At Long Last...

Arcadia CTLM Newsletter Issue #7

Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring

"Life Unfurls Ahead of Us, More Vigorous than Our Despair or Exhaustion"

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By Dr. Ellen Skilton

This hasn’t been a summer of unmixed pleasure, by far. It hasn’t been the season of release and refreshment that many of us hoped for and needed. We’ve still scarcely been able to pause individually, much less communally, to metabolize the many forms of loss and disruption and learning that 2020 set in motion. These have continued...The truth is, the most ideal of summers could not have restored the ease and equilibrium we desire. Yet a potential for tenderness — toward ourselves, toward others — is unleashed in a clear-eyed gaze at the unresolved ruptures in our midst. Possibilities for new life reside, in part, in holding the knowledge that the learning and work to which we have been called will not wait for us to be fully restored. As we are able, we must build practices of accompaniment, of tending refreshment — in equal measure to repairing and building and growing — into life, and life together. We must make the places and the pixels of our life together more vital, more replenishing…Life unfurls ahead of us, more vigorous than our despair or exhaustion. We have it in us to rise to the grave and beautiful callings that have been placed before us, but only if we walk toward them together. And we will. (Krista Tippett, The Pause, August 21, 2021)

When I got the On Being newsletter on Saturday, it felt like Krista Tippett was speaking directly to me and to us as we transition from summer to fall. I find myself taking her call for tenderness toward ourselves and each other quite seriously in the waning days of August 2021. I had already decided I wanted to write about the Re-Designing Your Syllabus for Inclusive Excellence Institute sponsored by CTLM, the School of Education and the Provost’s Office. I also want to discuss the connections between this work and the ABRI Curricular Infusion work that the Work & Welfare Committee of the Senate has been doing this summer (lead by Favian Guertin-Martin and Doreen Loury). And finally, I can’t wait to see so many of you on campus and in the as-yet-decided new physical space that CTLM will occupy soon. (Hooray and gulp!)

As we (Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, faculty member in Education, Courtney Thoroughgood ’22, CTLM Summer Student Fellow [theatre major] and I) worked to plan the sessions, we realized that the prerequisite to the work we needed to do was to move toward a learning/learner-centered syllabus and course design. We have to, as my Science Education colleague at Fresno State said earlier this summer, “move beyond the tyranny of content.” Doing the work of inclusive excellence, doing the work of combatting anti-black racism and white supremacy, and doing the work of creating vibrant teaching and learning on campus requires what Christopher Varlack (faculty member in English) calls “critical vulnerability.” Above all, our HUMANITY and HUMILITY are at the center of this work. The 35 faculty and staff who participated, shared their creativity, challenges, questions, and possibilities with each other, and heard from recent alumni about “what they wish professors knew” about addressing Disability and Universal Design for Learning, Gender Diversity, and JEDI/ABRI dimensions of creating learning and learning-centered communities of practice. The recordings of our fantastic speakers – Sheryl Burgstahler (from the University of Washington), Bethy Leonardi (of the University of Colorado & A Queer Endeavor), and our very own Christopher Varlack – are available here. Each of the participants and the speakers speak to Tippett’s call to “make the places and the pixels of our life together more vital, more replenishing.” There will be more opportunities to continue this work in the coming months through Teaching Circles for Hybrid/Concurrent Teaching, STEM Education, and Inclusive Excellence. We invite everyone to engage with, add to, and comment on the framework we are building whose beginnings come from Brantmeier, Broscheid & Moore’s Inclusion by Design Syllabus Tool.

Throughout the summer, the Work and Welfare Committee has also been sponsoring a set of vibrant “Decolonizing your Classroom” workshops. The group has been considering multiple dimensions of this work including the question raised by indigenous scholars of whether the term “decolonizing” accurately captures what we are doing and discussing. Last week, I had the pleasure of facilitating a session with Christopher Varlack at the final “DC Workshop” of the summer where we looked at the ways that these workshops and the Inclusive Excellence workshops intersected. If you check out the syllabus tool above, you can see the ways that questions are posed about these intersections. At the workshop last week, Christopher shared an article (Appelton 2019) that offered potential other words we might use as we work to disrupt the status quo:

  • Diversify your syllabus and curriculum
  • Digress from the cannon

  • Decentre knowledge and knowledge production

  • Devalue hierarchies

  • Disinvest from citational power structures

  • Diminish some voices and opinions in meetings, while magnifying others

Let’s hope we can tap into the vigorous work that awaits us this fall, full of humility and humanity – students, staff, and faculty. As Tippett concludes, We have it in us to rise to the grave and beautiful callings that have been placed before us, but only if we walk toward them together. And we will.

