Nucleus Vol.4 Issue 1

Page 1


A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012

September 2012


NEW YORK CI T Y COLLEGE OF T ECH NOLO GY of the City University of New York

Faculty Commons

Russell K. Hotzler President

A Center for Teaching, Learning, Scholarship and Service

Bonne August Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Julia Jordan, Acting Director Avril Miller, College Assistant Kevin Rajaram, College Assistant

Miguel Cairol Vice President for Administration and Finance Marcela Katz Armoza Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Gilen Chan Special Counsel/Legal Affairs Designee Compliance and Diversity Officer

Assessment and Institutional Research Tammie Cumming, Director Raymond Moncada, Institutional Analyst Rachel Tsang, Assessment Analyst Olga Batyr, Research Aide Albert Li, College Assistant Office of Sponsored Programs Barbara Burke, Director Patty Barba Gorkhover, Associate Director Eleanor Bergonzo, Assistant Director

Stephen M. Soiffer Special Assistant to the President/ Institutional Advancement

Grants Outreach Coordinator 2012-2013 Professor Pa Her Design Team Professor Anita Giraldo, Artistic Director Professor Reneta Lansiquot, Web Master Angelica Corrao, Matthew Joseph, Jonathan Campoverde

Pamela Brown Associate Provost Karl Botchway Interim Dean, School of Arts and Sciences

Editors Barbara Burke and Julia Jordan

Barbara Grumet Dean, School of Professional Studies Kevin Hom Interim Dean, School of Technology and Design Carol Sonnenblick Dean, Division of Continuing Education

Designer Joanna Rooney Photographer Alina Melnikova

Professional Development Advisory Council (PDAC) Norbert Aneke Isaac Barjis Ian Beilin Nadia Benakli Karen Bonsignore Candido Cabo Sanjoy Chakraborty Gwen Cohen-Brown

2 September 2012

Susan Davide Lynda Dias Mary Sue Donsky Aida Egues Boris Gelman Maria Giuliani Karen Goodlad Joel Greenstein

George Guida Pa Her Louise Hoffman Neil Katz Darya Krym Karen Lundstrem Zory Marantz John McCullough

Djafar Mynbaev Susan Phillip Estela Rojas Walied Samarrai Ryoya Terao Shauna Vey Debbie Waksbaum Denise Whethers

Gail Williams Adrianne Wortzel Farrukh Zia

Pamela Brown, Chair

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

CONTENTS An Exhilarating Work in Progress


Bonne August

To NSF and Back


Pamela Brown

A Living Lab Blooms at City Tech


Sandra Cheng

AIR Launches ICIS 9 Tammie Cumming Portraits in Teaching 10 Faculty New to City Tech NSF I3: Interdisciplinary Case Studies


Cinda P. Scott

STEM Case Studies STEM Faculty


New E-Process for Grants


Patty Barba Gorkhover

PSC CUNY Research Awardees

“ The results of

this two-yearlong collection of data revealed that students consistently cited faculty as the ‘best thing’ about their courses. ”

19 STEM Laboratory Survey, 2011

Fall Calendar Highlights


NSF I3 Project

Cover Art: Welcome Center at City Tech Joanna Rooney, Photographer


Digital Imaging Center at City Tech

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012


An Exhilarating Work in Progress anus, the ancient Roman god of gates, doorways, and beginnings (January is named for him), is traditionally depicted with two faces, looking in opposite directions. Although “Janus-faced” can be regarded as synonymous with hypocrisy, in fact, the ability to look simultaneously forward and back, prospectively and retrospectively, is invaluable when we reach milestones and liminal (from the Latin for “threshold”) or transformative states. With the beginning of the new academic year, this issue of Nucleus extends an enthusiastic “Welcome Back” to faculty, students, and staff, and to Pamela Brown, whom we warmly welcome back from a year at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to assume a new role as City Tech’s associate provost. At the same time, we open our doors to new students, new staff, and the new faculty members whose faces and messages greet us from the centerfold. The very welcome new Welcome Center graces the cover of this issue, as it does the first floor of the Atrium. The Center’s gallery provides a handsome new space in which to convene, as does the refurbished Janet Lefler Dining Room above it. Just down Jay Street, the new façade of the Voorhees building, nearly completed, fittingly announces the groundbreaking work going on within. As we prepare to submit the report required for the Periodic Review by our accrediting agency, Middle States, there is much welcome news to report from City Tech. Prompted by the image of Janus, and the task of preparing the Periodic Review Report, however, I

