UNO announces Center for Teaching Innovation, and other news of higher education

UNO announces Center for Teaching Innovation

The University of New Orleans has announced the creation of the Center for Teaching Innovation, a center that will promote new teaching methods for today’s college students.

The center is coordinated by Beth Blankenship and is housed on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building. It will move to the Earl K. Long Library once fourth-floor renovations are completed.

In addition to providing technology workshops, Blankenship will develop training modules on classroom practices. The goal is for faculty to help students to achieve the best possible learning outcomes.

“We want to address the most important questions on the topic of instruction: What’s the future of the 75-minute lecture? Is that going by the wayside? Is that something we need to at least have alternatives to? What are the learning styles of students we’re getting out of high school now?” Blankenship said.

According to John Nicklow, provost and vice president for academic affairs, many universities have similar centers. The ones that are most successful, he said, are those that have the right level of outreach from the center and sufficient engagement from faculty members.

“Our goal is to make better teachers,” Nicklow said. “We can do that by making sure our faculty members have access to the latest knowledge, skills and technology.”

In addition to the in-person and virtual training sessions that the center will offer, Blankenship, said vendors will give presentations to faculty members on the various teaching technologies available in the marketplace.

SUNO hires new campus police chief

Southern University at New Orleans has a new campus police chief.

The Southern University System Board of Supervisors on Friday approved the appointment of Bruce E. Adams to the post previously held by former Orleans Parish School Board member Ira Thomas, who resigned after he was charged with taking a bribe in connection with a school system contract.

Adams spent more than 40 years in the New Orleans Police Department, where he worked his way up the ranks from patrol officer to deputy chief. He retired in December. He also has been an adjunct professor of criminal justice at SUNO and Concordia University.

Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said the expertise that Adams brings to the position will enhance the campus and allow the university to continue providing a safe environment for students, faculty and staff.

Loyola preserves Guthrie interviews

The Department of History and the Documentary and Oral History Studio of Loyola University have announced a collaborative research partnership with the Woody Guthrie Center and the Woody Guthrie Archives of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Loyola student and faculty researchers will transcribe a collection of interviews with the late American singer-songwriter to help preserve them and make them more easily accessible to researchers.

The Guthrie Archives’ tape-recorded interviews were conducted by journalist Joe Klein in the 1970s for a biography called “Woody Guthrie: A Life.”

They are now available only in audio format, but student workers will transcribe the interviews using state-of-the-art software under the direction of Loyola history professors Patricia Carlin O’Keefe, Mark Fernandez and Justin Nystrom.

The print and digital transcriptions will be used by Fernandez to support his ongoing scholarly research on Guthrie’s life and will be made available to researchers at the Woody Guthrie Archives.

Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land” and thousands of other political, traditional, folk and children’s songs during his lifetime. The songs often reflected his experiences during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.

The Woody Guthrie Center and Archives is an educational facility dedicated to preserving Guthrie’s body of work.

Partial funding for the project comes from the Patricia Carlin O’Keefe Distinguished Professorship, which was designed to support collaborative research between Loyola professors and students.

For information, contact Fernandez at mffernan@loyno.edu or (504) 856-2565.

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