Innovating the Classroom – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Innovating the Classroom

At Hobart and William Smith, teaching and learning is always improving and innovating. To demonstrate some of the Colleges most recent efforts to progress the classroom, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will showcase the work of several faculty members in On Pedagogical Innovation: A Faculty/Student Showcase. The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 in the Vandervort Room.

The showcase features 12 presentations each by an HWS faculty member and at least one HWS student. Ranging across the departments, from English to chemistry and Russian to dance, “All of the pairs will talk about the importance of the specific kind of innovative teaching, and therefore learning, that went on in their given classroom,” said CTL Director Susan Pliner.

“Each faculty cohort meets monthly to discuss, assess and critique their projects,” Pliner said. “The process of working with a cohort of colleagues across disciplines has proven to be the most positive aspect of the grants. Faculty often say they value the opportunity and time spent talking about teaching with other faculty they wouldn’t have done so with otherwise.”

Grants were awarded to faculty members Jonathan Iuzzini, Neeta Bhasin, Lauren Alleyne, David Galloway and Meghan Brown.

The evening will begin with appetizers and poster presentations and a round table dialogue over dinner will follow.

To attend the event, HWS community members should RSVP by Friday, Nov. 14 to Evelyn Sperry at

 The evening’s presentations include:

“The Live Poets Society: Bridging the Poetic and Political Imagination”
Assistant Professor of English Lauren Alleyne, Jennie Siedewand ’09  and Steve Owens ’09
“Multicultural Education and Social Justice in Action”
William Smith Interim Dean/Assistant Professor of Education Cerri Banks and Ashley Rodgers, MAT ’08
“Thinking Globally, Acting Locally:
Rethinking Immigration Within and Without the Classroom”
Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Neeta Bhasin, Sarah Canavan, ’12 and Christopher Bramwell ’11
“Conservation through Canadice: Using Local Protected Areas to Foster Learning”
Assistant Professor of Biology Meghan Brown, Ryan Aruck ’09 and Melissa Gaydos ’09

“Connecting Mind & Body for Robust Thinking Across the Curriculum:
A Movement Workshop for Faculty”
Professor of Dance Donna Davenport and Assistant Professor of English Laurence Erussard
Associate Professor of Chemistry Christine de Denus
“A Russian Folktale Brought to Life”
Assistant Professor of Russian David Galloway, Melissa Warner ’12 and Elizabeth O’Connor ’12
On the (Interdisciplinary) Road with Political Psychology:
Engaging History and Philosophy in New York City”
Assistant Professor of Psychology Jon Iuzzini and Hillary Anderson ’10
“Technology to Enhance Learning & Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities: A Service Learning Partnership”
Assistant Professor of Education Mary Kelly and Alysa Law ’11
“CREATE as a Teaching Strategy for Building Connections between Undergraduates and Research Scientists in the Field of Stem Cell Biology”
Assistant Professor of Biology Kristy Kenyon and Kathleen Kohl ’08

“Taking Ownership:  The Creation of Guzzle!
A Dance about Oil and America’s Culture of Mass Consumption”
Assistant Professor of Dance Missy Smith, Lauren Budd ’10 and Rebecca Borsuk ’11

“Fields of Play: Contact Improvisation in the First Year Seminar”
Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams

Pictured above is Assistant Professor of Psychology Jonathan Iuzzini and his Political Psychology class. They were able to meet public intellectual Cornel West during a trip to New York. The trip, funded by a CTL Teaching Grant, explored the history of political campaigning.