Center for Educational Excellence

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April 2015 Upcoming Events!

Faculty Mentorship: How to Advise an Honors Thesis

Faculty Mentorship

Thursday, April 9, 2015

12:15 to 2:15 p.m., MRH (SOLES) 131

Presented by:

Dr. Jim Bolender, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Veronica Galvan, Associate Professor, Psychology

Dr. Stephen Conroy, Professor, School of Business & Administration

Mentoring Honors student theses is a rewarding and educational experience. Each year, Honors students rank completing a senior thesis as the most valuable experience in the program and working with theses advisors as one of their most meaningful relationships. For faculty, the program gives them a chance to mentor promising scholars who are often headed to graduate programs.

In order to graduate from USD’s Honors Program, students must complete the Honors Senior Thesis Colloquium, a capstone course for seniors in the program. During the colloquium, students present the results of independent and original inquiries to faculty and peers in the Honors Program. During this luncheon discussion, experienced faculty members will answer questions and give guidance on the thesis advising process. And there is food!  Come join us for an insightful and useful look at mentoring Honors theses. RSVP Here

View an electronic flyer for this event here.

CCTC Catholic News Round-Up


Thursday, April 9, 2015

3:30 p.m., UC 107

Please join us for an open forum to discuss current  Catholic news developments. Sister Tobie Tondi of THRS and Timothy Clark of Chemistry will serve as commentators to direct and inspire our conversation. Come and discuss items such as the appointment of Robert McElroy as next Bishop of San Diego, Pope Francis’ call for a Holy Year of Mercy, the Vatican’s use of the just war doctrine to combat ISIS,  the canonization of Junipero Serra, the upcoming Synod on the Family, and anything else of interest. Cookies and coffee will be avaiable for your enjoyment.


Fabulous First Friday: The Continuum of Pedagogy from Classroom to Online


Friday, April 10, 2015

9:30 to 11:00 a.m., MRH (SOLES) 135

Presented by:

Dr. Mark Nissen, Professor, Information Sciences; Director, Edge Center

Just imagine how happy your students would be if they could spend an additional week at home after the spring, summer, winter or other breaks, yet still learn the required course material. Just imagine how happy you would be if you were not required to spend time in the classroom during those weeks, yet still teach the required course material. This is possible through integration of an online module into your existing course. You might want to shift your pedagogic approach to that week’s coursework in order to match the online environment and activities that you choose, however. Indeed, a continuum exists between classroom and online pedagogy, and far from a binary, all-or-nothing proposition, one can deftly integrate different approaches, techniques and technologies from anywhere along this continuum.

This FFF is intended to identify different waypoints along the pedagogic continuum and to articulate practical approaches to integrating one or more online modules into existing classroom courses.

Dr. Mark Nissen has 20 years’ teaching experience at top universities (e.g., Berkeley, Stanford, Naval Postgraduate School), working extensively for the past dozen years with online and blended curriculum development, course design and instruction. He is passionate in the classroom, online, and every mode in between. RSVP Here

View an electronic flyer for this event here.

Adjunct Faculty Reception

Adjunct Faculty Reception

Friday, April 10, 2015

4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Olin Hall East Patio

To show our appreciation for your vital contributions to our academic community, the Center for Educational Excellence will be hosting a reception for all adjunct/part-time
USD faculty on Friday, April 10, 2015 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the Olin Hall East Patio. This casual and informal reception will give you plenty of time to mingle with your peers
and other in attendance.

We appreciate how busy you are at this time of the year. This event is designed to give you some time to relax and enjoy the company of your USD colleagues. Plenty of wine
and appetizers will be served.


View an electronic flyer for this event here.

Post Doc Research Colloquium: Aerosol Particles and their Impacts on Climate  

Friday,  April 17, 2015

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., MRH (SOLES) 145

Aerosol particles, such as dust, haze, and soot lofted in the atmosphere, are an important type of air pollution. In addition to being associated with heart and respiratory health problems, these particles affect climate change by absorbing and reflecting sunlight and altering cloud formation. Knowing the physical and chemical properties of particles and how they change is needed to predict and lessen these negative effects. The first study I will discuss involves brown carbon, a type of particle that was recently discovered to absorb moderate amount of sunlight, and therefore may play a significant but unknown role in climate change. To help determine how brown carbon aerosol forms, we evaporated droplets containing different carbonyls, amines, and ammonium sulfate and measured the absorption of the resulting particles. Finally, I will describe a field campaign in the Sierra Nevada foothills that analyzed how soot particles from the Central Valley can act as good cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and possibly affect regional precipitation.


Preceptor/LLC Theme Team Training


Friday, April 17, 2015

3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Camino Hall's Shiley Theatre

This training-and-workshop is an opportunity for preceptors to receive essential updates related to the Preceptorial Program and the Living Learning Community Program, and also includes a break-out session for preceptors and preceptorial assistants to meet with each other and begin a rapport that could continue in their respective roles in the Preceptorial program. Even more significantly, this is an opportunity for all members of the LLC Theme Team (Preceptors, Preceptorial Assistants, Faculty Directors, Theme Coordinators, Resident Assistants, Community Directors, etc.) to meet as a group and begin working on theme development and event integration for the 2015-2016 iteration of the Preceptorial and Living Learning Community Programs. RSVP Here

CEE Faculty Writing Retreats are Back for the Spring!

Writing Retreat

Cosponsored by:


Monday,  April 27, 2015

1:00 to 4:00 p.m., MRH (SOLES) 135

Back by popular demand—The Center for Educational Excellence, at the request of Lauren Benz (Chemistry & Biochemistry), has organized a private space to foster the writing productivity for ALL interested faculty.  The aim is to assign a block of time that will help faculty incorporate writing into their schedules. The format for these sessions is for faculty to work quietly on their own items, and with plenty of coffee and snacks provided. RSVP Here

Please note: you may drop in and out as your time allows.

View an electronic flyer for this event here.

New & Junior Faculty Reflection

Wine and Cheese

Thursday, April 30, 2015

4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Founders Faculty Lounge

Come enjoy food and drink as you reflect back on this academic year and think about plans for the future. In order to examine faculty experiences, and improve support mechanisms, a series of reflection questions will be presented. Facilitators advocate an open and honest discussion about new faculty impressions of their time at USD. RSVP Here

View an electronic flyer for this event here.

April 2015 Newsletter

For a digital copy of this month's newsletter click here.

USD Just Read 2014-2015

Stuffed and Starved


USD Just Read! encourages literacy and deep dialogue on social themes presented through outstanding literature. The program promotes active learning and reading not only within the USD community but within the San Diego community at large. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the book selection is Stuffed and Starved, written by Raj Patel.

Visit the USD Just Read! page for more information.

Stuffed and Starved in the Classroom

To learn more about how USD faculty are using Stuffed and Starved in their courses, click here to read February's interview with Kokila Doshi.

Upcoming Events!


• Women and Gender Studies Program and Women's Center  Banquet


• Exploration of Wellness and Balance


• CEE Recognition Reception