Welcome Back (?)

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By Bre Donnely

I was never the kid with first-day-of-school jitters. As a teacher’s kid, classrooms and school buildings didn’t intimidate me and as one of the very most extraverted extraverts you’ll ever meet, the idea of being surrounded by people was enough to have me bouncing off the walls with excitement, not apprehension. Even as an adult, preparing for the start of an academic year was happy chaos. It didn’t matter how long my to-do list was or how many late nights I spent battling with my inbox because students were arriving and students were (still are!) the best part of my job. The buildings were waking back up and campus was coming to life again with palpable energy.

Last August was quiet. Instead of operating on iced coffee and welcome picnic burgers I was inside at my dining room table with heaps of anxiety about what was happening around me, a very low-energy dog, and no excuse to buy a box of new pens to mark the occasion. There were still students and unsurprisingly they were still the best part of my job. It was just…

Well, you understand because you lived it too.

This summer, so much of my work has centered around preparing for the start of the academic year. From reimagining orientation processes to organizing remote learning exceptions and back again – I’ve thought more about what it means to return than I have most anything else. It won’t be the same. In great ways and in terrible ways, this is going to be a very different start of the semester. It’s the same feeling. I’m writing to you from my office on a campus that’s just beginning to wake up and come to life again with palpable energy.

My best bit of wisdom for all of us?

  • Let yourself be freaked out about all of the what-ifs you can think about.
    What if I get sick, what if I have a gross full face sweat under my mask all day, what if someone isn’t wearing a mask, what if zoom crashes when I’m trying to teach in all-modes, what if I can’t find a quiet space to attend an online class and everyone hears the embarrassing answer I give my professor, what if my students all stay off camera because they hate me, what if I get contact traced and have to isolate, what if my dog misses me so much she tears the house apart, what if none of my blazers fit anymore, what if I…

    You can’t plan for all of these. You can’t have a perfect answer that makes you feel confident and prepared for every one of these what-ifs. That doesn’t make them any less valid and I’m not telling you to magically get over them. What I’m telling you is that this is just the starting point and there’s lots to do to be ready for fall. You can worry and be worried but still move forward.

  • If you can get vaccinated, get vaccinated.

  • Remember, our collective goals are the same. We want to be healthy. We want to do our jobs well. We want to learn. We want to stay safe. We want students to arrive full of excitement on their first day. We want them to leave full of happy tears on their last. We want the time in between to be thoughtful and meaningful. The challenge isn’t your fears vs. my assurances or vice versa. It’s us as a collective against the problem.

  • We have to work together on this. If you see someone who isn’t wearing a mask you have to say something to them. I know you don’t want to. I know you’re worried they’ll freak out on you. In this, you have to do it anyway. If someone tells you they feel sick, take a big step backwards, extend your arm in the direction of Heinz hall, and in your most authoritative voice tell them to get over to Student Health Services and get tested. Yes, even if you think they’ll be annoyed with you. Yes, even if you look weird doing it. The work to keep us all safe isn’t just Public Safety’s job. It isn’t just Student Health Service’s job. It’s OUR job. Collectively.

  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, go buy yourself a box of pens. My personal recommendation is the Bic papermate flair, but this is a deeply personal decision (I bought a pack with all the colors). There are countless things that COVID took from me, I’m not letting it take my start of the school year joy.

We Want You (to Write for the CTLM)

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By Daniel Pieczkolon

This is our seventh issue of the CTLM Newsletter and, thus far, all of them have been conceived, designed, and written by (or at the request of) CTLM fellows. This has made sense for practical and logistic reasons, and I think it’s helped us, as a group, determine what the function of the newsletter should be--but why should we get to have all of the fun. We want to hear from you!