4 September 2012

am not only looking forward—to more new facilities, new degrees, new faculty, and new grants and opportunities— but also looking back five years to 2007. At that time, three years after President Hotzler’s arrival, the groundwork had been laid for City Tech’s measured resurgence from budget deficit, deferred maintenance, and inadequate hiring. The first critical facilities project—replacement of Namm windows and the unstable limestone on the facade that had left Namm Hall surrounded by unsightly scaffolding for nine years!—had been completed. Today, although the project list is still ample and we eagerly await the demolition next spring of Klitgord to prepare for construction of the new building on that site, on every floor of the College there is evidence of change. City Tech has grown in several key ways in the past five years. Enrollment has increased from under 12,000 to just over 16,000 students. The full-time faculty has expanded from 285 to over 400—a dramatic and revitalizing development. Each year, the faculty scholarship report expands, reflecting the scholarly, professional, and creative work of both the new faculty and their more senior colleagues. The Tenth Annual Poster Session this fall promises to be an impressive landmark. While the existing associate and bachelor’s programs, bolstered by new equipment, facilities, and faculty, have updated curricula and implemented new techniques and methods, the College has added half a dozen new baccalaureate programs, with two more awaiting State approval and several others in progress. Each year, the number of graduating bachelor-level students increases, helping to create

additional momentum for the associate programs as well. City Tech has also matured as a grant-receiving institution, with the Title V Living Lab project and more than a dozen NSF grants, including both institutional and faculty research grants. While all of these positive efforts are heartening and will continue, a view of the recommendations from the 2007 self-study and the subsequent Middle States Team Report, as well as the 2008 Strategic Plan, reveals a still-challenging agenda. Hard issues of retention and graduation rates continue to face us. More globally, in important ways, as a College we both are and are not the City Tech of the past. We still need to define the City Tech of the future for ourselves, as well as for our constituencies both current and potential, and to gain recognition for the College’s distinctive place in the CUNY spectrum. This is energizing work, but work it is. The collegial spirit that characterizes City Tech faculty and staff and our shared commitment to our striving students make it both rewarding and worthwhile. Welcome back to City Tech, an exhilarating work in progress!

Bonne August, Provost

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

To NSF and Back which I am especially looking forward to making contributions. Professor Selwyn Williams, Director of undergraduate research and the Undergraduate Research Committee are developing strategies to involve more students and faculty.


Pamela Brown

s the summer season winds down it is a time for new beginnings at City Tech. The start of the school year is especially significant for the recently hired faculty starting a new chapter in their careers. It is also a milestone for the first-year and transfer students who have come to City Tech for the first time to work towards their professional and educational goals. The buzz in the hallways and classrooms, and all of the “where is‌â€? questions remind us of the excitement and challenges of learning how to navigate a new place with new people. Returning to City Tech after a oneyear leave of absence to serve as a Program Director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Undergraduate Education is a new beginning for me. I am looking forward to working with all of you in my new position as associate provost in the areas of curriculum planning and implementation, academic program review, accreditation, articulation, professional development, and coordinated undergraduate education initiatives. Expanding opportunities for undergraduate research is one area to

The NSF experience provided me with the opportunity to learn more about activities across the country designed to improve undergraduate education. While much good work is being done, a recognized national challenge continues to be spreading the word about evidence-based effective practices to improve student success. Issues around transfer and articulation agreements are also complex.

Publications are a good way to disseminate successful strategies to improve student engagement with learning.

faculty and others providing student support services contribute to professional accomplishments and advance the prestige of the College. In order to support these goals, a series of workshops on publishing educational research will be launched. Workshop topics will include identifying journals for publication, literature surveys, developing research questions and methodologies, IRB approval, using statistical software packages to evaluate data, accessing reliable and valid online surveys and assessment tools, organizing and writing educational research articles and responding to reviewers. At the kick-off session, faculty who have published the results of their work in the classroom will talk about their projects. A long-term goal is to support groups with complementary talents working together to develop and implement their ideas, and publish their work. I hope many of you not only attend these workshops , but also volunteer to share your expertise.

There are so many innovations being developed at City Tech from which the larger academic community could benefit. Publications are a good way to disseminate these successful strategies to improve student engagement with learning. In addition to helping other educators, peer reviewed articles by City Tech

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012


A Living Lab Blooms at City Tech “A Living Laboratory: Revitalizing General Education for a Twenty-First Century College of Technology” is a five-year initiative funded by a $3.1M grant awarded under the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Hispanic-Serving Institutions (Title V) program, Project Director Maura Smale. The project was launched in October 2010 and has appeared regularly in Nucleus. Living Lab Fellow Professor Sandra Cheng, and newly-appointed Communications Lead, reports on her colleagues’ progress.


all coincides with the beginning of Year 3 of City Tech’s ambitious Living Lab, a major grant-funded project aimed at rethinking the role of General Education in our college of technology, using City Tech and our Brooklyn waterfront location as a living laboratory. With numerous faculty seminars and last spring’s official launch of the OpenLab, the digital component to the project, the Living Lab has inspired faculty and students with new approaches to learning and teaching, and finding new ways to work together across all disciplines. Over the past two years, two groups of Living Lab Fellows and a large number of Associate Fellows have come together in a series of semester-long seminars focused on enhancing General Education at City Tech. The first year of the program addressed General Education and the first-year experience, beginning with a provocative and broad question: “What is Gen Ed?” Faculty from disciplines as diverse as English, mathematics, restorative dentistry, and hospitality management have participated in a series of seminars to contemplate and debate ideas of General Education in our undergraduate curricula. Working together, Living Lab members have studied and implemented inventive pedagogical practices in their own classrooms, providing models for other faculty to try in their own courses.

