Like any proper party, the inaugural Celebration of Teaching & Learning featured good music, a prize wheel, and of course, plenty of pizza and cupcakes. On March 9, the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) commemorated its second birthday at the Learning Commons where 50 faculty members, staff, and students gathered to honor the work they’ve accomplished over the past two years. Event organizers look forward to continuing the tradition by making it an annual event.
“CETL was born at the very beginning of the pandemic,” explained Lindsey Hamilton, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning. “This was our first opportunity to celebrate faculty, the work they’ve done, and the obstacles they’ve overcome along the way.”
Provost Constancio Nakuma and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Achievement Margaret Wood addressed the crowd and commended educators for rising to the challenge of remote and hybrid learning while still exemplifying CU Denver’s commitment to teaching excellence.
“We offer a wide range of opportunities for faculty to expand their teaching strategies and skill sets, including one-on-one coaching, on-demand workshops, course preparation retreats, and classroom observations,” said Hamilton. “Whether it’s your first year as an adjunct professor or you’ve been tenured for decades, we have something for everyone.”
Despite the curveballs COVID-19 threw their way, 915 faculty members participated in CETL programs over the past two years, totaling over 12,000 hours.
CETL’s mission aligns with university-wide efforts to become known as a people-centered best place to work, where according to the 2030 Strategic Plan, “new and cross-pollinating ideas flourish, where collaborative spaces for ideation and collaboration are plentiful, and where our employees belong and look forward to coming to campus every day to make an impact.”
When it comes to collaborative spaces, the Faculty Success floor of the Learning Commons has many—including lockers for faculty to store their materials, and spaces where they can meet with students, catch up with colleagues, or simply relax between classes.
Collaboration and connection are central to teaching, and they’re central to CETL’s many programs, which are designed to encourage not only the cross-pollinating of ideas, but to create a positive, supportive environment for all faculty and staff. And that’s something to celebrate.