Calendar: Upcoming CIRTL events

Calendar: Upcoming CIRTL events

For more information on the content of each event, you can log in to the CIRTL webpage.

CIRTL Cross-Network Events are held in Blackboard Collaborate ( , which opens 30 minutes before the session.

  1. Select the "Join the Session" link for an event. (30 minutes before the event)
  2. Enter the required information and click “Log In.”
  3. For Session Login Name, enter your name and institution.

Note: You do not need a CIRTL account in order to attend an event.

SEPTEMBER SERIES THEME: Promoting Diversity and Success in STEM Education

Explore societal and institutional issues that promote or impede underrepresented minority student success in STEM higher education. The goal of the sessions will be to build audience awareness and understanding, and to promote discussion around the issues. Each session will end with small group discussion to allow sharing and provide a forum for participants to take their ideas to action.

September 9, 2014: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Cultivating African-American Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Career Choice and Aspirations

Dr Charleston will explore the issues that play into an African American student's decision to pursue a degree in Computing Science, with a particular focus on the factors that are salient to degree attainment. Dr Charleston's work also explores novel pipeline programs for creating and supporting African American Computing Science faculty. This session will conclude with time for participants to discuss and reflect on what they will do with this information on their campus.

Presenter: Dr LaVar J. Charleston, Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate, Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (WEIU Lab).

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

September 16, 23 and 30, 2014: 12.00pm - 1.00pm TBA - watch this space

OCTOBER SERIES THEME: Teaching and Learning in the American System: International Graduate Students and Post-Docs

Provide international graduate student and postdoc instructors with information to assist with their transition to teaching in the American system. We will align the topics of these webinars with an online learning community that we are currently developing.

October 7, 2014: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Student-Teacher Interactions: What to Expect

Due to the cultural differences faced by international TAs, they will in many circumstances make incorrect judgments about students' behavior. In addition, problems often arise in classrooms due to American students' lack of awareness of the cultural backgrounds of international TAs. This session will place emphasis on helping international TAs to recognize and handle acceptable and unacceptable student behaviors, and to understand what expectations students have towards them as TAs, as well as how and to what degree TAs should meet these expectations.

Presenter: Molly Jolliff, Assistant Director, College Center for Academic Support, University of Rochester

Lijuan Shi, CIRTL Coordinator, University of Maryland

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

October 14, 2014: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Difficulties and Challenges for International TAs in the United States

The university community is enriched by the presence of international teaching assistants. However, from countries where English is not the main language or the educational system differs from the U.S., many international TAs face new challenges every time they teach. This session will address the kinds of obstacles and challenges senior TAs have encountered in the classroom as international teaching assistants, and how they overcame them. in the question and answer session, senior international TAs will provide tips to help first year TAs to make the transition to teaching at American universities.

Presenters: University of Maryland TA panel

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

October 21, 2014: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Using Your International Background to Your Advantage in the Classroom

Cultural differences have always been addressed as a barrier for international TAs. However, if international TAs could apply their cultural backgrounds as advantages in their classrooms, not only would this barrier be removed, but their classes would also be broadened by integrating perspectives from other cultures. This session will present some examples of integrating ITAs' background into their classes and will allow ITAs to explore how their backgrounds can be used in the classroom.

Presenter: Molly Jolliff, University of Rochester

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

October 28, 2014: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Grading and Effective Feedback in the American System

Because grades are used as evaluations of student work, it's important that grades accurately reflect the quality of student work and that student work is graded fairly. it's no surprise that grades are a source of anxiety for students and that grading is often a stressful process for international TAs, as grading with accuracy and fairness can take a lot of time for international TAs due to their different international backgrounds. This session will introduce the American grading system, place an emphasis on strategies that can decrease the stress of grading for TAs, and provide suggestions for how to provide meaningful feedback to students and minimize student complaints about grading.

Presenter: Sabrina Kramer, Assistant Director, University of Maryland

Emily Grossnickle, Coordinator of Graduate Program, University of Maryland

Lijuan Shi, CIRTL Coordinator, University of Maryland

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

NOVEMBER SERIES THEME: The Academic Job Search

This series will look at the various aspects of a faculty member's position; offer strategies for managing personal and institutional expectations; and provide ideas about creating the right career path.

November 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2014: TBA


JANUARY AND FEBRUARY SERIES THEME: Educational Innovation and the Active Classroom

Teaching methods that involve active learning and peer learning are beneficial, but these broad ideas can be implemented in many ways. In this series each session will cover one successful innovation by instructors across the network who have found ways to enhance learning in STEM classes.

January 6, 13, 20, 27 and February 3, 10, 17 and 24 2015: TBA

MARCH SERIES THEME: Surviving the First Year as Faculty Member

This series will focus on the basics, as well as the nuances, of finding, interviewing, and being offered the 'right' academic position based on students' skills and interests.

March 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2015: TBA

APRIL SERIES THEME: Personal Financial Management

This series will help graduate students and postdocs build knowledge and confidence about personal finances through presentations and panel discussions by faculty and staff from the CIRTL network and beyond.

*Note: March 31 will be included in this series and no session will be held on April 14.

March 31, 2015: 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Strategies for Success in Personal Finance

This session is offered by financial planning graduate students - for graduate students. We will focus on the essential building blocks of personal financial success. This interactive session will help current graduate students and postdocs develop critical thinking skills for financial decision-making both now and when you start your career. Learn about tools and strategies for budgeting, becoming informed consumers, and interacting with financial service professionals. The session will be tailored to participant needs; you will be asked to complete a short survey beforehand.

Presenter: Abby Belvin, Graduate Associate in Family Financial Planning, Iowa State University

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

April 7, 2015: 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Investment Basics: Saving for Your Life Goals

As you start to accumulate money to fund your future goals, do you know how and where to best put that money to work? Just placing your money in a savings account will not cut it as taxes and inflation will quickly erode your buying power. The world of investing can be extremely intimidating, and the messages we hear from the media, our family and friends can be confusing. This session will focus on basic investment fundamentals. By the end of the session, you will be able to describe th the buiding blocks of an investment portfolio in relation to your tolerance for risk and your investment time horizon.

Presenter: Paul Strebel, CPA, CFP, co-founder of the Strebel Planning Group

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

April 21, 2015: 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Financially Inclusive Teaching and Advising

Many undergraduate institutions include students from a range of economic backgrounds and circumstances. Costs associated with individual courses and academic experiences can be challenging for some students to meet. Providing access to higher education doesn't stop with providing financial aid and loans to cover tuition, it includes designing academic experiences with sensitivity to student financial abilities. This session will focus on principles to guide you and actions you can take as a teacher and adviser to consider and address financial hurdles your students may face in courses and other academic experiences.

Presenters: A.T. Miller, Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Diversity, Cornell University

William Horning, Associate Director, Office of Academic diversity Initiatives, and Director, Student Opportunity Programs, Cornell University

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)

April 28, 2015: 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Student Loans: What You Need to Know

With student loans often in the news, and your role as someone having or working with students who have them, it is important that you understand both federal and private student loans. This session will focus on loans as a means to help finance higher education, and will touch on national trends. We will clarify the different types of student loans available, and will discuss how to manage your spending while in school and borrow smart. Planning to repay a student loan is critical in this process; the session will show you how to estimate what you will owe and help you understand repayment options, including deferments/forbearance, forgiveness/discharges, and consolidation.

Presenter: Gretchen Ryan, Associate Director of Customer Service, Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, Cornell University.

Login here (open 30 minutes before the start of the event)