Sullivan faculty retreat 2018 poster
building a culture of excellence poster

How’d we do?


8:00 to 8:45 | Registration
8:45 to 9:00 | Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:00 to 10:00 | Session One
10:15 to 11:15 | Session Two
11:30 to 12:20 | Lunch
12:20 to 12:55 | Keynote Address Jill Ferarri
12:55 to 1:20 | Message from the Chancellor and President
1:30 to 4:20 | Breakout Tracks

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Retreat Information


educational sessions schedule

Breakout Tracks

breakout track schedule

SESSION ONE: 9:00 – 10:00

Vocal Hygiene:

Protecting Your Hidden Asset

Abby Helton

“Why is my throat so sore after teaching? It’s not like I’m a famous singer.” For many educators having a sore throat is par for the course when beginning a new term. What if this was a sign of a much larger issue, but you had no idea there was even a risk. In this experience based session, we explore the unfortunate side of a teaching career- vocal disorders. In addition to discussing vocal disorders, we will address how educators are affected, how gender factors in, and what can be done to protect yourself. We only get one set of vocal cords, so we may as well take good care of them!


  • Discuss vocal disorders
  • How vocal disorders affect educators
  • How to protect your voice and vocal cords


Predictors of Online Student Success and What You Can Do About it

Sarah Nichter

The puzzle of predicting what factors make online students more successful has been the focus of many researchers, revealing a group of somewhat reliable predictors for student success such as prior experience in an online environment and individual characteristics. But what can

an online instructor do about those? More than you think! This research- based presentation will highlight predictors that faculty can take an active roll in affecting to increase the success of their online students. Attendees will leave with specific strategies to incorporate in their online classes.


  • To understand key factors for student success online
  • To understand practices to implement in an online class
  • To conceptualize new strategies to use in one’s own class



Building Meaningful Assessments in Online and Classroom Environments

Benjamin Stephens and Vinh Nguyen

This professional development is a demonstration and training session to build meaningful assessments within Blackboard that will help guide instruction. These assessments can enhance learning

in face to face classrooms and online environments. By using assessment driven instruction, faculty members can tailor their teaching to meet specific student needs. The focus of this training session will be finding student knowledge gaps, but we will briefly offer ideas for tailoring instruction based on assessment results.

Specifically, this training will focus on the creation of question pools inside Blackboard. During this presentation we will create questions and enter them into Blackboard using a specific procedure with naming conventions and pre-defined tags. We will also discuss maximizing feedback to learners through appropriate question rationales. We

will also discuss how to reuse these instructor-created questions in mixed reviews. Finally, we will look at controlling the students’ abilities to unlock these formative assessments using the adaptive release function to maximize students’ self-paced learning.


  • Define clear procedures for implementation of question banks for maximized usability
  • Write reusable assessment questions in Blackboard
  • Deploy assessments that are self-paced or paced by the instructor using the adaptive release feature in Blackboard


Mental Health in the Classroom:

Dealing with Students in Crisis with Learning Differences and Mental Health Issues

Anthony Santamassino

Increasingly I have students come to me for counseling and consultation regarding learning differences and/or mental health issues that interfere with their academic progress and performance in the classroom.

Instructors often get impatient with their inquiries or lack of understanding of the presented material. This is not intended to be an indictment of

the instructor, but a guide for instructors regarding learning differences, stress related issues, and other mental health challenges that the student may be facing. What we hope to do here is help instructors be mindful of the outside influences, stressors, and challenges faced by the student,

to recognize the signs of learning differences, whether or not they are “officially documented,” to respond with emotional first aid when a student begins to “meltdown” in class, to understand that students who are habitually tardy, or do not complete assignments, or seem hostile, may be exhibiting signs that are cries for help in dealing with life.

Our students are often non-traditional, they may be older and returning to school. They may be veterans with PTSD issues. They may have learning differences and challenges. Often, they do not have the support of their families, who think they are wasting time and money.


  • Attendees will learn to identify key signs of learning differences that may be causing a student issues
  • Attendees will learn response alternatives to engage a student and encourage successful progress toward a degree, thereby improving retention
  • Attendees will learn active listening skills to validate student feelings and concerns

SESSION TWO: 10:15-11:15

Mindlessness to Mindfulness

Emily Esposito

When you perform multiple tasks at once, your brain tends to shift into autopilot. Multi-tasking denies essential pauses in our mental space and contributes to increased levels of faculty and student burnout.

Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s present awareness on thoughts, emotions, or experiences. This session will focus on identifying personalized areas to incorporate mindfulness techniques into your everyday activities to increase efficiency, develop intentionality, manage stress, relieve anxiety and irritability, as well as cultivate positive relationships.


