RDC faculty engaged in a wide variety of scholarly activities
Spring term is well underway at Red Deer College, with students from a wide variety of programs taking courses in May and June. But people may be surprised to learn that students aren’t the only ones involved in scholarly pursuits during the warmer months: faculty from across the College are also engaged in a wide variety of academic endeavours.
“RDC faculty really are experts in their fields, and they are frequently involved in an extensive range of scholarly activities beyond their classroom instructional duties,” says Dr. Alison Jeppesen, Learning Designer with the Centre for Teaching and Learning at RDC.
Brandi Heather, Chair of the Research and Scholarship Committee, notes the importance of these activities. “Research and scholarly activity at RDC is an opportunity for faculty to pursue, create, discover and share specialized knowledge,” she says. “It is a chance to enhance our classrooms, labs and lectures with applied learning and teaching innovation.”
Faculty may undertake scholarly activity in a variety of ways, encompassing everything from traditional research in their fields of expertise to solving real world problems. During the 2016 winter term, faculty had the opportunity to share their projects in two Scholarly Showcases, where they interacted with their colleagues from RDC and members of the public to discuss their scholarly pursuits.
“We held two Scholarly Showcases, with the first taking place in January, and the Scholarly Showcase Finale happening in April,” Jeppesen explains. “This was a wonderful opportunity to bring people together to highlight the breadth and depth of scholarly activity that’s happening right here at Red Deer College.” Displays at each Showcase highlighted this breadth of activity, with faculty and staff exhibiting their expertise in topics ranging from “Internationalizing the Curriculum” to “Compositional Processes for Creating New Music” to “Mentoring Trades Instructors in Haiti.”
In addition to these public Showcase events, faculty and staff also had the opportunity to meet with and learn from each other on a regular basis during the weekly Scholarly Series sessions. “It’s so easy for all of us to get caught up in our busy work lives,” says Jeppesen. “The Scholarly Series provided an opportunity for faculty and staff to learn more about scholarly activity through discussion panels and sessions. By enhancing our own faculty’s awareness of the expertise and resources we have on campus, including the new RDC Research Common, we can help to support them in their scholarly pursuits.”
The Scholarly Series has been collaboratively organized by members of RDC Faculty Professional Development Committee, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, the Research and Scholarship Committee, the Research Ethics Board and the Library Information Common. And, with the positive response to the Series and Showcases this year, these groups are hoping to continue the activities in the fall term.
“Scholarly activity is an important part of what faculty bring to their roles,” Jeppesen says. “It’s important that we provide opportunities for connection and engagement about this, while also celebrating their achievements.”