Visiting scholar shares expertise with faculty

 Austin Community College’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) in April hosted visiting scholar Dr. James Rhem. A nationally recognized expert on teaching and learning, Rhem is the editor of the National Teaching & Learning Forum.


Visiting scholar Dr. James Rhem spent a month sharing ideas with faculty.

Throughout the month Rhem interacted with faculty in a variety of events. In his “Buffet of Fundamental Truths about Learning” sessions he led ACC teaching colleagues in discussions about educational principles. He talked with faculty about their classroom experiences at two FCTL Stammtisch sessions, and led Faculty Connection Series roundtable discussions with instructors seeking to help students become more successful.

Rhem also attended a FCTL advisory group meeting and observed faculty in their classrooms. He attended ACC’s annual awards dinner and learned about the college’s incredible faculty and staff.

Faculty said they valued the “delightful, deep, stimulating conversations” prompted by the various activities, and called Rhem a “wise moderator.”

The month of learning came to a close with a dinner cruise on Lady Bird Lake, where Rhem and faculty went on a scavenger hunt for teaching tips and inspiration from their colleagues, and explored ideas for teaching creatively within the constraints the classroom.

“The best part for me was listening to my colleagues speak about their teaching practices,” said Carol Hawk, professor of psychology. “In every story, I recognized their efforts to see the whole person standing in front of them, to meet their students where they are, and to find solutions for the very human problems their students face. It made me very proud to be a member of this faculty.”


Dr. Missi Patterson leads ACC’s Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning.

The FCTL plans to apply the lessons and perspectives learned from Rhem as it works to engage colleagues in its mission of “faculty guiding faculty.”

Read more about Rhem and his visit on the National Teaching & Learning Forum’s Facebook page.

~ By Dr. Missi Patterson, assistant dean of faculty development

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