Wednesday, September 02, 2015

New UTSA Faculty Center takes professional development to next level

Faculty Center
Faculty Center

UTSA Faculty Center, John Peace Library

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(March 3, 2014) -- Is there a template for a class syllabus? When are promotion and tenure decisions effective? How can I get someone to take a video of my class or special event? How can I use technology to enhance my class lessons? How do I find funding to support my research? In the past, a professor would have had to contact five different offices to find answers to these five questions. Today, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has streamlined the process by launching the Faculty Center, a clearinghouse for all faculty-related information and services.

Located on the fourth floor of the John Peace Library on the UTSA Main Campus, the Faculty Center allows faculty to gather both formally and informally to have dialogue, collaborate across disciplines, attend professional development workshops, meet one-on-one with a librarian, and access a wealth of university resources to support their teaching and research activities.

The Faculty Center website offers a comprehensive online database of faculty-related services, resources, news and events. Using the Faculty Knowledgebase search engine, faculty can quickly and easily find answers to nearly any question. For enhanced professional development, a slate of faculty development workshops are offered at both the Main and Downtown campuses.

The UTSA Faculty Center is a collaborative effort of the UTSA Libraries, UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research and the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Support. The initial concept for the center sprung from conversations about developing a strong faculty culture at UTSA, an essential growth step for the university, which will celebrate its 45th anniversary in June 2014.

"The Faculty Center demonstrates that collaboration and cooperation is a useful and powerful tool," said Jesse Zapata, vice provost for UTSA Downtown and academic and faculty support. "It also shows our commitment to supporting our faculty. This is a great step forward for UTSA."

A sophisticated space with furniture and décor inspired by a mid-century modern design aesthetic, the 4,500-square-foot Faculty Center includes several small meeting rooms that seat six to 12 people, a conference room that seats up to 20 and a collaborative digital studio complete with the latest teaching technology. Each room includes advanced digital equipment to facilitate group work and interaction. It also includes a large casual seating area where faculty can have dialogue informally with one another or get work done away from the office.

Adjacent to the Faculty Center, the Assembly Room seats up to 120 and is a perfect space for lectures, presentations, seminars and other academic events.

"There is an abundance of evidence that indicates that learning and innovation occur when people connect, share physical spaces and exchange ideas," said Krisellen Maloney, dean of UTSA Libraries. "With the Faculty Center, UTSA has created a space that will enable and empower faculty to move forward in an ever-changing information environment."

The UTSA Libraries Faculty Services unit offers teaching/learning services through the Faculty Center that include assignment consultations, classroom observations and quick course diagnoses, helping UTSA faculty to enhance their teaching skills and implement innovative classroom engagement techniques.

UTSA is one of eight emerging research universities in the state with the potential to become Tier One. By focusing on academic excellence, faculty- and student-led research, and extending its reach internationally, UTSA is progressing toward Tier One status.

"The Faculty Center is an incredible opportunity for the Office for Research to access faculty in a new and engaging manner," said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA assistant vice president for research support. "Being that the Faculty Center will be a meeting place that allows for cross-college networking, we also believe UTSA will see an increase in interdisciplinary research, which is critical to growing the research portfolio of UTSA and our advancement toward Tier One."

Through the Faculty Center at UTSA, the Office for Research Support will offer a comprehensive program for faculty in the area of research skills development. Each semester, workshops and seminars will be offered in areas ranging from proposal development and grantsmanship to research compliance and ethics. Additionally, the Office for Research Support will utilize the Faculty Center as a means to deliver messaging on funding opportunities, research conferences and other research-based information.

The Faculty Center was designed by James Hadden of The Bommarito Group, engineered by HMG & Associates and constructed by Journeyman Construction Inc.

The first dedicated space for faculty in university history, UTSA officials expect the Faculty Center, both the physical space and its accompanying online services, will play an integral role in faculty success.

>> For more information, visit the UTSA Faculty Center website.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus


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