In Fall ‘21, our aim will be to publish two issues--one in mid-October and one in mid-December--and we’d like to open those issues up to submissions from the entire community (i.e., students, staff, & faculty). We want to hear your unique experiences with teaching, learning, and/or mentoring as we try to return to campus and whatever our “new normal” will look like. Maybe you’re a first-year student and you’re struck by the innovative ways your FYS professor is approaching the subject matter; or maybe you’re in your last semester and you’re gritting your teeth, just trying to make it to the end of your pandemic-altered college experience, and you discover the university has a club about that one thing you’ve always been really interested in but too nervous to try and, it just so happens, that club’s advisor is an incredibly talented & generous & intelligent staff member who you create a lasting & meaningful bond with; or maybe you are that faculty member or that staff person; or maybe other examples. We want to hear about them all!

In terms of format, we’ve tried very hard to keep things as variable as possible, so don’t be afraid to try to break the mold. In addition to more conventional essays & personal narratives, we’ve published poems, lists, email correspondences, visual narratives, and more.

If you’d like to write something for the CTLM, please fill out this form by September 24th, 2021.

Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Trauma-Informed Teaching in Higher Education

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By Alison Clabaugh and Monica Day

The presence of trauma in the classroom certainly isn’t new, but the level of awareness of trauma, as well as the circumstances that are manufacturing trauma in individuals and communities, is steadily escalating. For some, the impact of the pandemic has introduced trauma to their lives; for many others, it is yet another layer in a life already fraught with traumatic events and/or conditions. To add to the challenge, trauma is not always obvious, and it can be triggered at unexpected times and in unpredictable ways.

It is against this backdrop that we will be offering a series of short videos and occasional articles on the most recent theory and practices of trauma-informed teaching to the Arcadia learning community, beginning with this one.

The idea of trauma-informed practice originated within clinical and social service spheres (Harris & Fallot, 2001) but has since been applied to other settings, including education (Carello & Butler, 2014). To be trauma-informed within any context is to understand how traumatic experiences (including violence and victimization) may have occurred within the lives of individuals and apply this understanding to the provision of services (Carello & Butler, 2014). This approach prioritizes the needs and vulnerabilities of trauma survivors by ensuring safety, preventing further trauma, and promoting resilience and growth (Carello, 2020).

A vital aspect of implementing trauma-informed teaching is understanding what trauma is in the first place. The term ‘trauma’ can have many different meanings, depending on who is using it and what their motivations are. It is important to acknowledge that a traumatic event is not the same thing as a stressful experience. According to the American Psychological Association, stress is a “normal response to everyday pressures” (APA, 2021). In contrast, traumatic events are perceived as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and have lasting adverse effects on a person’s functioning and social, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being (SAMHSA, 2014). Thus, traumatic events are necessarily stressful, but not all stressful events are traumatic.

Research estimates show that 60-90% of college students report exposure to one or more traumatic events in their lifetime, with the most common events being life-threatening illness and unexpected death of a loved one (Carello, 2020). Cultural conditions, such as racial injustice, poverty, political polarization, citizenship status, exposure to violence can also be traumatizing and are often repetitive and steady, creating a baseline of trauma.

So how do we create the conditions for learning that are considerate of these statistics, without watering down or eliminating content?

This is where trauma-informed teaching and learning practices can be helpful. While it isn’t an educator’s job to address the trauma of their students directly or individually, creating a learning environment that includes awareness of the presence of trauma more generally and provides markers of safety and support throughout the learning process, is less likely to re-traumatize or trigger those who have trauma, allowing them to remain engaged in learning without instigating a trauma response.

In our video series, we will cover both concepts of trauma-informed teaching as well as practical tips on how to include these principles in your curriculum and classroom. Because we know that students are not the only ones who are overwhelmed -- educators are as well! -- the videos will be short, simple, and easy-to-digest and apply, and will be hosted on the CTLM web page as they become available.

This initiative is intended to be collaborative and to reach across departments in an effort to source and disseminate best practices. In addition to offering generalized practices. The series will also discuss more specific forms of trauma and how they impact the learning environment, such as racialized, gender-based, and other forms of enculturated and pervasive trauma and their effects. If you would like to be involved as a collaborator of this series, please reach out to Monica Day or Alison Clabaugh -- we welcome your participation.

