August Director's Message

I was one of those kids who loved shopping for back-to-school supplies every August. I carefully chose folders, binders, and spiral notebooks—color coordinating by subject. Unsharpened pencils with unblemished erasers still signal to me the start of a new school year. As a teacher, I replaced those pencils and erasers with different tools and technologies. I have always looked forward to creating new courses and syllabi and designing new Carmen shells—all of which represent to me the seemingly infinite possibilities of teaching, mentoring, and learning a new semester promises. 

For over a year now, the promise of each new semester has been . . . well . . . complicated. We again find ourselves preparing and planning for uncertainties, steeling ourselves for (and again facing the fatigue of) the uncertainties of another term. It can all be overwhelming. It is all overwhelming. Insofar as we can be, the Institute for Teaching and Learning is here to support and partner with you. 

This first director’s message of the academic year gives me the chance to extend our welcome and welcome back, pledge our support, and update you briefly to what is new for us at the institute.


Our offices are now located on the fourth floor of Smith Lab on 18th Ave. Our reception area, institute commons, conference and consultation rooms, and staff offices are situated along the south and southeastern hallways near the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing.  


We have welcomed—since January 2020 and since most of you last visited with us in person—one new faculty fellow (Joy Balta) and six new staff: Eric BrinkmanLaura CottonLarry HurtubiseShadia SilimanDavid Sovic, and Laura Struve. Collectively, they bring a wide and impressive range of disciplinary expertise and professional specialization, amplifying the institute commitment to inclusive teaching, social justice, graduate teaching associate professional learning, course redesign, and curriculum and instruction.  


Over 30 of our colleagues have been named Institute Affiliates. These faculty, administrators, and staff have noteworthy records of supporting their colleagues and students and are dedicated to continuing their contributions to the university. They will, throughout the academic year, contribute to and lead Drake Institute teaching and learning and research programs.

NEW (and continuing) EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

The Institute is now the home for the Ohio State CIRTL program—which brings to graduate students and post-doctoral scholars access to the resources and programming of the CIRTL Network, a national consortium of universities committed to enriching STEM teaching among early-career instructors. 

We also continue as a founding member of the Ohio College Teaching Consortium, a statewide collaborative of governmental agencies and state colleges and universities offering no-cost continued professional learning programming to college instructors across Ohio that leads to an Inclusive Teaching endorsement modelled on the Ohio State endorsement of the same name.    

We hope that the autumn semester is a time for us to once again connect – in person, virtually, through one-on-one consultations, in workshops and sessions, and around the larger conversation about teaching and learning. As your schedule allows, please drop in to see us in Smith Lab or reach out to schedule a time to meet with one of our staff at