UGS Monthly

Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies


News on UMR's efforts to enhance its learning environment & the learning outcomes of students

UGS Monthly-Newsletter Archives

January 2005 Issue:

UGS recognizes advising excellence on the UMR campus

CERTI is counting on your opinion

More informational resources available for academic advisors

Upcoming faculty workshops

New Faculty Programs enhances the success of UMR faculty

Classroom technology increases student grades


UGS recognizes advising excellence on the UMR campus

Good academic advising contributes to the overall improvement of our educational environment. The acknowledgement of outstanding academic advising encourages greater support of advising activities on campus, reinforces the importance of advising excellence, and provides incentives and motivation to improve the relationship between UMR students, faculty and staff.

Beginning this year, the Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies will contribute to the continual improvement of our academic environment by recognizing seven members of the UMR community with an Outstanding Academic Advisor award.

Seven annual awards will be given to one faculty member from each school/college, one staff advisor, one freshman advisor, and one transfer student advisor. Each award recipient will receive $500, an awards plaque, and mention on the College/School Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards Plaque. Additionally, based on the outcome of the awards, the Selection Committee will make recommendation for submissions to the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) awards program.

Any faculty or staff member who serves as an academic advisor to UMR students is eligible to receive this award. Upper level administrators, including department chairs and directors, are not eligible for this award. The Selection Committee will evaluate nominations on the evidence of qualities and practices that distinguish the nominee as an outstanding academic advisor. All UMR students, faculty and staff are welcome to submit award nominations.

Nomination packets are due by 4:30 PM on March 25, 2005 to Dr. Jerry Bayless, Selection Committee Chair [c/o the Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies, 246 Schrenk Hall].

For more information on the awards criteria and the content required for the nomination packets, please visit our web site at: , or contact Amy Gillman, Office of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies, at 341-7600.

CERTI is counting on your opinion

CERTI is currently assessing two of its initiatives introduced during FS2004; the On Course Workshop (Aug 04) and the Leadership Luncheon Series. We are asking for your opinion on these two initiatives via a short, online survey. Be assured that your responses will be kept confidential and be used only in planning future CERTI events.

For those who attended the On Course Workshop we are hoping to discover what, if any, long-term impact the strategies presented have had on UMR classrooms. To respond to the On Course Workshop survey, visit

For those who have attended the Leadership Luncheon Series hosting Neil Fleming, Eric Mazur and Mel George, we are asking you to rate the effectiveness of these leadership dialogs. To respond to the Leadership Luncheon Series survey, visit

More informational resources available for academic advisors

The UMR academic advising conference series will continue through the Spring 2005 semester.

The Office of New Student Programs will offer two PRO Advisor Planning Sessions on Monday, January 31st and Tuesday February 1st from 3:00 - 4:30 PM in the Havener Center. These planning sessions will address orientation changes, registration procedures (PeopleSoft), programs available for new students, and information on scheduling, transfer credit, AP/CLEP credit, ACT/SAT scores, Math placement interpretation, and academic advising issues. Information on UGS’ academic advising recognition program will also be made available. If you would like to attend one of these sessions, please contact Patty Frisbee, Director of New Student Programs, at 341-7045.

UGS will hold a third academic advising conference in March 2005. The topic of this discussion will be Developmental Advising, a process based on a close student-advisor relationship, in which the advisor guides the student in utilizing a wide range of campus resources to assist them in achieving their educational, career, and personal goals. The Developmental Advising conference is scheduled for March 7, 2005 from 1:00-2:30 PM in the Havener Center. Refreshments will be served. If you are interested in attending this advising conference, please notify Amy Gillman at 341-7600 by Thursday, March 3, 2005.

If you were unable to attend the Fall 2004 advising conferences and would like copies of the information, please visit our web site at to download the conference materials.


Upcoming faculty workshops

Foster a deeper level of student understanding…heighten student engagement in the classroom...increase student responsibility for learning…

These phrases represent faculty responses to the question posed to by CERTI on what pedagogical classroom issues most interested them. To provide a response to this feedback, CERTI has identified a couple of well-known and highly respected speakers that can bring effective strategies in these areas to campus in spring 2005.

January 6-7th look forward to a workshop on learner-centered strategies from Deb Poese, who is a mathematics instructor and former Instructional Dean for Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Montgomery College in Maryland. Deb will be presenting the 2-day, highly-acclaimed On Course workshop. On Course is famous for its highly effective, learner-centered strategies. This semester CERTI is adding an additional component to the On Course workshop that was not featured in the FS2004 workshop. Deb Poese will be demonstrating how to incorporate these strategies into existing lecture notes or other class material. In addition, we will be formally announcing the availability of ongoing coaching opportunities to help ensure successful implementation of these strategies.

On February 25th mark your calendars for a 2-hour morning workshop on active learning directly followed by a 3-hour afternoon workshop on teaching designed for higher level thinking by Mike Pavelich, Chemistry Professor at Colorado School of Mines. Mike is affiliated with the American Society of Engineering Education, the cosponsor of these two workshops.