Trauma-Informed Teaching and Learning Principles (Janice Carello, 2020)

  1. Safety - Efforts are made to create an atmosphere that is respectful of the need for safety, respect, and acceptance for all class members in both individual and group interactions, including feeling safe to make and learn from mistakes.

  2. Trustworthiness and transparency - Trust and transparency are enhanced by making course expectations clear, ensuring consistency in practice, and maintaining appropriate boundaries.

  3. Support and connection - All class members are connected with appropriate peer and professional resources to help them succeed academically, personally, and professionally.

  4. Collaboration and mutuality - All class members act as allies rather than as adversaries to help ensure one another’s success. Opportunities exist for all class members to provide input, share power, and make decisions.

  5. Empowerment, voice and choice - All class members emphasize strengths and resilience over deficiencies and pathology; they empower one another to make choices and to develop confidence and competence.

  6. Social justice - All class members strive to be aware of and responsive to forms of privilege and oppression and to respect one another’s diverse experiences and identities.

  7. Resilience, growth and change - All class members recognize each other’s strengths and resilience, and they provide feedback to help each other grow and change.

Mid-Semester Feedback Forms

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By Dr. Katherine Moore

When I receive my end-of-semester evaluations from students I’m always excited to see what they say about what worked in the class and what didn’t, so I can adjust for the next semester accordingly. But I also feel like something’s missing. Sometimes I get a comment that makes me say “huh, I wish I had known this sooner.” And now that our evaluations are online, I’m disappointed that I’m only hearing from two thirds of the class—what were the rest of the students thinking? Back when our evaluations were in person we had a different problem—the feedback always arrived after the start of the next semester, so there wasn’t time to incorporate it into our classes. But most of all, the questions themselves aren’t customizable and don’t provide the kind of detail I want, like whether students found the addition of a particular activity to be useful and fun.

Students have expressed frustrations with this system, too. You might wonder what’s the use in providing detail on end-of-term feedback when the class is over? Or maybe you wonder whether faculty or anyone else will even read or pay attention to what you’re saying.

While we value end-of-semester feedback and trust us—faculty take these surveys very seriously—we also acknowledge that they can’t always provide faculty with the most useful feedback that is immediately beneficial to students taking the course. This academic year, the CTLM is offering a mid-semester feedback service to benefit students and faculty.

Here’s how it works: First, the interested faculty member meets with a CLTM-trained pedagogical consultant to discuss their goals for the course and to devise a customized feedback plan. Next, the pedagogical consultant visits the classroom, and the faculty member leaves. The consultant then solicits anonymous qualitative feedback from students in the class. Finally, the consultant and faculty member meet once more, at which time the consultant shares the aggregate, anonymized student feedback with the faculty member.

We piloted this program in the spring of 2021 in four classes. From the pedagogical consultant’s perspective, I found the process to be immensely rewarding. It was a treat to speak to dedicated teachers about their classes and to see them in action with their students (a brief teaching observation is an option for these consultations). Each instructor used different techniques to structure their courses and engage students. I knew Arcadia is full of skilled, innovative teachers, but I was still blown away by the diversity of practice I experienced. Discussing with the students was similarly enlightening. Students participating in these sessions provided insightful and constructive feedback and were clearly thoughtful and engaged in their courses. The feedback process puts students at the center and highlights what they are capable of contributing to the learning environment.

Students and instructors alike also found the feedback sessions to be useful. Instructors were relieved to get the pulse on their courses partway through the semester and make simple adjustments as needed, or better explain to students why a certain decision is made. Students were thankful to their professors for soliciting the feedback. They expressed gratitude for the opportunity to influence the course they were currently taking, as well as provide feedback that could improve the course in future semesters.

If you are an instructor, I hope that you will sign up to receive mid-semester feedback or even volunteer to be a pedagogical consultant to provide this service for other faculty. If you are a student, I hope that you will have the opportunity to provide mid-semseter feedback in your courses. As we continue to develop the program, I hope that students will also serve as pedagogical consultants in the future.

