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Faculty Newsletter

Winter 2014

IN THIS ISSUE    Cover Photo - Students at Spokane Falls Community College 2 

Request for Proposals for Summer Conference


Faculty Spotlight: Meike Mittelstadt, Community Colleges of Spokane


Faculty Spotlight: Phyllis Weigmann, Ivy Tech Community College


American Honors News from Abroad


Announcing Our Newest Programs: Union Community College & Pierce College


AH in the News


Announcing Our 4-Year Partners


Teaching Tips: Activities for the First Five Minutes of Class


Resource Exchange


Students Speak!


What’s New on Quad? Update for Adobe Connect Users

Request for Proposal: American Honors 2014 Summer Faculty Conference The Teaching and Learning Center at American Honors is pleased to announce its 2014 Faculty Conference, to be held July 25-26 in Denver, Colorado. Based on previous participants’ feedback and to better serve the needs of new partners joining us this fall, we seek to make the 2014 conference more faculty-driven, and we hope to provide a more individualized and hands-on experience for attendees. Therefore, we are currently accepting proposals for faculty-led presentations and sessions. Faculty chosen to present at the conference will receive funding from American Honors for travel and accommodations. In addition, sponsorships will be available for some non-presenting faculty representatives from each college. Possible formats include, but are not limited to, the following: • Presentations about pedagogy, best practices, lessons learned, or other reflections on the American Honors experience Panel discussions • Hands-on demonstrations or workshops • Round-tables centered on a particular theme or topic of interest. To propose a presentation or session, please submit the following information: • Title • Proposed format • Organizer name(s) and affiliation(s) • Presenter/panelists name(s) and affiliation(s) • Brief description of approximately 250-500 words • Participation cap, if any • Any special arrangements needed, such as room configuration, required materials, or audiovisual equipment. Proposal submissions and requests for further information should be directed to Joy Adams at Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis through May 23, 2014. For best consideration, please submit your materials as soon as possible. Acceptances will be confirmed no later than June 1, 2014. We hope you will join us in Denver this summer!


Faculty Spotlight: Meike Mittelstadt studied at the University of Kiel. In total she has taught for 20 years. She has been teaching at Spokane Falls Community College in Washington since 1998. Some of her courses include Introduction to Political Science, Global Issues, American Government, International Relations, and Islam and the West.

Meike Mittelstadt Professor of Social Sciences Community Colleges of Spokane

Meike Mittelstadt is a passionate educator who has been with the American Honors program since the Spokane pilot program in 2012-2013. She was born and raised in Germany, and she has also lived and worked in Marseille, France, and Bologna, Italy.When she was 16 years old she was an exchange student in the United States. Meike has a BA from Northern Arizona University, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations from Nottingham Trent University in Great Britain, and also

What types of projects/initiatives do you believe are most important for students? It is important to remember that each student is a unique, creative individual. There is no one-size-fits all project or initiative for every student. More than anything, it is important that students discover their authentic voices and then pursue their unique passions-whatever those may be. All too often we put the cart before the horse by selecting a career path that promises financial reward or the greatest

In addition to her teaching at Spokane, Meike is very involved in her community. She takes full advantage of the access to nature that Spokane offers, and she also enjoys the ethos of a smaller town. She is strongly connected to her spiritual community at Unity Center where she leads guided meditation services and facilitates a “Power of Prayer” group bi-monthly. She enjoys the local art and cultural offerings of Spokane, ranging from theatre to the symphony and film festivals, as well as the wide variety of restaurants. Meike has a teenage daughter,Yannina, who is in high school and a younger son, Alexander, who is in elementary school. She’s also the proud owner of two Maltese dogs, as well as a Victory Vision motorcycle. Meike learned to ride about 5 years ago, despite her family’s concerns about her safety! Meike is a trained Reiki Master and also a Licensed Unity Teacher. opportunity for future employment. You should come from a place of enthusiasm and love. What motivates you? What makes you feel alive and instills in you a sense of vision and possibility for a better world? If your heart and mind are aligned, you will always find the means to do what you value and love, while contributing to society at the same time. Some people may call that idealism, but I view life as consciousness and you co-create your reality. Looking back at my own life path, I can share that nothing has expanded my own way of thinking and


