Otterbein University Integrative Programs Gain National Attention
Dr. Amy Jessen-Marshall
Otterbein University's unique interdisciplinary and integrative programs, including the First Year Experience, Senior Year Experience, Five Cardinal Experiences, and the Integrative Studies curriculum, are gaining increased local and national attention. On Jan. 26-29, Otterbein faculty and administrators will give various presentations about how Otterbein is using its Integrative Studies curriculum to address global challenges at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) annual meeting in San Francisco, CA.
Amy Jessen-Marshall, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of University Programs, has been invited to speak on a panel titled, Integrating the Sciences, Arts, and Humanities: Global Challenges and the Intentional Curriculum. She will also present a workshop with Sarah Fatherly, chair of Integrative Studies and associate professor of history and political science, and Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, for college and university faculty and administrators about developing a globally positioned general education program.
Jessen-Marshall will also give a presentation with Melissa Gilbert, director of the Center for Community Engagement, and administrators from Wagner College (NY) about best practices for experiential learning and the role of the Five Cardinal Experiences at Otterbein.
Jessen-Marshall said the presentations put Otterbein at the center of national conversations and draws important attention to Otterbein and the work it is doing. "President (Kathy) Krendl talks about not wanting Otterbein to be the 'best kept secret.' Presenting at the national AAC&U meeting makes sure our work is not secret," she said. "The recognition is important for all the faculty, staff, and students who have participated in and worked so hard to develop and move these projects forward on this campus. In many ways I feel it is my responsibility to share this work and celebrate the successes of so much curricular innovation on behalf of our community."
Since 2005, Otterbein has been involved in AAC&U projects, including Shared Futures: General Education for Global Learning, a network of 16 colleges and universities working together to develop a curriculum that uses general education to build connections between global learning and citizenship; and Bringing Theory to Practice, a project which supports campus programs that demonstrate how engaged learning contributes to the cognitive, emotional, and civic development of students.
"Being part of these national projects brings us great collaborations and partnership, and presenting at the meeting with colleagues both from Otterbein and beyond is an important part of maintaining these partnerships and developing new ones," Jessen-Marshall said.
In March 2011, Jessen-Marshall will present with Joan Esson, assistant professor of chemistry, at another AAC&U meeting in Miami, FL, which will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning. Jessen-Marshall said this presentation will focus on Otterbein’s STEM successes including integrative science courses, interdisciplinary research, and targeted scholarships for undergraduate students.