CTL Course Activity Grantees (March 2018 Application Cycle)

Elizabeth Wilcut Connolly, Department of Physics, Harvey Mudd College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to Jan 31, 2019

This grant will enable the Harvey Mudd physics department to radically redesign our core laboratory course into one that will implement inquiry and project-based learning. Physics education research shows that students are more engaged if they are able to ponder the research questions, decide how best to answer them, make decisions regarding experimental design, test and retest their ideas, and ultimately present their results. Students will learn fundamental techniques of experimental physics while investigating devices such as acoustic levitators, solar-powered motors, and LCD panels.

Kimberly Drake, Department of Writing, Scripps College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to May 15, 2019

This grant will assist in transforming an existing course, Writing 175: Protest Writing and Rhetoric, for the spring 2019 Inside-Out program. The previous version of the course required students to use online resources extensively to find texts and videos on social justice issues and also to do activities that required them to move around campus. With the support of the CTL grant, I will schedule course planning meetings this summer with my colleague, novelist Victoria Patterson, who worked with me for years at Crossroads. Having completed the Inside-Out training week, I will be able to work with Victoria to redesign the course texts and activities with the training guidelines in mind. The resulting course will provide more inspiring writing prompts, better group projects, and more appropriate readings, all of which will result in more investment in the course by all students and stronger connections between inside students and Claremont students.

Findley Finseth, Department of Biology, W.M. Keck Science Department
Barbara Fortini, Assistant Professor of Genetics, School of Pharmacy, Keck Graduate Institute

Grant active: July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019

Genomics is revolutionizing the study of medicine and biology, but can be challenging to adapt to classrooms. One key issue is that genome-scale sequencing projects are often performed off-site by specialized facilities, thus depriving students of hands-on experiences in genome sequencing. Funding from the Center for Teaching and Learning will enable the acquisition of nanopore sequencers, along with training to use the equipment. This will allow for the development of laboratory activities utilizing the technology for both undergraduate and graduate students. With the acquisition of nanopore sequencers, students at both KGI and the Keck Science
Department will be able to engage with every step of a course-based genomics project—from experimental design and sample preparation to sequencing and analysis. Importantly, because the training will be advertised and offered to any interested faculty, instructors across the 7Cs can incorporate nanopore sequencing into their classes or research. This grant will thus provide a platform for course-based research experiences in modern genomics for students across the Claremont Colleges.

Anne Harley, Department of Music, Scripps College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019

Very few published performing editions of art songs by African American composers are available to faculty, students, and professional performers seeking to include works from this group of composers in their studies and performances. Funding from the CTL will help Harley, in conjunction with Prof. Emery Stephens (U. Arkansas–Little Rock) and Prof. Jodi Goble (Iowa State University) to create a free digital musical repository resource collecting performing editions and recordings of a selection of art songs by African American composers, starting with the art songs of Los Angeles composer Harold Bruce Forsythe (1908-1976), in downloadable digital performing editions of scores (developed from manuscript copies in archives), accompanied by recorded models of performances by professional vocalists and collaborative pianists, and scholarly contextualizations of Forsythe’s output within the African American community in Los Angeles. Encouraged by the free availability of these scores, recordings, and scholarly research, faculty and students from the Claremont Colleges, as well as those outside the consortium, will be able to download these scores, study this music, and program recitals that include more art songs by African American composers.

Karl Haushalter, Departments of Chemistry and Biology, Harvey Mudd College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to Jan 15, 2019

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange model brings together students from the Claremont Colleges and incarcerated students in a prison-based classroom for a full-credit college course. This grant will assist Prof. Haushalter in adapting the readings, assignments, and in-class activities of his existing course on HIV-AIDS for the unique opportunities and challenges of the prison teaching environment. Students enrolled in the fall 2018 HIV-AIDS class will benefit from the intentional building of relationships across social difference in the context of a course that critically examines a major public health concern. Other Claremont faculty engaged in hands-on justice education initiatives will benefit from the lessons learned and shared through the Consortium.