6 September 2012

Participation in the Living Lab has led many faculty members to refine their own teaching goals and practices. Ezra Halleck, one of the project’s First-Year Fellows, thus a Living Lab pioneer, emphasizes the need to get students to the see the bigger picture. According to Halleck, a professor of mathematics, “I encourage them to make connections to other disciplines, the world around them as well as important issues that we face.” Class websites on the OpenLab are filled with examples of highimpact learning practices that help students connect the dots between their courses and to the world beyond City Tech. More powerful and interactive than conventional learning-management systems, the OpenLab increases the possibilities of student interaction with fellow students and faculty. At last count, the OpenLab boasted almost 4,000 users, who have packed the site with captivating class websites, student portfolios, and virtual community spaces. Students have more access to professors and to each other, creating a vibrant online community that is new to City Tech. A powerful tool, the OpenLab, offers limitless potential for reaching beyond the walls of the classroom and helping students better integrate academic demands with their daily lives. Graciela Bardello-Vivero, a part-time faculty member in social science and an Associate Fellow, hopes “to expand the exchange of ideas among students” through the blogging capabilities of the OpenLab.

As an open digital platform, many OpenLab courses are public and available to anyone with access to the Internet. Visitors from across the globe can look at portfolios of creative work and expressive examples of student writing, offering a microcosmic view of our school of technology in downtown Brooklyn to the world. Living Lab seminars offer unique opportunities for full-time and parttime faculty from diverse disciplines to collaborate and to learn new teaching methodologies that range from incorporating more writing exercises to assessment. The seminars actively promote place-based learning and encourage faculty to move outside the conventional four walls of the classroom and make use of the campus and the surrounding Brooklyn waterfront. As a result of her experience with the Living Lab, Melanie Villatoro, a professor of civil engineering and a Second-Year Fellow, often asks herself, “Am I using my surroundings to my advantage to help explain the concept?” The SecondYear Seminar concentrated on collaborative field-based research: Seminar Fellows participated in model field trips similar to the ones they will lead with students in order to explore the possibilities of using Brooklyn as a backdrop to their classes, whether it is a course on American history or the fundamentals of mathematics. Over and above offering ways to incorporate active learning strategies

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012


in the classroom, Living Lab Seminars demonstrate the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration. Paul King, a professor in architectural technology, emphasizes one of the most valuable rewards of the Living Lab Seminars is the opportunity to meet and collaborate with faculty from other disciplines. The teamwork in the Living Lab has led Professors Jody Rosen and Justin Davis to repeat a series of collaborative courses over several semesters. Together they have merged their classes to launch “Telling Brooklyn Stories,” a learning community between Rosen’s English composition class and Davis’s effective speaking course. Davis praises the OpenLab as a valuable resource that allows for “better accessibility” and “better flexibility in delivering a course.” The class website for “Telling Brooklyn Stories” is a model of how faculty have helped students relate coursework to their everyday lives, while strengthening their skills in critical thinking, writing, and speaking. The successes of the Living Lab have moved some faculty participants to take on greater roles in spreading the word. Some of the pioneers who jumpstarted the Living Lab have now taken on leadership roles. With passion and humor, Professors Karen Goodlad and Jonas Reitz will guide the new group of Third-Year Fellows to help shape the future of General Education at City Tech. Not long ago, a former president of Harvard University grumbled about the pace of institutional change and likened attempts to transform undergraduate education to “trying to move a graveyard.” Remarkably, the Living Lab has explored diverse means of pedagogical transformation in a few short years. Here, the reshaping of General Education for an undergraduate institution of technology is well underway.

Seminar Fellows test water samples from the East River.

Seminar Fellows discuss exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum. Join the Living Lab Gen Ed Seminar as a Third-Year Fellow! Applications are due October 11, 2012. Find out more at

8 September 2012

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

AIR Launches Integrated Course Information System (ICIS)

The Office of Assessment and Institutional Research (AIR) is responsible for the generation, organization, and dissemination of timely and relevant information to support institutional planning and decision making. AIR was asked to create a comprehensive course system that links with assessment data, is accessible 24/7 to City Tech faculty and administrators, and is user friendly. AIR set out to generate the solution with lots of input from the General Education Assessment Committee. Faculty representatives from each department worked in groups to review their critical courses and learning outcomes, course by course, department by department. As a part of Living Lab, the AIR team was well positioned to guide

faculty in developing a culture of assessment for learning as a complement to the General Education seminars. AIR developed ICIS to streamline the effort of collecting course information and exporting course outlines to the website in a standardized format. ICIS provides faculty and administrators relevant information about learning outcomes for their departments and accrediting agencies, and meets the recommendation of Middle States to embrace a comprehensive approach to assessment for student learning

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

through a cycle of continuous quality improvement. Tested by departments, one of the most useful outcomes of ICIS is the curriculum map from courselevel objectives to program-level outcomes. According to Gerarda Shields, a professor of construction management and civil engineering technology, “The curriculum mapping feature is incredibly important, especially for accredited programs. The report generated allows you to clearly see the knowledge and skills taught.� Tammie Cumming, Director

September 2012


Portraits in Teaching

Ashwin Satyanarayana Computer Systems Technology

Angran Xiao Mechanical Engineering Technology

The feeling I get from making students happy and excited about what they’re learning is one of the best feelings in the world.

