Prof. MacDonald Named New Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning 

From left, Associate Professor Bonnie MacDonald, Administrative Assistant Veronica Bruscini and Senior Programmer/Consultant Marie Beardwood

From left, Associate Professor Bonnie MacDonald, Administrative Assistant Veronica Bruscini and Senior Programmer/Consultant Marie Beardwood

By Veronica Bruscini

Rhode Island College’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) begins its fourth year of operation with a change in leadership. Associate Professor Bonnie MacDonald of communication and film studies has been selected as the new director of the FCTL.

MacDonald enters at a time of transition for the center. The FCTL operated through a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, an award that concluded in November 2013. Workshops and professional development opportunities pioneered by founding director and professor of English Joseph Zornado and senior programmer/consultant Marie Beardwood established the FCTL as a vital campus resource.

"I am very pleased to be taking over the directorship,” said MacDonald. “I am fortunate to have Marie Beardwood and Veronica Bruscini on my staff. They have welcomed me and helped me come up to speed on the professional development offerings at the FCTL.”

MacDonald is dedicated to strengthening the FCTL’s existing programming – co-op workshops, intensive summer seminars, faculty orientations and programs tailored to adjunct instructors – but she is also eager to take on new challenges.

“We will continue to work closely with User Support Services to provide workshops on online teaching and learning,” she said, “and we will develop new programs that bring RIC faculty together as a learning community.”

One of MacDonald’s initiatives is the development of a mentoring program for new faculty. This mentorship will pair established RIC professors with new faculty, providing one-on-one advising through their first year at the college.

The FCTL is located in Adams Library, Room 405. Its doors are open to faculty members who have questions or concerns about teaching and learning, from syllabus design to grading and assessment. Faculty may walk in or schedule an appointment for support. Faculty members are also invited to share insights about their teaching practice and to lead a co-op workshop session. 

FCTL teaching fellow and associate professor of English Michael Michaud spearheaded the upcoming edition of RIC’s online journal “Issues in Teaching and Learning” (ITL). The spring 2014 volume of ITL focuses on community engagement, a topic particularly relevant to the college’s strategic plan. ITL will be released later this semester, and faculty members are encouraged to contribute to the next issue in 2015.

To learn more about the FCTL or to view the schedule of upcoming professional development opportunities, visit the center’s website at www.ric.edu/fctl. For assistance with planning a workshop, seminar or small group discussion, email fctl@ric.edu.

The FCTL serves faculty at every stage of their professional lives and promotes the professional growth and development of faculty as teachers and as scholars of teaching and learning.