Tobias Hecht, Department of Anthropology, Pomona College
Alejandro Guerrero Vargas ’19, Anthropology, Pomona College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018

In the past, students of ANTH 105 Methods in Anthropological Inquiry have typically chosen a topic of individual interest and conducted a term project. Anecdotal and personal experience suggest that many students leave their ethnographic project for the end of term and work through it very quickly; they also lack the opportunity to think through a problem with their peers in a collaborative fashion. Funding from the CTL will allow us to redesign the course with a step-by-step approach to the essentials of ethnographic research—e.g., participant observations, qualitative interviewing, research design, social mapping, and analysis of qualitative data—with weekly hands-on assignments; at the end, rather than a hastily prepared term project, students will present a proposal for the research they would conduct if they had a year to study their topic of interest. It is our expectation that they will benefit by working collaboratively on a common theme, finding relationships and complementarity between their own research and that of their peers. In response to student interest, we have selected the common theme of studying mental health through anthropology for the Fall 2018 term.

Barbara Junisbai, Organizational Studies, Pitzer College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange, in fall 2018 Professor Junisbai will offer a course on “College.” Together, students from The Claremont Colleges and the California Rehabilitation Center will explore the aspirations we bring to—and the challenges facing—higher education in the U.S. today. We will situate college within the context of American society, politics, and the economy, examining college as an institutional microcosm of broader national dynamics, but with local variations and responses. The CTL Course Activity grant will fund a summer student assistantship to work with Professor Junisbai on course design, selection of source materials, and thinking through authentic and feasible assignments. Funding will enable the student assistant to gain first-hand experience in course design and in reflecting on her own college experience through an academic lens. For the professor, working closely with a research assistant in the development phase will enhance the student- and learning-centered pedagogy undergirding the course. The ultimate benefit will accrue to enrolled students, as this learning model will connect/bridge extant scholarship and knowledge, one the one hand, and student interests, experiences, and values, on the other.

Daniel Livesay, Department of History, Claremont McKenna College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to Dec 15, 2018

Beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, each of the undergraduate Claremont colleges will offer courses at local prisons through the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. For Claremont McKenna College, this will be the first time that such courses will be offered. In order to help introduce CMC faculty to the opportunities and challenges of prison education, this grant will fund two separate events: a workshop on prison education and syllabus development for instructors, and a public talk about the experiences and effects of prison education. For the first event, I will create a justice education syllabus for faculty to have on hand that will enable to them to learn about the crucial dimensions of teaching inside prisons, and the particular adaptations needed for students from small liberal arts schools who take part in the program. For the second event, CMC will host one of the founders of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to give a talk on the results of prison education. Both of these events will benefit faculty who will eventually go on to teach in this program, as well as students who are interested in enrolling in those classes. They will provide crucial context about the history of prison education, as well as concrete strategies for optimizing classroom experiences inside prisons.

Julia E. Liss, Department of History, Scripps College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to May 20, 2019

This grant will help me to revise History 70b SC “Introduction to Modern U.S. History” as an Inside-Out course for Spring 2019. The work will focus on making materials accessible and equitable for all students. The course will enhance—and broaden—the learning of everyone (students and faculty) by engaging fundamental questions of U.S. history and developing the interpretive and critical skills of historians.

Tammi J. Schneider, Department of Religion, Claremont Graduate University
Ruqayya Y. Khan, Department of Religion, Claremont Graduate University

Grant active: June 1, 2018 to June 31, 2019

The Critical Comparative Scriptures Program in the Religion Department at CGU is undergoing significant redesign because of the departure of its former chair, a new faculty cohort, and a redesign of all programs within the Religion Department. This grant will enable the key faculty in the program to redesign the signature courses in the program to shape not only the content of the courses and how these courses work together (while minimizing overlap), and also using the courses to frame the student experience in coursework. The template design of each course will allow other faculty to take the outline and apply the data set in their respective field and specialty to teach said course in the future, and will allow students to do the same with their research focus.

Matthew Spencer, Department of Engineering, Harvey Mudd College

Grant active: May 1, 2018 to Sep 30, 2018

Laboratory activities are an omnipresent component of engineering education, but there are few studies that link the way laboratories are presented to student learning outcomes. This grant will enable such a study by providing support for a student to write assessment questions and begin designing interventions in Harvey Mudd’s electrical engineering curriculum. The assessment questions will allow for detailed analysis of how students learn electrical engineering concepts, and a better understanding of laboratory pedagogy could have wide impact on how engineers are taught.