knowing more than living and studying abroad. If I had one recommendation, it would be to afford every student the opportunity to live and study abroad if they so choose. There is nothing that has taught me more about myself and the unity and similarity of human beings, regardless of race, culture, belief, or geographical location. I think ignorance, fear, jealousy, radical individualism, and greed are the root causes of conflict and war around the world. Living abroad is challenging--you experience culture shock, you may have to speak a language other than your mother tongue, and you will face the dark side of your soul.Yet the challenge is matched by a boundless reward. Living and experiencing other cultures and peoples will afford you the power to claim your own voice and contribute to community and society in accordance with your unique gifts and talents. What other information would you like to share with your colleagues? I feel extremely fortunate. I love teaching and there is nothing more rewarding than sharing a sense of possibility and new ways of thinking and doing with my students. I think I often learn more from my students than they learn from me. Learning is about opening people’s hearts and minds; and, paradoxically, the more we seemingly learn, the less we know. The world is globally interdependent-whether economically, socially, politically, culturally, or ecologically. As educators, we teach by example. I want to move beyond cynicism, despair, and enshrined ways of knowing and seeing (what some call “reality”) into a vision of hope, equality, justice, accountability, collaboration, and teamwork. As Ghandi so wisely said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I often


fall short of manifesting this desire but I always get up, dust myself off, and continue to pursue my vision.

“Meike Mittelstadt’s International Relations class at SFCC [Spokane Falls Community College] was the most difficult class that I took while enrolled there, but despite it being difficult, it was also the most engaging class I’ve ever participated in. Meike is passionate, engaged, loves her field of study, and is absolutely committed to the academic progress of her students. Every week I grew, and reviewing my work from Week One to the end [of the course] I could see the progress that I made from her detailed and helpful feedback. After taking her class I worked with her as a TA. She was absolutely fantastic to work with and gave me plenty of opportunities to continue to grow. After SFCC I transferred to Georgetown and I felt prepared to engage and present essays in a very academically competitive school due to the grooming that I had under Meike. I cannot stress enough the quality professor that she is.” Russell Vannoy Current student at Georgetown University Former American Honors student at Community Colleges of Spokane

Faculty Spotlight: Phyllis Wiegamann

Phyllis Wiegmann Assistant Professor of Mathematics Ivy Tech Community College, Fort Wayne Campus

Phyllis has been teaching all levels of math through calculus with Ivy Tech for 26 years. Her past roles also include program chair and academic administrator. For the past five years, she has focused on teaching. Some of her courses include: Fundamentals of Algebra I & II, Essentials of Algebra I & II, Mathematics Principles with Algebra, Concepts in Mathematics, College Algebra, and Trigonometry with Analytic Geometry. While Phyllis has been a teacher for most of her career, she also has experience as a set designer, she worked at Interlochen National Music Camp in junior drama for five summers, she was as an AutoCAD drafter for MagnaTech for a year, and she held an SPHR Senior Professional in Human Resources certification for 9 years. Additionally, she was a licensed minister in the Disciples of Christ Church and is currently a minister at Open Arms What types of projects/initiatives do you believe are most important for students? I believe history, relevance, and service are three key components for math students. Knowing how math was developed, why, and what inspired mathematicians gives that

