Comm Professor Awarded Fellowship

TIDE working session with Prof. Leda Cooks

Comm Professor Leda Cooks has been selected as one of 12 TIDE (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, & Equity) Ambassadors of the 2017-18 cohort for the Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development (TEFD).

Cooks, who is the graduate program director for the department, was chosen from a pool of applicants who represent a wide range of disciplines and teaching interests. According to the TEFD website TIDE Ambassadors explore how they can enhance students’ learning and academic success across cultural, social, and learning differences by adopting a strength-based, inclusive, and equitable approach to teaching and learning grounded in the value of diversity.

Faculty have already participated in a three-day intensive retreat in May, which is the jump off point for them to develop a plan to increase inclusion and equity in their respective major and college.

Throughout the program year, ambassadors will take what they learn from the experience into their classrooms, field-testing some of the new teaching practices and strategies, and report back to the group.

Cooks says her goals include teaching two introductory courses in the fall, both of which she’s taught before, and do it in a more inclusive manner. Also, she wants to start a group made up of faculty and graduate students to work to develop and form a collaborative teaching environment. In addition, she hopes to build connections and collaborations that might be established with the Community Deliberation Space in Springfield, which is a partnership she helped to form in 2015 with New England Public Radio, to dialogue with community members on issues important to them.

TEFD supports the professional development of faculty across all career stages and disciplines with a wide range of programs and resources focused on teaching, mentoring, scholarly writing, tenure preparation, leadership, and work/life balance.