Yale University, the University of Bridgeport (UB), and Housatonic Community College (HCC) will celebrate the culmination of the Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholars program with a capstone symposium on Friday, April 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). The three institutions have worked together as part of the grant-funded initiative to improve education in the region for undergraduate students.
“The Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholars program has demonstrated how regional institutions can collaborate to improve learning experiences for students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines,” said Jennifer Frederick, executive director of Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning and principal investigator of the grant.
“Our team has collected evidence showing that faculty members who perceive support from their institution implement change and improve STEM education at much higher levels. The common barriers of time and funding can often be overcome by supporting teaching through recognition, open conversations, and sharing resources,” Frederick said.
The capstone symposium, funded by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and Bruce and Julie Goldsmith, provides an opportunity to learn from the programs participants.
Marco Bonett-Matiz, Claudia De Grandi, Savan Kharel, and Brett C. Smith, all Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholars and postdocs at Yale, will share their teaching innovations from introductory STEM classes at Yale, UB, and HCC.
Elizabeth Morse Luoma, the STEM education program director at the Yale CTL and the Helmsley Program director, and Frederick will welcome a group of educators from all three institutions for the symposium and reception. The Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholars will present on four topics:
- “Inclusive teaching practices in a classroom community and beyond” by Kharel
- “Cartes: Improving preparation for calculus through gaming” by Smith
- “Tenfold increase in attendance of calculus tutoring sessions: Facilitating collaboration and enhancing learning experience at UB” by Bonett-Matiz
- “Sitting at the same table: building communities of students and faculty” by De Grand
“While employing the use of instructional technology and evidence-based teaching methods, the Helmsley Postdoctoral Scholars have actively sought out opportunities to promote excellence in undergraduate STEM education,” said Luoma. “During the last three years, our scholars have successfully integrated what they have learned about STEM teaching practices into classrooms while partnering with faculty colleagues at all three institutions. They have also brought experts from throughout the United States to New Haven for STEM education seminars, directly benefitting Yale, UB, HCC and our surrounding educational community in southern Connecticut.”