With Brave Wings She Flies: Reentering the Face to Face World

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By Barbara St. Fleur

Recently, I started seeing commercials that are geared towards entering back into workforces, school sites, and social spots. I honestly don’t know how I feel about that. I remember two years ago, when I could socialize and talk with friends for hours on end. Now I cannot fathom holding a conversation for a couple minutes. These past two years with the coronavirus have conditioned me to be okay with doing work at home and not being around my peers. It feels like I have been taught to stay six feet away from everyone and avoid all contact. My social life consisted of me going shopping by myself (which I am okay with) and scrolling through tiktok. I haven’t posted anything on Instagram for about a year and I think it's easy to say that I have lost all of my training to be a young adult in this world. How do I get that back?

It may seem like a silly topic, resocializing or learning how to talk with friends again. We have been imprisoned in our homes for more than a year with our families (which we all loved?!?!), but we all yearned for the ability to meet up with friends. I might be overthinking this because I know I could meet up with a friend today and pick up a conversation as if we didn’t spend 2 years without seeing each other, but there is still the reconnecting phase, where we talk about the coronavirus and how it has affected us, and then we try to catch up on the important things that have happened in each other's lives. Which I would imagine isn’t a lot. Then you try to make plans. I guess talking with friends won’t be all that bad.

In a month's time, I will be entering a new country and learning how to adapt to that environment. Leave it to me to be studying abroad my final year of college. Sorry friends, I guess I will have to add 1 more year to the years we haven’t seen each other (Insert Guilty smile here). I have a pretty good excuse, Covid.

  • Covid is the reason I couldn’t go abroad my third year and now I'm doing it my last year.

  • Covid is the reason I haven’t reached out to a lot of friends these last two years, even though I have their numbers and social media handles.

  • Covid is the reason I stress about studying abroad and my academic career, even though I would stress either way.

  • Covid is the reason I went from a Social butterfly to a couch potato (no offense to couch potatoes), even though I always embodied both personalities.

I guess, I can only blame Covid for delaying my trip abroad, but it won’t stop me from using it as an excuse.

On September 18th, I should be in London living it up. This means that officially I will be back on instagram socializing by September. I will be retiring some of my sweatpants for pants, skirts and even dresses. I will be contacting some very long distance friends and visiting the one friend that will be studying abroad in the same place as me.

I don’t expect my experience to be super normal. We are still dealing with the coronavirus,but I don’t plan on having COVID stop me this time. (Famous Last words.) As soon as I land in London, I’m making the decisions to experience everything and leaving my couch potato days behind me. Notice, I said When I landed in London. I still want to stay in my couch potato phase for a little while longer before I spread my wings and fly.

Great Expectations... of an Arcadia Autumn

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By Courtney Thoroughgood

For almost all of us, it has been a bit since our last fall season at Arcadia. The orange and red leaves always surround the castle giving it a warm, almost “better homes and gardens-esque” glow. I miss it. I have not experienced an Arcadia autumn since I was 19. I am 21 now and about to be a senior. With being a senior and heading back to campus, there are a lot of expectations I have circling in my head. Will my classes feel the same as they did pre-the world turning upside down? Will fall activities on the green still occur with everyone laying out together? One of my biggest wonders is how it will feel to live on campus again.

I love living on campus, I love Glenside. I love the feeling of independence I have being at school. I haven’t lived at school for the last year and a half of my college career which is causing me to have almost freshman year type jitters. I bet a lot of seniors, as well as all undergraduates, are feeling this way. When it was announced that campus would be opening this fall, I felt all the excitement in my body just burst out at the seams. I am someone who loves planning and giving a feeling to everything happening in my life so I immediately went to my computer. I began making google drives, planning what to pack, what to bring, what to buy, and creating Pinterest boards with my roommates for the “aesthetic of the year”. However, now that it is August I am filled with that familiar feeling I have had this entire year. This feeling leads to the question of what will school feel like in this middle ground of the world that we are in? Like so many of us, I would love to treat going into this year as “normal”, but that does not alleviate the worries I have. I have not seen my professors or classmates in nearly two years much like a lot of us here at Arcadia.

