On Oct. 3, faculty and staff of the Graduate School gathered in historic Davidge Hall for our second annual Convocation.
The day began with encouraging remarks by UMB President Dr. Jay A. Perman on the progress and spirit of the Graduate School. He urged us to dare greatly as we proceeded, both for the day and for our ongoing collective efforts in the school. Dr. MJ Bishop, associate vice chancellor and director of the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation of the University System of Maryland, provided an inspirational keynote address on change, innovation, technology, and the evolving landscape of healthcare education.
Dr. Flavius Lilly then introduced a panel of speakers who briefly told us about their new programs in the Graduate School. We heard from Dr. Karen Gordes about the new Physician Assistant Leadership and Learning Academy (PALLA). Ms. Virginia Rowthorn discussed a variety of new global education outreach efforts, including the Universitywide Internationalization effort and Global Health Innovation program with Costa Rica. Mr. Nick Kouwenhoven shared details on the Academy of Lifelong Learning. Dr. Christina Cestone discussed the online PhD in Health Professions Education (HPE) launching in fall 2020. Ms. Courtney Jones Carney explained the purpose and topics being taught in the new Intercultural Leadership Program. Dr. Diane Martin explained the variety of programs on gerontology and aging available, while Dr. Jim Kucher rounded out the segment by sharing his work on the new master’s program in Health and Social Innovation.
After the panel, faculty made their way over to the Gladhill Boardroom at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, where they spent the afternoon engaging in faculty development activities. Dr. David Kiel, clinical associate professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Social Work and author of Developing Faculty Mentoring Programs: A Comprehensive Handbook, facilitated the discussions. They discussed the proposed appointment, promotion, and tenure (APT) policy, which will shift the current titling convention of lecturer and senior lecturer currently used by the Graduate School to traditional titles of assistant, associate, and full professor, consistent with other schools.
The second and final faculty workshop was a discussion on practices and ideas that can support faculty development and success in the Graduate School. In small groups, faculty discussed their ideas and then voiced them to the large group. Dr. Kiel compiled the suggestions, which included ideas such as annual reviews for faculty to ensure they are on track for promotion, mentoring opportunities for faculty, ensuring adequate support structures for growing programs, and creating more communities of practice. Dr. Christina Cestone, executive director of the new Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), and Dr. Michelle Pearce, faculty liaison for the FCTL, briefly spoke about how the center can assist faculty with a number of development issues that were raised in the discussion.
— Michelle Pearce, PhD and Christina Cestone, PhD