International Church. Phyllis has a lot of personal interests and hobbies in and around Fort Wayne including motorcycle riding, ziplining, playing the guitar and singing in her church praise team, puzzle building (especially 3-D puzzles), Komet hockey (Fort Wayne team), watching Colts games, enjoying the outdoors, biking parts of the River Greenway, camping in state parks, canoeing, and hiking throughout Indiana and along the Hocking Hills State Park trails! She loves reading classic mysteries, and in the last two years she has read the complete Sherlock Holmes collection by Arthur Conan Doyle and the Lord Peter Wimsey collection by Dorothy S. Sayers and she has started the Albert Campion series by Margery Allingham. She also has series season tickets to Embassy Broadway, a historic theater in Fort Wayne with awardwinning productions throughout the season. Phyllis is a passionate educator and community advocate who believes strongly in the value of education and that education should be accessible. In addition to donating to the Ivy Tech Foundation, she also started a Phyllis L.Wiegmann Scholarship. She supports church members, family members, and former students in completing their Certified Nursing Aide credential and improving their work skills. Each year she provides every school-age person at her church a backpack and school supplies, and she has given away more calculators to students who cannot afford them than she can count! sense of history. Doing projects that incorporate mathematics into realworld data processing and investigation is important. Community service plays a critical role in students’ taking what they have learned in mathematics and sharing it with others. It reinforces what they know and and allows them to give back.


American Honors News from Abroad

Many faculty and American Honors students might say that an honors experience expands one’s worldview through deeper, contextualized learning. One way American Honors is continuing to enhance the classroom experience and provide opportunities for students to learn from each other is by introducing American Honors to international student audiences around the world. This coming fall, American Honors is excited to welcome a number of international students on network college campuses in Washington, Indiana, and New Jersey. This past year, American Honors enrolled students from 13 countries ranging from Russia to Ivory Coast and China to Malaysia, and we look forward to expanding the program’s international reach. Since this past fall, American Honors international initiatives, led by Michael Haines, Director of International Operations, and Dr. David Finegold, Chief Academic Officer, have called for the team to travel to Vietnam, China, and South Korea to visit high schools, education organizations, and higher education institutions. In addition to these key areas, American Honors has forged strategic partnerships in countries as diverse as Nepal, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, and India, all of which share a common appreciation for a high-quality and cost-effective education in the United States. We’re also very excited about American Honors network colleges leveraging their relationships to further increase awareness of the honors program and ensuring that our international students have an exceptional experience on campus. Earlier this year, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana developed strategic partnerships with institutions in Mexico, and Mercer County Community College expanded its international housing options, while Community Colleges of Spokane continues to reach into new markets, including the Philippines.

Michael Haines, Director of International Operations, visiting Viet Duc high school in Hanoi.

Announcing Our Newest Community College Programs: Union County College and Pierce College

A warm welcome to Union County College (New Jersey) and Pierce College (Washington) - the newest additions to the American Honors Network! Pierce College is located near Tacoma, Washington, with campuses in Puyallup and Lakewood. It has over 18,000 students, proudly serving over 2000 members of the U.S. military. Having served Pierce County for almost 50 years, Pierce College has recently been expanding its international student population (currently over 2.5% of total) and it has a robust online course delivery system for military students serving overseas. We are excited to have Pierce in the American Honors family and look forward to our first class of students joining in Fall 2014! Union County College’s American Honors program will also begin this fall. Located in Union County, New Jersey, Union’s program will be based at its Cranford campus, less than an hour south of New York City. Union is home to over 30,000 students and is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse county colleges in New Jersey, with students representing 80 countries. Welcome, Union County College!

Our Current Community College Programs


American Honors in the News! December 13, 2013 “‘Community college transfers are going to be more and more a part of the college picture, because there’s big potential there,’ said Kasey Urquidez at the University of Arizona. ‘From what we’ve seen, these American Honors students are going to be really good students who are well prepared and can persist and graduate.’” December 13, 2013 “Twenty-seven colleges, including highly selective private colleges such as Amherst and Swarthmore Colleges and selective publics like Purdue University and the University of California at Los Angeles, have joined the American Honors Network.” January 06, 2014 “It will take many forms of innovative thinking and problem-solving to make higher education affordable, particularly for middle- and lower-income families. That’s why American Honors deserves a long look from more community colleges and four-year schools.” December 20, 2013 “Now, a new national program aims to pump up the rigor at certain community colleges, making them a more reliable on-ramp to a selective college.” December 19, 2013 “It’s a realistic national program designed to reduce the overall cost of a college education, without adding to the burden of student loans.” January 3, 2014 “What also makes American Honors stand out is its commitment to providing students a ‘high level of counseling and guidance to make sure they stay on the right track,’ said Kalman Chany, the co-author of the Princeton Review’s Paying for College Without Going Broke.”


