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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Merger Moves: USciences hosts Pedagogy Showcase

Approximately 25 faculty and administrators from USciences and St. Joe’s attended the first session of the Pedagogy Showcase on April 1. PHOTO: DEVIN YINGLING ’22/THE HAWK

Faculty and administrators from St. Joe’s and the University of the Sciences gathered on April 1 for the first day of a two-part Pedagogy Showcase taking place this month. 

The first day of the showcase, initially set to take place in early January but was postponed due to covid-19, was held at USciences in West Philadelphia, and featured lectures and panel discussions regarding classroom operations and teaching methods, an informal lunch open to all faculty and the opportunity to tour USciences’ campus. 

The second day of the showcase will take place April 9 at St. Joe’s with similar programming. 

Usha Rao, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and director of the Office of Teaching and Learning at St. Joe’s, said the two-day showcase is an opportunity for faculty to have the chance to meet one another and begin to collaborate. 

“One of the things that we really liked was the opportunity to work together on something that’s a priority on both campuses: delivering the best teaching and learning that engages students,” said Rao, a co-planner for the showcase.

Madhu Mahalingam, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry and interim chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at USciences, headlined last Friday’s showcase with a discussion about how faculty can enable students to achieve higher levels of learning. 

Mahalingam, who also helped plan the two-day showcase through her role on the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee at USciences, said this first step for faculty collaboration is an exciting step in the merger process. 

“There are going to be lots of changes and challenges,” Mahalingam said. “But then, the collaborative spirit with which we put this program together and the other challenges that we’re working through together is really very positive and cause for a lot of hope.”

Andrew Peterson, PharmD, Ph.D., assistant provost for Faculty Development at USciences and professor of clinical pharmacy and health policy, worked with Rao to plan the showcase and said these events are only the start of collaboration between both faculty groups. 

“I’m hopeful that the merger will bring together a stronger faculty that will then bring a more diverse curricula to an even greater number of students,” Peterson said.

Aubrey Wang, Ph.D., professor of educational leadership at St. Joe’s, attended the first day of the showcase last week. Wang, also a member of the Office of Teaching and Learning Advisory Board at St. Joe’s which helped prepare the showcase, said she appreciated the chance to begin to meet fellow faculty. 

“As a faculty member, my intention is always to understand our USciences peers a little bit better and to hear what they’re happy and proud about in terms of their teaching,” Wang said. “And also, having a chance to interact with one another in a friendly way and begin to just build a connection because I believe, at least on the faculty perspective, we want this merge to be successful.” 

Rao said having the Pedagogy Showcase as an icebreaker between faculties allows for parties on both sides to learn more from one another and become exposed to different techniques for successful classroom operation.

“I think this is a very energizing process, and we hope that the campus community can benefit from that,” Rao said. 

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