College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Unit Head Mailing 5-6-08

1) Community Leader Contacts
2) Call for Workshop Proposals: 2008 Fall Teaching and Learning Conference  
3) Important Dates



1)         Community Leader Contacts

Colleagues, to team with the CLAS Alumni Board, I will be organizing this summer a "CLAS Community Constituent Committee," to assist our students with internships and placements and to assist the College with visibility and the politics of the post-med school environment in the region.  In that cause, I'm writing to ask your help.

In all of our many contacts, the 131 community boards on which CLAS faculty sit, in our neighborhoods and faith communities, CLAS faculty and staff know many of the influential members of the community who may be disposed to be helpful to us and our students.  MSU is working its better-established network for all it's worth; we need to do what we can to put our students and programs in the best position we can to compete on the merits.  So I’m asking that you think about community people, not necessarily alumni, who would wish to support GVSU, and please forward to me by Monday, June 23 names of these community constituents.  Thanks very much.



2) Call for Workshop Proposals: 2008 Fall Teaching and Learning Conference

 “Teaching and the Biology of Learning”

 Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Proposal deadline:  Friday, May 16, 2008

 What can we learn about teaching and learning from someone who is a biologist, a biochemist, AND director of a teaching and learning center? We’ll find out at this year’s Fall Conference. The keynote speaker is James E. Zull, Professor of Biology, Professor of Biochemistry, Director, University Center of Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University, and author of The Art of Changing the Brain (Stylus, 2002).

Zull identifies several areas on which teachers should focus, given what biology (broadly defined) tells us about learning. These areas range from syllabus design to teaching abstract concepts. Workshop proposals are particularly welcome on these topics but need not be limited to them:

·         “The single most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows” (Ausubel, qtd. in Zull). Ascertaining prior knowledge at the beginning of a course or a class period and then building on that.

·         Moving students from being extrinsically to being intrinsically motivated.

·         Using concept maps or other visual techniques to enable students to understand their current  knowledge.

·         Using your most effective techniques to observe student learning.

·         Using metaphor, parable, role playing, or story to teach concepts.

·         Giving students opportunities for reflection. What are the consequences?

·         Revising a syllabus so that you cover fewer concepts but students learn them in greater depth.

·         Designing a course or class period to both challenge and support students.

 Faculty and staff may submit proposals. 

 Proposals should include the following information in 1-2 pages:

1.      Presenter(s), session title, and objectives.

2.      Two or three sentences on the workshop, suitable for including in the conference program.  Begin with the problem or issue you are addressing, followed by your approach, and what participants can expect to gain from the workshop.

3.      Brief description of presenter(s)’ prior experience in topic of session.

4.      Session format (should be as interactive as possible).

5.      AV/computer equipment needed.

6.      Time requested for the session:  either one hour or two hours. 

Submit proposals electronically to ftlc@gvsu.edu no later than Friday, May 16.


3) CLAS Important Dates


Important Dates





May 5 + 6

CLAS Office Product Exchange

308 PAD

May 7 + 8

CLAS Shred Fest


May 9

Collection of Dept Vitas on a CD

Heidi Nicholson, 312 PAD

May 9

Salary Spreadsheets Due Back

Electronic to Pam Kellogg by 5:00 p.m.

May 12

Budget Projections 2007-08

Pat Haynes

May 27

Dean’s office moves

MAK B-4-232

Aug. 19

Unit Head Retreat

TBA – 9:00-4:00

Aug. 20

FTLC Teaching Conference


Aug. 21

CLAS Faculty and Staff Meeting

TBA – A.M. followed by lunch

Aug. 22


11:00 A.M. Field House


Page last modified January 7, 2009