I can learn something new from students in each class.

Ozlem Yasar Mechanical Engineering Technology I have the passion to make a difference, influence students, and guide them as they learn new things. Viviana Acquaviva, Physics Seeing that look in the students’ eyes that signals that they now “get it.” Witnessing- and hopefully facilitatingthis process is incredibly rewarding.

Mery Diaz, Human Services I look forward to sharing with students the same passion and commitment for social work that I was shown as a student. Maria Sol Flaherty Biological Sciences

Davida Smyth Biological Sciences

I love teaching since it enables me to help students pursue their dreams by motivating them and helping them realize their full potential.

I’m excited to teach every day, hoping to inspire and infect my students with a previously unrealized interest in microbiology. Bridget Maley, Nursing I am very excited to be at City Tech. It is a wonderful teaching and learning environment for all students as well as faculty. Alberto Martinez, Chemistry What excites me about teaching is that we can really impact people’s lives.

10 September 2012

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

Faculty New to City Tech T

Christopher Swift, Humanities

Ariane Masuda, Mathematics

What I love about teaching is that my experience from year to year is never the same.

What excites me about teaching is the challenge of contributing to tomorrow’s world.

Laura Westengard, English I am excited when I can give students the tools they need to unlock their ideas. What revelations follow!

Anna Matthews, Dental Hygiene

Virginia Curran, Nursing

I am one of the luckiest people to go to work with a smile every day.

I am so excited to share my love of the Art and Science of Nursing with students!

No matter how many times I’ve taught a course or a topic, each semester’s classes bring new challenges, opportunities, and rewards.

I find teaching is a natural extension of learning. When students have questions, it is an opportunity for everyone to learn.

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

hat excites me about teaching is the opportunity to share with the students my love for language, as one of the most wonderful human facilities, and for my native language, Spanish. Roxana Delbene Grossi Humanities

want students to have fun learning accounting. What excites me is when my students get involved in class as they are mastering the subject and come to love accounting as much as I do. Alison Iavarone, Business

When a student finally appreciates the subtle beauty of a mathematical concept and sees for the first time the aesthetics of mathematical reasoning. Ashley Grill, Dental Hygiene



Simon Smith, Mathematics

Ian Beilin, Library

eaching is me at my best! This is my gift to the world. It excites me at the very moment when the student has an epiphany, an understanding of the content that I’m trying to convey to him/ her. I like to see this transformation process, and the impact that this knowledge will have on the student-knowledge in use! I take pride in knowing that I’m educating the next open heart surgeon, the next scientist, the next musician, or the next president of the United States. Renata Ferdinand, English


hen my students and I work together to write and revise that writing, we not only transform words on the page but also our ways of approaching the writing process, ourselves, and the world around us. For me, this re-visioning of individual and collective outlooks, knowledgemaking, and narratives is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of teaching. Jill Belli, English

September 2012


Interdisciplinary Case Studies: A Tool to Promote Institutional Change Cinda Scott, I3 Program Manager and Coordinator of Integrated STEM Projects introduces Reneta Lansiquot, Co-PI.

revealed that students consistently cited faculty as the “best thing” about their courses. However, students and faculty both cited the need for more access to computers, modernization of equipment to reflect current standards, and more real-world, hands-on application and discussion of laboratory assignments.


nnovation through Institutional Integration (I3) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative that challenges faculty, administrators and project partners nationwide to think strategically about the creative integration of NSF awards and to provide students with an interdisciplinary technologically-current approach to learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Through a $929K NSF grant awarded in 2009, the City Tech I3 Incubator: Interdisciplinary Partnerships for Laboratory Integration has become the catalyst for change at the student, faculty and administrative levels. Its goal is to transform STEM laboratories at City Tech to make them more

12 September 2012

Reneta Lansiquot effective vehicles for interdisciplinary STEM learning. The I3 project also seeks to enhance collaboration among STEM faculty members from different disciplines in the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Technology and Design and has generated new lines of communication among current NSF project personnel. In 2009, the I3 project began to collect baseline data on faculty and student attitudes and experiences in STEM laboratories to document and better understand student and faculty experience in the laboratory, the use of technology in the laboratory, and student and faculty connections with industry. The results of this two-year-long collection of data

