, we will explore ways of enhancing student engagement and reflection in our courses.

  Vandana pic

Lily Khadjavi, Ph.D., CTE Faculty Associate, Spring 2012

Lily Khadjavi is an Associate Professor of Mathematics. She received her bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Harvard University, and her PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests range from algebraic number theory to the use of statistics in social science.  A current project, analyzing LAPD traffic stop data and focusing on the issue of racial profiling, has led to joint work with Dr. Kaaryn Gustafson of the University Connecticut School of Law and presentations for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA).  Committed to civil rights advocacy, she serves on the board of the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition, an African-American LGBT advocacy organization in Los Angeles.

Project: Increasing Diversity: Addressing Stereotype Threat
The impact of "stereotype threat" -- the fear, conscious or unconscious, of being judged through the lens of a negative stereotype -- manifests itself at many levels of academia. For example, because of stereotype threat, students from under-represented groups may not perform up to their potential, despite their best efforts and the best intentions of their professors. This affects women and students of color in math and science, among others. Through workshops and presentations, we will learn more about this phenomenon and about tools and interventions so that our students and faculty can achieve to their fullest.


Cathleen McGrath, Ph.D., CTE Faculty Associate, 2009-11

Dr. Cathy McGrath is an Associate Professor in the Management Department. She spent her time as Faculty Associate organizing events and developing support for Community-based Learning (CBL), a pedagogical area closely connected to LMU's mission and one in which she has significant experience based on her own teaching. By partnering with the Center for Service and Action (CSA) she worked to increase institutional awareness about CBL. Among others, Cathy organized guest speakers and events for faculty such as:


Cathy McGrath pic

Deena Gonzalez, Ph.D., CTE Faculty Associate, 2009-10

Dr. Deena Gonzalez is a Professor of Chicana/o Studies. During her time as Faculty Associate, Deena developed events supporting inclusive pedagogy, that explored the dynamics of power and difference in the classroom. The events were closely related to several important discussions at LMU, such as the developing new core curriculum and retention of junior faculty of color. Deena drew from the perfect blend of knowledge, experience and personal strength to the achieve the goal of "promoting a lively, coordinated conversation about race, ethnicity and gender." Among others, Deena organized public lectures and workshops for faculty by the following guest speakers:


Deena Gonzalez