Announcing Our 4-Year Partners Contingent Enrollment

Contingent - Select

Auburn University

Taylor University

Baldwin Wallace University

University of Rochester

George Mason University

Wabash College

Gonzaga University Illinois Institute of Technology Royal Roads University University of Arizona Whittier College Whitworth University

Contingent - automatic acceptance if student completes AH with a specific GPA determined by the 4-year partner. Contingent Select - new applicants to AH are pre-reviewed by a 4-year school based on specific criteria and may be granted a contingent place for when they complete the first 2 years with AH.

Transfer of Credit Ameherst College

Purdue University

Brandeis University

Smith College

Connecticut College

Swarthmore College

Denison University

The George Washington University

DePauw University

The Ohio State University

Georgetown School of Continuing Studies

University of Puget Sound

Middlebury College Mount Holyoke College Occidental College


Teaching Tips:

Activities for the First Five Minutes of Class “Does anyone have any questions?” Many instructors pose this query at the beginning of each class. But it’s not necessarily the most effective way to get students talking. Here are a few ideas for kick-starting active faceto-face or online discussions: • Background knowledge probes can be used to gauge what students know (or think they know!) before introducing new material or to assess their comprehension of asynchronous course material. Just one or two simple questions can reveal misconceptions that, unless challenged, might hinder learners’ ability to take in new information. Adobe Connect tech tip: Collect responses by using the “Poll” pod or ask students to set their status to “Agree” or “Disagree” for true/false or yes/no questions. • A picture is worth a thousand words… Tap into students’ creativity by asking them to interpret a visual image related to the course content, such as a political cartoon, graph or chart, diagram, map, or photograph. Adobe Connect tech tip: Use the “Share Document” option in the “Share” pod to upload and display files. • “Minute papers” (also known as “quick writes” or “free writes”) allow reflection prior to live discussion. Students write extemporaneously for two to three minutes in response to a prompt from the instructor. In addition to providing a great warm-up activity, the responses can also be collected and used for formative assessment. Adobe Connect tech tip:Volunteers can share excerpts of their writing through the “Chat” feature or by pasting text into the “Discussion Notes” pod. Remember that a participant must be promoted to “Presenter” status by the meeting host before s/he can add to the discussion notes.


Resource Exchange In each issue, we will post a few resources for you to check out. Have suggestions? Let us know so we can add them to the list! Resources for Activities for the First Five Minutes of Class: • Some Basic Active Learning Strategies (University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning): • Active Learning Activities (University of Pittsburgh Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education): • SI Strategies Showcase (Iowa State University): General Community College Education Resources: • Teachers College Community College Research Center: • Interesting Blog about Hybrid Pedagogy: • Chronicle of Higher Ed Blog on Teaching & Technology:

Did You Know? • Last year, 60% of AH transfer students were admitted to a top-100 university, including Stanford, Georgetown, Cornell, USC,Vanderbilt, Rutgers, University of Washington, Purdue, and many more! • Brigham Young University (Provo) and Purdue University are the top-100 schools with the greatest number of AH alums attending--3 each!

Students Speak What brought you to American Honors at CCS? What is your favorite aspect of the program?

Mackenzie Draper Community Colleges of Spokane 2nd Year, Graduating June 2014

The community of like-minded people really captured my attention about American Honors. I loved that the student ambassadors described how everyone was in the same boat of transition and stress and academic excellence. From the inside, I’m awed to see that this group of people at a small college campus has transformed the community’s learning experience in such a positive way. So community is what brought me into American Honors, and community is my favorite aspect of it.

What is your favorite way to spend time on campus? I love to be with fellow American Honors students, so I like being in the lounges. They are creative places to sit and chill and perhaps eavesdrop on conversations ranging from why the government isn’t harnessing more wind energy, to which Disney princess is your spirit animal? What are your hopes for next year? (School? Subject? Environment? Anything!) I hope to transfer to a challenging four-year university with a close community like the one I’ve become used to here with American Honors. I hope I get to adventure next year, whether that’s studying abroad or moving away to continue my education, because exploring the world is an education in itself. What is your biggest dream right now? I would have to say my most seemingly unattainable goal is to write a book! I have always loved writing, and I have a little bit already done, but I’ve always thought it was for other people. I’d love to eventually publish something, although that seems a distant reality. What are you most excited about for next quarter? Although this is contrary to all that I hold dear, I am really excited for the class “Introduction to Probability and Statistics.” I already have a good study group going into the quarter. Study groups are lifesavers for me, and they’re only possible because of that tight-knit community in American Honors!


What inspires you the most? I know it’s really cheesy, but my parents inspire me the most. They are the main influences in my life, and they speak to my life in a way that no one else could. Both of them have encouraged me to follow my dreams wherever they lead, whether or not they make sense to anyone else.

What brought you to American Honors? What is your favorite aspect of the program? I actually randomly applied during the spring, not expecting much from it, but to my surprise it has been the best decision I have made. The affordability and quality of education are by far my favorite aspects of the program. What is your biggest dream right now? I want to get my master’s in psychology, with the plan of becoming a family Alma Corado therapist. But looking at the bigger Ivy Tech Community College picture, my biggest dream is to be able 1st Year, Graduating 2015 to give back to my community the support and array of opportunities that have been put in my path. I want to help other students fulfill their goals and dreams by providing them with knowledge and resources. If I can make this into a career, I would be all set and extremely content with life! What’s your favorite study music this quarter? Honestly, anything! I make random playlists on YouTube, which include anything from Macklemore to the Black Keys. What are you most excited about for next quarter? Well, for this past quarter there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding me. So, the fact that mostly everything has been resolved is pretty exciting. I feel like I can finally get on top of stuff and move forward! What inspires you the most? The fact that I know I can accomplish whatever I set myself to inspires me. It’s not about succeeding or failing; it is about putting forth my best effort. That, in itself, pushes me outside of my boundaries.


What’s New on Quad?

Update for Adobe Connect Users As we grow the program and as instructors gain confidence with Adobe Connect, we no longer have the need or ability to have a Quad Support presence in every class session, however, Quad Support representatives will join your class sessions if you specifically request our assistance. Keep in mind that we are readily available during class hours to provide immediate support in the event an issue occurs. Students and instructors can reach us through the Quad help desk options listed below: 1.  Call us at (202) 670-2421. (recommended for urgent situations) 2.  Chat us through Quad. • Click on the question mark icon on the top right corner of the Quad homepage, and select “Contact Support.” • Select “Find someone to chat with” to chat in real time with a member of Quad Support.

3.  Submit a ticket through Quad by selecting “submit a support request” (see above).

4.  Email us at


Your feedback is very important to us. Since we will no longer be present in every Adobe Connect class meeting, we will be instituting a new short onequestion survey for you to rate the technical quality of each of your meetings. The question will pop up on Quad after you are finished with an Adobe class meeting.You will see the small survey (pictured below) in the corner of your screen.

Please fill out your response so that we can collect your feedback and confirm that the technology within the Adobe Connect classes is functioning properly and work with Adobe in instances where it needs improvement. If your rating is low, we will also give you the opportunity to give us some additional information in a text box. As always, please reach out to us with any questions.

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