Interdisciplinary projects that bring together the worlds of art and science are being recognized by the Miller Scholars Program this spring.
Collaborations by Kate Pound and Kirstin Bratt and Matthew Julius, Bill Gorcica and Mark Gill have earned the prestigious $10,500 Miller Scholars award for their efforts to integrate to improve student success.
Pound and Bratt’s “The Poetry of Place: Pedagogy & Anthology” will develop an interdisciplinary course that combines geology, poetry and the study of political movements to help students see how different disciplines fit together.
Pound is a professor of geology in the Department of Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences, while Bratt is an assistant professor in the University College’s Academic Learning Center.
They will also put together a collection of North African poetry and essays evolving in the post-Arab Spring era and study the effect of using Backward Design to plan the interdisciplinary course.
The pair has collaborated in a number of ways to improve both student learning and their own teaching experiences. They have taught paired classes and have collaborated on Backward Design workshops. Backward Design is a process where teachers set goals for student learning and then choose and design lessons that will match those outcomes.
Julius, Gorcica and Gill are collaborating on “Seeing the Unseeable,” a project to create student cohorts to develop interactive 3-D learning tools.
The goal is to reorganize existing ISELF facilities into a Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Center and create a traveling virtual reality kit for use on campus and for off-campus demonstrations.
Julius, a professor of biological sciences, Gorcica, a professor of art, and Gill, a visualization engineer in the Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility (ISELF) Visualization Lab, have a strong track record of interdisciplinary partnerships.
As part of their project, the trio will visit STEAM laboratories along the East Coast between Boston and Washington D.C. and submit a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning Competition.
Miller Scholars earn $10,500 to implement their projects and are honored with a certificate and ceremony during the Fall Convocation Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) fair. CETL also provides them with support.
The Miller Scholars Program was established by a donation of James W. and Marion Miller and is co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs. The program recognizes and supports faculty members who establish a record of motivation, excellence and leadership in teaching and learning.
“I am excited to see two highly interdisciplinary projects with strong student engagement components being recognized as the recipients of Miller Scholar Awards this year,” said Provost Ashish Vaidya. “The intersection of art and science in one project, and the use of visualization to extend teaching and learning in the other, speaks to the innovation that our faculty are engaged in.”
Miller Scholars Program
The Miller Scholars Program was established by the generous donation of James W. and Marion Miller, and co-sponsored by St. Cloud State University’s Office of Academic Affairs.
This prestigious program is designed to recognize and support faculty members who have established a demonstrated record of motivation, excellence, and leadership in teaching and learning.