Based on these findings, the I3 project team began in 2010 to focus on ways to improve laboratory technology and pedagogy. The project leadership team chose to implement case studies as a mechanism for providing students with interdisciplinary, hands-on, realworld experiences. A case study was defined as an instructional method that can be used in one lesson or over several lessons, for one topic, as a way of approaching a complex subject through an interdisciplinary lens whereby the students are presented with an overarching problem or case, which is then analyzed by students individually or in groups and possible solutions are developed. It is well documented that the use of case studies enables students to experience first-hand the importance of the information they are learning in a discipline because they can immediately see how it relates to everyday experiences and situations. Cases force students to “make decisions about how they would respond to complex situations involving difficult choices,” thereby challenging them

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

to problem-solve on their own or within groups. In addition, the inductive and experiential nature of case studies encourages students to take an “action perspective” in solving problems rather than analyzing problems “from a distance.” Too often, students taking STEM laboratory courses are forced to be mere observers rather than involved participants. The traditional teaching model in biology, for example, has been one where the professor unloads a barrage of information onto the

ing connections between seemingly exclusive domains. In addition, interdisciplinary teaching enables students to recognize varied perspectives; purposefully connect and integrate across-discipline knowledge and skills to solve problems; synthesize and transfer knowledge across disciplinary boundaries; become flexible thinkers; gain comfort with complexity and uncertainty; comprehend factors inherent in complex problems; think critically, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively; and apply integrative thinking to problem solving in ethi-

Case learning educates the person who will become the professional, not just the mind. —John Boehrer and Thomas Angelo¹

student and the student then regurgitates the information back to the professor. This “cookbook” style of teaching rather than inquiry-oriented teaching can cause students to lose interest in STEM and may eventually lead them to pursue non-STEM majors.

cally and socially responsible ways. Thus, we brought together an interdisciplinary team of faculty to create case studies as a pedagogical strategy to foster student understanding and engagement around complex ideas to enhance their problem solving abilities.

In a study comparing two groups of students enrolled in non-science major introductory biology lab classes over a semester to understand student attitudes toward traditional curriculum versus inquiry-based curriculum, the authors found that students from the experimental inquiry group significantly improved their science literacy skills and increased their self-confidence in their ability to use those skills.

I3 asks: How do we broaden and strengthen the number of students, particularly under-represented minority students, in STEM in order to compete on an international level and to secure a prosperous economy for this and future generations? The answer lies in the faculty members who experience first-hand the reality of the struggles that many of our students endure to receive an education. The faculty is the gateway to encouraging students to persist and stay in STEM fields. The key to improving STEM undergraduate education lies in getting the majority of STEM faculty members to use more effective pedagogical techniques than is now the norm in these disciplines.

The goal of interdisciplinary studies is to prepare students for questions, problems, or topics too complex or broad for a single discipline or field to cover adequately, and to thrive on draw-

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

The I3 project team reached out to motivated faculty interested in transforming laboratory curricula by bridging basic math and science with applied technology through the formation of interdisciplinary teams. The case study writing process addresses the I3 goal of bridging research and education. Though the I3 project does not provide funds for laboratory makeovers, we have found that, through the case study writing process, faculty members can provide real-world, hands-on experiences to students when access to research facilities is limited. The I3 case study writing workshops series held during the Spring 2012 semester brought to light the challenges and accomplishments of laboratory learning at City Tech. Case Study Writing Workshop Series In the initial case study writing workshop, Professor Brahmadeo Dewprashad from the Department of Science at the Borough of Manhattan Community College explained what makes a good case study and how to go about writing a case. After this initial workshop, it was apparent that a more in-depth series of workshops would be needed in order to see the kind of impact that the I3 project wanted these potential cases to have on STEM learning. Therefore, in the Spring of 2012, three workshops were developed for case study writing. The first workshop focused on how to write a case study; the second instructed faculty on classroom implementation; and the third stressed the importance of assessment and how to assess student performance using case studies. Thirteen faculty members from the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Technology and Design volunteered to participate, representing a wide range of STEM departments. Rather than forcing faculty members to work together in interdisciplinary teams, faculty members were encouraged during the first workSeptember 2012


shop to talk with the other participants to find out if there were any overlaps or shared needs between disciplines. The success of these workshops lay in the creation of a timetable and a clear definition of expectations. Faculty members knew from the beginning that the process would be lengthy and at times challenging; however, each understood the overall importance and potential impact from the outset. Several interdisciplinary teams emerged after the first workshop based on natural pairings and the realization that working with someone in another discipline can help to solve problems within one’s own. For example, Lin Zhou from mathematics and Lufeng Leng from physics explored the shared problem between mathematics and physics of students not understanding variables and symbols. Although not all faculty members worked

