Friday, December 8, 2023

STAR funding to support new engagement techniques at UTSA

STAR funding to support new engagement techniques at UTSA

JUNE 26, 2023 — Three UTSA faculty have been awarded grants from the university’s Strategies for Teaching, Assessment & Retention (STAR) program. The funds will help them create and implement new instructional practices and dynamic learning experiences that deepen student engagement and promote professional development.

The recipients of the 2023 STAR Awards are Manjit Kaur, Cynthia Roberts and Matthew Schurmann. The UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars (ADTS) and the Division of Academic Innovation sponsor the grant program.

“Our outstanding faculty are continuously finding new ways to reach students where they are and foster the skills and knowledge necessary to lead in today’s workforce and global community,” said David Han, an ADTS member and STAR program coordinator. Han is also a Faculty Leadership Fellow and an associate professor in the management science and statistics department in the Alvarez College of Business. “The results of these grants benefit individual faculty members and their students, and the resulting insights and best practices are shared across our network.”

“It’s a privilege to be able to help these faculty find the means and methods to create new, exciting teaching practices to engage students.”

Manjit Kaur (left), Cynthia Roberts (center) and Matthew Schurmann (right) are the recipients of the 2023 STAR Awards.

Kaur will use her $3,000 grant to produce a course that will expand students’ global awareness and cultural knowledge and help them build a stronger connection to a worldwide community in all its unique differences.

Kaur is an associate professor of practice in the Writing Program at University College. She played an instrumental role in shaping the online learning program for the UTSA Writing Program and is lead editor of the OER textbook, Technical and Professional Writing. Kaur is also a nominee for the 2023 President’s Distinguished Achievement - Teaching Excellence Award.

Roberts and Schurmann received a $3,000 grant as a team. They will collaborate to identify and measure student engagement with course materials. Students who are engaged with the material and feel connected with the content learn better and perform higher. Technology-based activities and surveys will help measure students’ understanding and thus the effectiveness of course content and delivery. They will share the results of their study and provide suggestions on how to enhance student learning and the sense of belonging.

Roberts is a course coordinator and instructor in the UTSA Department of Mathematics. She has spent many years perfecting online instruction and providing students with opportunities to enhance their learning through technology, including “create your own adventure” games.

Schurmann is a senior lecturer in the department. He is interested in creating consistent vertical alignment through the STEM core mathematics sequence by collaborating with colleagues to coordinate course materials.

“It’s a privilege to be able to help these faculty find the means and methods to create new, exciting teaching practices to engage students,” said Melissa Vito, UTSA vice provost of academic innovation. “The results of their proposals will help us refine how we structure curricula and reinvigorate how we’re engaging students across modalities.”

ADTS was established in 2012 to honor and reward a select group of outstanding faculty who exemplify excellence in teaching, foster a culture of exceptional teaching and learning practices, and create a community of faculty peer advocates. Members of the academy mentor new faculty, develop seminars on teaching excellence and advise Faculty Center programs and initiatives.

Academic Innovation brings together teaching, technology and digital learning experts to design and champion innovation and transformational practices that enhance students' academic experience.

Brett W. Copeland

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

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The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.