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New center, fellows renew commitment to teaching

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From examining students’ perceptions of culturally inclusive teaching to using statistics to understand the challenges faced by underrepresented students in the physics major, the projects of 22 UC Santa Cruz faculty fellows seek to innovate teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The faculty fellows are supported by the new Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL), which was established in July 2016 to revitalize the university’s longstanding commitment to outstanding teaching. The CITL aims to provide support and resources for all who teach on campus, and especially focuses on the areas of inclusive teaching and teaching with technology.

“UC Santa Cruz was founded with a deep commitment to undergraduate education,” Chancellor George Blumenthal said. “The times have changed and we need to keep up. I’m excited about the great things that will come out of the center.”

Last academic year, the CITL received approximately 50 applications from faculty members for the inaugural cohort of fellows. With support from several campus sponsors, the CITL more than doubled the number of fellows—from 10 spots to 22, said Jody Greene, the center’s founding director.

“It’s incredibly significant for an institution to say ‘teaching matters,'” Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Marlene Tromp said. “There’s enormous pressure to bifurcate research and teaching, and pretend like they have nothing to do with each other, and when we bring them together it can be powerfully transformative for both our students and our faculty.”

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