in interdisciplinary teams, many of them expressed their belief that there was great value in being able to discuss their ideas with faculty peers from other departments. During the second workshop on implementing case studies, Professor Reneta Lansiquot presented faculty members with a stepby-step “How to Write a Case Study” handout and three sample case studies written by their colleagues and successfully implemented in the interdisciplinary course, Weird Science: Interpreting and Redefining Humanity. This writing-intensive course enables students to explore the literature of shifting and expanding definitions of humanity and posthumanity from the perspectives of the natural and social sciences, technology, and engineering, incorporating digital media. Professor Lansiquot’s Weird Science course is an example of how the use of case studies can transform

a computer lab course. The course included ten guest lecturers who provided disciplinary perspectives on the course theme. Upon completion, students demonstrated a more in-depth understanding of the core concepts of the disciplines highlighted in the course: marine biology, molecular biology, psychology, computer systems technology, entertainment technology, physics, and mathematics. The third workshop focused on peer review of faculty members’ case study drafts using a rubric we provided and discussion of student outcomes assessment, based on their learning objectives after implementing their case studies this fall. During the summer, faculty revised their case studies based on detailed feedback that they provided to one another other and that we provided to them. We also discussed the details of the survey that participants will administer to students during their

Cinda Scott reviews NSF I3 Project objectives. 14 September 2012

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

classes to assess the effectiveness of their case studies. At the end of the case study writing workshop series, a survey was administered to the participants in order to assess the effectiveness of the workshop series. All of the participants who responded to the question whether Workshop I: How to Create a Case Study was useful either said it was useful (36.4%, 4/11) or very useful (63.6%, 7/11). Workshop II: How to Implement a Case Study, was found by the majority (81.8%, 9/11) of respondents to be very useful. There is still room for improvement in the case study writing workshop series, and, while many of the faculty feel confident in their ability not only to teach students using case studies, but also to teach other faculty members in their departments how to write case studies, we need to provide the necessary structural supports to allow faculty to feel certain that they can implement this type of teaching methodology without fear of failure. The Way Forward Implementing case studies takes dedicated faculty who are interested in changing static models of teaching and who are confident in their ability to make those changes. The I3 case study model is in the early stages of implementation; however, we have consulted with department chairs and faculty participants about how to ensure its success. A case study alone cannot change the face of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics laboratories. Rather, a systemic change in both curriculum and attitudes toward inquiry-based teaching and learning should be adopted and infused throughout all facets of City Tech labs for real

and lasting impact. Case studies are merely kindling for igniting an institution-wide effort to improve current laboratory practice. As key stakeholders in the process of transforming STEM laboratory curricula, faculty members must continue to work across departmental lines and within their own disciplines to create interesting and believable cases that engage students and set them on the path to a lifelong love of discovery. Objectives of I3 Incubator 1. To create new interdisciplinary laboratory content by bridging basic math and science with applied technology through the formation of interdisciplinary teams of faculty members from different departments across the School of Arts and Science and the School of Technology and Design.

NSF I3 Project Leadership Bonne August, Provost, I3 PI Pamela Brown, Associate Provost formerly Co-PI Reneta Lansiquot, Co-PI, English Vasily Kolchenko, Co-PI, Biology Karl Botchway, Interim Dean School of Arts & Sciences Selwyn Williams, I3 Liaison, Biology Cinda Scott, I3 Program Manager, Coordinator, Integrated Projects Reneta Lansiquot, Co-PI

4. To strengthen the range, intensity and duration of STEM mentoring/ partnership activities at the institutional, faculty and student levels by creating internship programs and deepening existing partnerships with other colleges, industry and government agencies.

Reneta Lansiquot, associate professor of English, served on the Keck-Project Kaleidoscope Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning Program, Creating and Sustaining an Interdisciplinary STEM Culture at City Tech. As a specialist in interdisciplinary studies, she teaches Weird Science: Interpreting and Redefining Humanity, a course that engages students in exploring what it means to be human from perspectives of the natural and social sciences, technology, and engineering. Lansiquot authored Cases on Interdisciplinary Research Trends in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Studies on Urban Classrooms (IGI Global, 2013). As Co-PI, Professor Lansiquot shares her knowledge of case study technique with faculty so that the I3 objectives are met, changing the way faculty teach across the STEM disciplines.

5. To weave existing NSF-supported efforts into a coherent, sustainable whole by creating a matrix of overlapping areas between existing NSF grants to foster increased collaboration between grants.

End Note 1. Angelo, T. & Boehrer, J. (2002). Case learning: How does it work? Why is it effective? Case Method Website: How to Teach with Cases, University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved from http://www.soc.ucsb. edu/projects/casemethod/teaching.html

2. To adopt laboratory pedagogy that fosters active learning and problem-solving rather than rote learning by incorporating realworld interdisciplinary projects into the current curriculum. 3. To optimize the use of technology in labs for scientific and educational purposes by using online educational platforms.

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012


STEM Case Studies Written by City Tech Faculty Mr. Rump Goes to Washington Catherine Cullen, Environmental Control Technology Muhammad Ali Ummy, Electrical Engineering Technology This case study project is presented to students in the Electrical Engineering and Facility Management Programs. The intent is to offer students the opportunity to apply the theory of

using communication to solve problems with the hands on application of electrical engineering skills in a real world professional work environment.

