University News

‘OFD Faculty Focus’ Series Builds Community During A Socially Distant Spring Semester

The Office of Faculty Development (OFD) launched the “OFD Faculty Focus” series during the Spring ‘21 semester with the goal of building faculty community during a time of remote teaching and social distance. The spring series, which ran from February through June, featured fourteen UMass Amherst faculty from six colleges who have taken part in OFD programs and workshops, including writing accountability groups, mutual mentoring grants, and the “First Year, First Friday” series.

The series is presented through an informal Q&A format so that featured faculty can share their personal experiences about the past academic year in addition to their professional accomplishments. Responses to “What has been the most surprising thing about working and teaching remotely?” included: connecting with collaborators from around the world from the comfort of home, the opportunity to research teaching alternatives, the resiliency (and patience) of students, missing the commute to and from campus, discovery of one's own adaptability skills, and what great co-workers cats and dogs have become. In response to “What is something new you have tried recently?” faculty shared that they were new to sledding, snowshoeing, baking pie from scratch, and meditation.

 OFD Faculty Focus Series, February-June, 2021: