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UNCW's ETEAL Announces Fall 2014 Applied Learning Teaching Fellows

Monday, April 14, 2014

UNCW's ETEAL: Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning will welcome new faculty leaders to the existing Applied Learning and Teaching Community (ALTC) core team in the fall, the university announced today. Tony Atkins, associate professor of English, will join James DeVita, assistant professor of higher education, as a faculty fellow; Nancy Ahern, associate professor of nursing, Jill Waity, assistant professor of sociology and criminology, and Rebecca Warfield, English lecturer, will serve as assistant fellows.

ETEAL is UNCW's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a primary requirement for the university's 2013 decennial reaccreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The ALTC Fellow Selection Committee noted that the pool of applicants was exceptionally strong; all finalists possessed a combination of great passion for enhancing student learning and concrete ideas driven by their expertise in their research fields.

Jess Boersma, interim director of ETEAL, said, "When selection committee co-chairs Candace Thompson and Paul Townend presented their findings, I realized that we didn't want to follow the same procedure of selecting one person and thanking the rest of the finalists for their interest. With a bit of work and creativity, we have a real opportunity to further multiply ETEAL´s capacity to work with faculty and staff who are committed to providing great applied learning experiences to our students."

Working under a collaborative model of concurrent and layered mentoring first conceptualized by ALTC founding members Diana Ashe, Carrie Clements, Jimmy Reeves, and Paul Townend, Atkins and DeVita will be responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the ALTC. Warfield, Waity and Ahern will take on special assignments targeted at addressing specific ETEAL priorities based on each faculty member´s expertise.

Over the past three years, UNC Wilmington professors, administrators, staff and students have worked diligently to develop the QEP - a "long-term, university-wide project meant to improve, enrich and enhance the student learning experience."

Applied learning takes place all over campus through directed independent study (DIS), internships, course-embedded projects that include hands-on experiences, community-based projects, honors projects, study abroad and undergraduate research.