We Have Sound Check in Three Hours and What ?!?!? David Smith, Entertainment Technology Benito Mendoza, Computer Engineering Technology This case study introduces students to computer forensics. The story chronicles the lives of four college students interested in starting their own online company. However, in order for the

students to get their company off the ground, they first need to learn about network security. This case uses a model that asks students to answer questions throughout.

This case study is designed for an intermediate level music technology course in synthesis. This exercise is designed to force students to start with a pre-existing

sound, analyze descriptive set eters, and then duplicate it as possible.

it, create a of paramattempt to closely as

78% of Earth’s Air Diana Samaroo, Chemistry

To A or Not to B, Let’s See

This case study follows the cascade of chemical reactions that result in the deployment of airbags. The case emphasizes several chemistry concepts such as

balancing chemical equations, predicting products of chemical reaction, stoichiometry and the application of the ideal gas law to real life situations.

Lufeng Leng, Physics and Lin Zhou, Mathematics This case study addresses the problem of symbol use that arises in physics. Students will learn that, although in physics different sets of variables are used,

16 September 2012

“symbols do not matter” in math and physics; what matters is the underlying method of solving the problems.

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

Blue Moon: A Hybrid Chromosome Affair Jeremy Seto, Biological Sciences Blue Moon begins at the junction of fantasy, science and pop-culture to illustrate speciation, meiosis, gametogenesis and non-disjunction. Using genomic organization of fictional hominids (humans, werewolves and vampires) in order to understand biologically sound

mechanisms underlying successful hybridization, the exercises walk through the process of gametogenesis and fertilization using physical manipulatives to better illustrate the difference between healthy hybrids and disease states related to abnormal chromosome number.

A “Gooey” Situation

A Network of Everything: Ecology, Complexity, and the Ways of Being Human Candido Cabo, Computer Systems Technology Reneta Lansiquot, English This case study describes how Native Americans understood how human beings are interconnected to other elements of the environment and rely on them for survival, an idea which can be applied to the scientific study of life, which consists of multiple net-

works and complex systems organized at different levels. Finally, we explore how we have further expanded our life’s networks by embedding artificial nodes like machines and technology in our increasingly interdependent lives.

Hong Li Computer Systems Technology A new IT specialist of a small law firm has to take on an urgent task that will create a program for all clients to estimate their compensation as victims of Gulf oil spill. The program has to be completed in 22 hours because the firm needs feedback from clients to report to court.

Did You Feel That?

The Last Computer Yu Wang, Computer Engineering Technology Tomorrow’s engineer must have a working knowledge of microprocessors/microcomputers since most digital devices utilize a microprocessor. The storyline of the case study addresses the major components and functions of microproces-

sors/microcomputers with some degree of mystery, requiring familiarity with the metric system, number representation, computer instructions, register, computer memory, and the microprocessor.

Paul King, Architectural Technology Thomas Johnstone, Mathematics This case uses an earthquake event to teach students the value and use of logarithms. It focuses on how the Richter scale helps us to understand and compare the magnitude of earthquakes. The story structure is modular: the first part is about the dis-

covery and development of the slide rule and the second gives an example of its application. The intention is that a series of different stories can be developed for the second half of the case to introduce the many different real world applications of logarithms.

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012


Sponsored Programs: New E-Process for Internal Proposal Review It is recommended that applicants meet with OSP staff to review grant requirements.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is proud to announce our new Notice of Intent to Apply (NOI) online form. Once the decision has been made to apply for a specific grant, completing this quick and easy online form will make the grants submission process smoother. It will help applicants consider whether they will need input from other departments to prepare the proposal, ensure that chairs and deans are informed of the plans, and provide applicants with a better understanding of what is required for submission. The NOI must be completed at least one month before the grant deadline. It is recommended that applicants meet with OSP staff to review grant requirements.

OSP strives to enable faculty to submit quality grant proposals and can assist with the narrative, budget, and required forms. The complete grant application, including the narrative and all other required components, should be submitted to OSP at least one week before the funding agency deadline. This will allow OSP to review the final application, provide feedback and suggest edits. Note: Faculty do not have to submit a NOI for PSC-CUNY Research Awards.