  • Attendees will define mindfulness and its potential benefits
  • Attendees will use tools to develop a personalized plan of mindfulness to manage stress and minimize anxiety
  • Attendees will envision using mindfulness strategies in instructional activities for the benefit of both faculty and students


Use of Online Technologies to Enhance Faculty’s In-Class Mobility and Support Group Active Learning Exercises

Amusa Adebayo

Modern-day classrooms comprise of students of diverse demographics, backgrounds, and learning personalities. Effectively engaging them requires careful design of learning contents, enriched with technology tools and active learning exercises. Proctoring during small groups’ active learning exercises require professors to move back and forth in order to provide the needed attention to group discussions and still project onto the white board for entire class information. Fortunately, some online tools such as the TeamViewer® (and SplashTop®) enable in-class faculty mobility, and Socrative® real-time assessment tool enables near instantaneous gauging of individual student’s preparation for, and contribution to, the group active learning exercises. The use of TeamViewer® to enhance class presentation and improve connectivity with students, and Socrative® for monitoring student learning from such events will be demonstrated.


  • Attendees will apply TeamViewer® and Socrative® technology tools to class discussions and active learning exercises
  • Attendees will enhance their mobility during lectures and group active learning activities using TeamViewer platform
  • Attendees will implement real-time, indirect monitoring of individual student’s contribution to, and potential benefit from, group active learning exercises using Socrative® real-time assessment tool


Best Practices in Online Instruction and Motivation of Students and Classroom Management Strategies

Jelena Vucetic

As a facilitator of adult learners, I incorporate the following values: – Development of the Whole Person – My approach to facilitating learning for adults is focused on the whole person: head, heart, and hands; intellect, sensibility, and skills. The goal is to facilitate development of learners’ leadership skills whose compassion and concern for others inspires them to contribute to the common good. – Academic Challenge – I focus on providing academic challenge to my students through the disciplined search for knowledge and the joy of discovery and understanding. In

my classes, students have an opportunity to strengthen their skills in critical reading and thinking, speaking and writing, research and

scholarship, as well as in the use of information technologies. Through open, friendly discussions, partnership in a collaborative process of learning and discovery is always strongly encouraged. – Integration – My teaching style focuses on developing students’ skills to integrate new learning with prior knowledge and personal experiences. My students are always encouraged to be life-long learners, and to continuously seek for improvement, timeliness and excellence in their skills. – Ethical Inquiry and Reflection – My teaching style is based on continuous challenge of students to examine the ethical aspect of their decision-making, as well as critical reflection on values. – Concern for Social Justice – I challenge my students to develop the analytical skills necessary to understand relationships of power and privilege in the contemporary society. I encourage them to develop respect for diversity, and a special concern for the poor and the oppressed. – Global Awareness – I encourage my students to appreciate the diversity of persons and cultures, the complexity of relationships in the new and evolving international order, and the impact of humans on the natural environment. – Leadership – I challenge my students to strengthen their personal leadership skills as well as their abilities to listen and to engage in dialogue in diverse settings.


  • Attendees will learn about the development of the whole person Attendees will reflect upon academic challenge
  • Attendees will explore relevance and application of knowledge to real-life situations


Developing Effective Self-Paced Learning Modules that Students Love:

A Hands-On Workshop

Barbara Jolly and Peggy Muller

Most students don’t learn best from a PowerPoint with lots of words on screen. Students like technology-based interactive learning tools. Both the presenters’ research and experience has shown that assessment performance also improves using tech-based learning tools. This session will be a hands-on workshop to try out available software used to build self-paced technology-enhanced learning modules. Learners will leave with a framework for building a short

self-paced learning module that could be used in one of their classes. Learners should bring a laptop or tablet, if they have one. Paper- based guides will be available, but to fully participate, learners will want to download a free trial version of one, or more, software tools. We know our students learn by doing. Let’s learn by doing, too.


  • Attendees will identify a topic in their area of expertise where a self-paced learning module would enhance student learning.
  • Attendees will develop an outline for a short self-paced learning module.
  • Attendees will create at least one frame for short interactive technology-based learning module

Dress Code

This year, those attending will have the opportunity to be excused from the business casual dress code and wear blue jeans with a professional shirt and footwear by bringing in either two canned goods or a $2 cash donation. Canned goods will be donated to the SU student food pantries, with any surplus going to a local charitable organization during the upcoming holidays. Cash donations will go to support the 2019 Kentuckiana Heart Walk. Please no shorts, inappropriate, or tattered attire. We look forward to seeing you at the retreat!


Lexington Faculty- A shuttle will be leaving the Lexington campus at 7:30 am on Friday, October 19th. If interested, please sign up in the faculty center.

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