Faculty and Staff Spotlight

Teaching Innovations: 2018 – 2019 LIFT Fellows

In 2018-2019, several faculty continued the History Department’s participation in the WSU Transformational Change Initiative through LIFT (Learn. Inspire. Foster. Transform.) fellowships. Over the course of 2018, Karen Phoenix and Michelle Mann attended teaching innovation workshops and learned about the four central themes in the LIFT program: Social Belonging and Connection; Values and Values-Based Decision Making; Mindfulness and Self-Compassion; and Growth Mindset and Resilience. They were able to implement these ideas in their classrooms in the Fall. In December 2018, Karen, Michelle, and Aaron Whelchel (who had been a fellow in 2017), gave a presentation to History Department faculty about some of the ways they brought LIFT activities into their classrooms. In 2019, History Department faculty deepened our connection to LIFT, as Aaron Whelchel became one of the LIFT trainers for the Vancouver Campus, and Brett Bell (Tri-Cities), Bridge Farley (Tri-Cities), Rob McCoy (Pullman), Brenna Miller (Pullman), Eugene Smelyansky (Pullman), and Ray Sun (Pullman) were awarded LIFT fellowships.

Smith Grant 2019

Corey Johnson of WSU Libraries, along with Katy Whalen and History graduate teaching assistant Nick Martin were awarded a Smith grant for Summer 2019. Johnson, Whalen, and Martin will study RCI Library Research Assignments to understand patterns in how students’ research topics develop over a semester, how well students identify and utilize sources at various stages in their projects, and how well they integrate the work they do in their Library Research Assignments into their final papers. This study has the potential to help RCI faculty and leadership understand assignments from a student perspective, and to improve those assignments, leading to more effective student research projects. Congratulations to Corey, Katy, and Nick!


Other faculty projects:

Dr. Ben Nobbs-Thiessen:

Ben is the 2019 recipient of the RCI Summer Research Fellowship for his new project on the history of Mennonite migration between Mexico, Canada, and the US. Among other research tasks, Ben is conducting fieldwork interviews with migrant farmers in southern Ontario this May and June!

Dr. Ken Faunce:

Ken Faunce completed work on assignment development for an RCI case study on the Global Drug Trade. His work was supported by a 2018 Smith Teaching & Learning Grant from the Office of Undergraduate Education.