CERTI also hopes to bring Richard Felder to campus to host a workshop on how to perform successful educational research in the STEM disciplines. Richard M. Felder is the Hoechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is coauthor of Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, an introductory chemical engineering text now in its third edition. He has contributed over 200 publications to the fields of science and engineering education and chemical process engineering, and writes "Random Thoughts," a column on educational methods and issues for the quarterly journal Chemical Engineering Education.

Overall, we expect that the workshops scheduled for spring 2005 will meet and hopefully exceed the expectations of our faculty.

New Faculty Programs enhances the success of UMR faculty

New Faculty Programs at the University of Missouri-Rolla ( offer our new faculty, during their first few years on campus, a variety of programs and resources in support of their transition into the UMR community and the achievement of their academic goals. Programs Director Ron Bieniek explains, “New Faculty Programs complement any developmental efforts done by academic units. New Faculty Programs is comprised of two main components to enhance new faculty well-being and success: the Freshman Faculty (FF) Program and the New Faculty Teaching Scholars (NFTS) Program. The FF Program is for ‘freshman’ members of the faculty during their first year on campus. It’s designed to ease the transition into life at this institution and the surrounding community. The NFTS Program is intended for faculty in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of their tenure-line appointment. It’s specially designed to help early-career faculty enhance their academic and professional impact for their own benefit and for that of the university. Both of these programs strive to develop a sense of community and camaraderie amongst our new colleagues.¿?

The Freshman Faculty Program has many elements ( based on the general theme of “orienting faculty to UMR: a learning-intensive university¿?. In the week before Fall classes begin, our newest faculty are invited to a Welcome and Orientation Day. It begins with welcoming remarks from the Chancellor, followed by need-to-know-now session facilitated by seasoned campus faculty and administrators. Topics include: how and where to find out information, use of campus resources, how to purchase equipment, what should go in a course syllabus and policies, and where to go to have questions answered – information and tips that are now compiled in an online Freshman Faculty Manual ( After having lunch with campus administrators, chairs, and new faculty programs alumni, the freshman faculty hear from major unit representatives who describe our campus and surrounding community environments. Vice-Chancellor Malott then gives them a walking tour of campus, ending with a reception at the Chancellor’s Residence. Feedback from freshman faculty says that this really made them feel welcome and important beyond their department.

More in-depth develop of practical information, insights and tips is handled through meetings of the Freshman Faculty Forum on thirteen Wednesdays throughout the academic year. Various campus leaders cover topics such as research grant proposals, student psyche, library and IT resources, student engagement, professional and personal balance, and the faculty activity report. Several social gatherings (e.g., a holiday party at Bieniek’s) give opportunities to them and their families to get to know a larger circle of friends and associates in their new community.

The New Faculty Teaching Scholars (NFTS) Program is an exciting UM system-wide initiative that was launched in Fall, 2001 ( The NFTS program is intended for faculty in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of their tenure-line appointment. The program is specially designed to help early-career faculty enhance their academic and professional impact for their own benefit and for that of the university. The year-long program is an intra- and inter-campus effort that aims to build collegiality and to introduce innovative teaching methods.

The NFTS Program is dedicated to cultivating the success of new faculty selected for the program by providing developmental support through conferences, retreats, and local monthly forums and workshops with the general theme of “enhancing a culture of teaching and scholarship.¿? Participants from all four campuses gather together for three 2-day system-wide events: a course design retreat, a teaching renewal conference, and an academic portfolio composition retreat. There are monthly local luncheons for UMR’s New Faculty Teaching Scholars, with presentations on such topics as “tips for being a successful teacher-scholar¿? from three UMR NFTS alumni have who won NSF $400K CAREER awards. This year’s NFTS Program has sponsored workshops on “Making Better Use of Group Work¿? by Neil Fleming (New Zealand) and “Active Learning and Interactive Lectures¿? by Eric Mazur (Harvard University). The calendar for this year’s NFTS Program and with presentation material can be found at

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about New Faculty Programs, please contact Prof. Ronald Bieniek (

Classroom technology increases student grades

Leaders from UMR Student Council were hosts at the latest Personal Response System (PRS) demonstration held in late November. Student response was extremely positive as Harvest Collier, Professor of Chemistry, demonstrated how the PRS system has improved his classroom environment. STUCCO representatives indicated a strong interest in ensuring a wider campus distribution of this technology.

PRS technology consists of infrared transmitters (response cards) that are issued to the students, a receiver(s), and PowerPoint software plug-in. The instructor poses a question to the students via PowerPoint and the students respond using the transmitters. The responses are collected and assimilated instantly into graphical data, such as a pie chart, which is displayed back to the students. The result is greater student engagement and the instant assessment of student learning.

The Chemistry department agreed to pilot this technology in freshman Chemistry courses in fall 2004. Exam grades from all four sections have been compiled by Klaus Woelk, Associate Professor in Chemistry. Research has revealed that student grades are significantly higher this semester compared to fall 2003.

Overall, faculty and students are excited about the possibilities this technology brings to the classroom. Properly employed, PRS technology encourages student engagement, increases course material retention, and provides a timely assessment of student learning. It’s no longer a guessing game when it comes to student comprehension of the content. Plans are currently being formulated to make this product more broadly available in fall 2005.