A Strategy for Survival

08/21/2016 15:30

“The Three Musketeers”

That’s what Kristin Minetti, Carol Trivedi, and David Agoff called themselves during most of the daunting first-year lecturer experience. David says “We all started last August 25th, and we knew there was a lot to learn. [Giving ourselves a team identity] helped us to connect and assist each other during the first ‘crazy semester.’”

 

The First Year Faculty Experience

David Agoff thinks that “It’d be interesting to have some ongoing orientation meeting of a formal but relaxed nature to help new faculty get oriented, because there is always something to learn.”  No single person could ever be a resource, and, in fact, we are always discovering “new old things.” Logistics aside – those are always challenging with our busy schedules– that sounds like a great idea.

Zach Justus, the campus’ Interim Director of Faculty Development, and his team are incredibly helpful in orienting new faulty and assisting everyone in finding new resources to assist us in our work. No matter how long an educator has been around, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching offers a lot, including workshops on how to develop ideas into research prospects, write up studies, find funding for research, etc. Lecturers and tenure-track faculty alike took advantage of this help in the past year. 

But personal information-sharing is important, too.

I’ve been here more than five years, and yet I didn’t know about something Kristin Minetti shared with me recently. You may already know of the Prometric Testing the university offers, and how, specifically, it can help us collect data about our students’ educational progress. If not, here’s the information link and a few thoughts from Kristin:

http://www.csuchico.edu/test/

" I use this for all of my exams, especially when I have a new prep or am redesigning a course. It helps me look at how effective my exams are.  The test center provides special scantrons for the students that asks for their Student ID.  From there, they can analyze the tests and give you your roster and descriptive and discriminative analysis.  These help you identify if there were test questions that may have been unfair…[or] biased in certain ways…"

Many thanks, Kristin for sharing your Testing Center experience. Testing is known to offer great challenges to many of us. 

Now on to….

David Agoff’s Life of Pie

You never know the challenges you might encounter as a dauntless new educator. The most positive man on campus, David Agoff, was recently caught facing off against a pie in his role as Faculty Advisor for the Management Club. He lost, but a good time was had by all, especially those fortunate enough to witness David keeping his positive cool even through this grueling experience. Nice work there, David.

It looks like David had a lot more fun than Carol Trivedi had at the police station when she came on board with us as new lecturer last fall. 

 

On the Lam?!  Carol Reveals the Truth

I didn't pass the finger print test.”

The police probably had her pegged as soon she walked through the door. The petite woman with the sweet face was surely hiding something, and indeed she was. Her fingerprints. She didn’t have any.

Hmmm…what was she up to? A bewildered but resolute Carol, always as sweet as she looks, could only turn to The Department of Management’s Division of Problem Solving, (DPS) managed by Laurie Ratterree and Tess Hocking, who moved swiftly to crack the case of the missing prints. Our suspect, Carol, picks up the story:

“Tess and Laurie told me to use Corn Husk Oil on my fingers for a week and then go back and do the finger print test again. Guess what, it worked. I went back and the clerk was able to see the lines in my fingers. I passed. Hurray!!”

Hooray for us too, Carol. Laurie and Tess – you did it again! Note to new faculty: Carol keeps the Corn Husk Oil in her desk. You never know what problems can turn up at the police department. But somehow, I have to believe the DPS can solve them no matter how stumped anyone else may be.

As we extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the retiring faculty and staff as announced at the May 5th meeting, we look forward to welcoming our newest faculty and other members of the College of Business Team. 

Life may not be exactly a bed of roses all the time, but at least they can be found anytime we care to look. Literally!