2021-2022 MUS Teaching Scholars

Estee Aiken, Chair & Professor, Department of Education, UM Western 

Jennifer Brown, Associate Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Montana State University  

Michael Cassens, Associate Professor, School of Visual and Media Arts, University of Montana 

Ginger Collins, Associate Professor, School of Speech, Language, Hearing, & Occupational Sciences, University of Montana 

Anna East, Adjunct Faculty, Dawson Community College 

Karen Henderson, Department of English, Helena College

Katie Holick, Instructor, Sciences & Neuroscience, University of Montana 

Sarah Kloewer, Instructor, Department of English, Miles Community College 

Melanie Reaves, Associate Professor, Educational Theory & Practice, MSU Billings 

Phillip Sawatzki, Sciences, Helena College 

Sweeney Windchief, Associate Professor, Department of Education, Montana State University 

Innovations in Teaching & Learning

Perhaps no buzzword is more ubiquitous in the higher education sphere in 2021 than “innovation,” and with good reason. Throughout the past year and a half, faculty members have completely rethought how course delivery impacts learning, discovered new ways to replicate or reimagine the embodied experience of learning, redesigned content and assignments for remote teaching, transformed how students engage with one another to learn, and implemented universal design practices as faculty and learners alike have operated in multiple modalities. At the same time, university faculty across the country have responded in force to a national reckoning with systemic racial and social inequities and injustices. Last year’s cohort of MUS Teaching Scholars were recognized for their exemplary commitment to addressing those inequities in the classroom through strategies like diversifying curriculum, centering marginalized students’ experiential knowledge, and implementing other equity-minded pedagogical practices. Even before the pandemic, faculty members across the MUS were advancing bold, new teaching practices such as high impact practices or transparent education, among many others.

What these transformational practices have in common is innovation—rethinking, imagining anew, creating, implementing, iterating, and assessing transformational solutions to the most pressing challenges in teaching and learning. This year, the MUS Teaching Scholars program invites applications from faculty who are actively engaged in innovation in teaching and learning in the service of bettering student outcomes and achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

The MUS Teaching Scholars program seeks to award faculty members who are committed to building communities of practice around pedagogical innovations and whose innovations in teaching and learning share three principles:

  • explicit focus on specific pedagogical or curricular strategies in response to an identified challenge;
  • data-informed development, implementation, and assessment of strategies to drive iteration and adaptation; and
  • pedagogical strategies or practices that drive positive and equitable student achievement outcomes.