Patty Barba Gorkhover Associate Director

Notice of Intent to Apply

18 September 2012

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

2012 PSC CUNY Research Awardees Awardee



Illya Azaroff Oleg Berman Daniel Capruso


Holly Carley Sandra Cheng Kyle Cuordileone Lia Dikigoropoulou Samar El Hitti


Andrea Ferroglia Anita Giraldo Camille Goodison George Guida ASM Delowar Hossain


Delaram Kahrobaei German Kolmakov Lufeng Leng


Xiangdong Li


Robin Michals Sheila Miller Djafar Mynbaev


Gimme Shelter: Designing for Disaster in the 21st Century Graphene-Based Electronic and Photonic Devices Prediction of Psychopathic and Paranoid Personality Characteristics in a Clinical Sample On Extremal Doubly Stochastic Measures Drawing Games: Play, Virtuosity, and Draftsmanship in the Carracci Studio Noel Field and the “Fieldist Conspiracy” Contemporary Architecture in Cyprus 1990-Present A Dependent Artin-Schreier Defect Extension that Fails Strong Monomialization Resummation for Heavy Particle Production at the Large Hadron Collider Steel, Ice & Stone The Story of My Father and Jamaican Music Virtue at the Coffee House Utilization of Distributed Control Framework to Overcome Downstream Impediments in Ethernet Passive Optical Network Research in Non-Commutative Cryptography Nonlinear Dynamics of Exciton and Polariton Bose-Einstein Condensates Extending the Reach of Gigabit Passive Optical Networks via Distributed Raman Amplification Study of a Position Service Based on Interacting Multiple Model with Unscented Kalman Filter Unnatural Waters: Urban Estuaries Coupled Cell Networks and Leatherback Sea Turtle Population Modeling Nanophotonic Devices for Optical Communications

Masato Nakamura Rouzbeh Nazari

Giovanni Ossola


Kenneth Parker Lisa Pope Fischer Johannah Rodgers Eric Sabbah


Annette Saddik


Jeremy Seto Fangyang Shen Benjamin Shepard Sarah Standing Ryoya Terao Teresa Tobin


Thomas Tradler Viviana Vladutescu


Adrianne Wortzel Huseyin Yuce Andleeb Zameer


Mark Noonan Hamidreza Norouzi

Stochastic Simulation for New Design of a High-Efficiency Combustion Chamber in Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Plants Development of an Advanced Technique for Mapping and Monitoring Lower Tropopheric Relative Humidity Brooklyn Tides: A Cultural History of the Brooklyn Waterfront Improving Instantaneous Microwave Emissivity Retrieval Scattering Amplitudes at the Integrand-Level: Learning from the One-Loop to Build the Two-Loop Expanding the Theory of Obstructions for Projective Modules Elderly Hungarian Women’s Reinterpretation of Post Socialist Change DNA: A Digital Novel A Secure Protocal for Ubiquitous Sensing for Medical Emergency Monitoring and Response “The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer”: Tennessee Wiliams’ Late Plays and the Theater of Excess Effects of Cytokine Exposure from Infection and Stress on Neurodevelopment PREM: Performance, Reliability and Energy Models for RAID Systems The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) Climate Changes Culture Sarika: A Child’s Development Library and Information Science Education in the World Community: A Comparative Study Loop and Gerbe Chern-Simons Theory Impact of Optical, Physical and Chemical Properties of Aerosol on Radiative Forcing Whirled War (2) Vibrations of Circularly Periodic Plates with Free Boundary Conditions Role of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta Superfamily in Neural Protection and Regeneration in Multiple Sclerosis

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

September 2012



PDAC: Publishing Your Educational Research


Working with Courses on the OpenLab

2:30pm – 4:00pm RSVP:

12:45pm – 2:15pm RSVP:


Grants: Applying for a PSC-CUNY Research Award


Library: Advanced Photoshop-Beyond the Basics

9:30am – 10:30am RSVP:

1:00pm – 2:00pm RSVP:


Pedagogy on the OpenLab


WAC: Learning Course Content through Writing

6:00pm – 7:30pm RSVP:

1:00pm – 2:15pm RSVP:


NSF I3: Interdisciplinary Case Studies


Grants: Research Foundation-Hiring/Managing Staff

12:00pm – 2:00pm College Community Welcome

9:30am – 11:00am RSVP:


WAC: Promoting Academic Integrity


10th Annual CityTech Poster Presentation

1:00pm – 2:15pm RSVP:

1:00pm – 3:00pm All Welcome; Questions:


Understanding Your Rights as an Author


iTEC: Blackboard Walk-in Clinic

5:30pm – 7:00pm Library: Open Access Week RSVP:

1:00pm – 2:00pm All Faculty Welcome


PDAC: Developing Your Research Designs


NSF: Communicating in a Male Dominated Field

2:30pm – 4:00pm RSVP:

9:30am – 2:00pm RSVP:


PDAC: Strategizing Your Literature Review


WAC: Developing Your Writing-Intensive Course

2:30pm – 4:00pm RSVP:

1:00pm – 2:15pm RSVP:


PDAC: Identifying Publication Venues

2:30pm – 4:00pm RSVP:


Honors & Emerging Scholars and Learning Communities Poster Presentation

11:00am – 3:00pm College Community Welcome


Grantusapplication due• by January 6, 2012 Contact at extension 5225 •

December 7, 2012 City Tech deadline to submit your proposal

Traditional A Awards:


Traditional B Awards:

There are three levels of awards. Questions: or 718-260-5173

Nucleus: A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 4 - Issue 1

up to $3,500 up to $6,000 Enhanced Awards:

up to $12,000 September 2012


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.