Will they think I look different? Will they look different? Will everything be different? Or will we all fall back into the stride we once all walked together? All of these things run through my head as I begin packing, organizing, and preparing for the fall. I think to myself a lot if this will be the senior year of college that I have dreamed of. Many of these dreams or expectations have definitely shifted or been pushed aside since the pandemic began. As an acting major, my major is dependent on human interaction and vulnerability with peers. We all are stepping into a new world this fall and I think it may be difficult at the start for all of us. Despite worrying about the changes or the difficulties of returning to school this fall, there are things I look forward to.

I look forward to the walk to and from Oak Summit where I see my friends walking the opposite way while we excitedly wave to each other from across the street. I look forward to eating outside of the chat on warm fall evenings with my friends while we discuss our day. I look forward to seeing my boss, Rob, and working with him again in the theatre to create set pieces or organize inventory. I look forward to SPB events and planning meetings with my executive board and Sabrina. I look forward to working with Under Siege and my board to give all people an opportunity for theatre. I look forward to acting again, in person and with real human connection. I look forward to the feeling of home I get when I am walking through campus with my headphones in and a coffee from Easton in hand.

When I was a senior in high school, the idea of college nearing was truly a terrifying experience. Boy, do I wish I could have warned my 18 year old self what she would be feeling the next time she was a senior. I have said this to so many people in passing, but it really feels like I am about to be a freshman in college again. So many old experiences like packing and preparing for the semester feel novel to me right now. “It feels too good to be true”, like my friend, Emily, has said as we discuss moving in for our senior year.

However, despite these feelings of fear, excitement, nuance, and so much more, I cannot wait to be back at Arcadia. I look forward to continuing my club work, my CTLM work, and my course work while amongst friends. I wanted to finish this off with a quote from the first show I worked on at Arcadia and I felt it fitting for this new world we are all stepping into. “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts,” This is a new stage we are all walking onto whether we are seniors or walking on for the first time. This is going to be a new experience for all of us, but we are in it together.

Cue That One High School Musical Song

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By Ryan Hiemenz

Here we are again. The end of August. A brand new semester is on the horizon. This time, however, we are set to go back in person. I think I can speak for most of us when I say, FINALLY. I feel like I entered a wormhole in March 2020 and now I’m miraculously a junior; I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how everything works out, especially when we think about how this year’s seniors are the only students on campus who have been in person for a full year. Even though we are all at different stages of our campus experience, we are all together in feeling some mix of excitement and anxiety.

It’s been too long since I’ve been able to drop by my professors' offices to distract them from their work, or sit outside on those red adirondack chairs to get some reading done. It’s been far too long. However, it would be foolish to not acknowledge that this year is still not “back to normal”. We are now required to wear masks indoors, submit vaccination cards, and other Covid recovery things. All of this, along with the rest of the craziness of the world, really leaves a lot of uncertainty for us.

I’ll take the uncertainty though, as long as it means that we get to go back to school and see each other once again. That being said, I have quite a few questions and concerns about how things are going to work this year. For example, what am I going to do now that I can't log in to my 8:30 classes from my bed? Or maybe, I’ve talked to my ceiling for the last year, how do I talk to a person again? Some of these questions have answers, and some of them unfortunately do not.

That is not necessarily a bad thing though. With time, these thoughts will be nothing but memories as we work out all of the answers together. Though there are some fears and unknowns, I am hopeful that we as a community can conquer this newest challenge. What’s important to remember is that you are not alone in any of your fears, concerns, jitters, or any of those feelings as we return to in person classes. We're all in this together, we have been through so much together, and we will not give up here.

Trying to Process

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By Daniel Pieczkolon

Despite the fact that everything has been unprecedented for over 18 months now, the questions & anxieties we all have about this upcoming semester feel more pressing, more urgent than ever before--at least to me. Our tech concerns from last August have mutated a bit--from how do I create breakout rooms in Zoom to how do I engage in-person & remote students simultaneously--but they haven’t left us entirely. And our safety concerns from last August have shifted from the personal to the communal, thereby exacerbating them. There has been a deluge of useful information over the past several weeks. Emails & webinars & calendar invites to workshops have been seemingly endless and, at times, it has been difficult to keep up. How do I know I have the most up-to-date information regarding safety policies? What tech resources are available to me? And, oh yeah, how do I teach or work or learn within these drastically new circumstances?

I’m not sure I have anything new to offer to these discussions--in fact, I’m sure I don’t--but I have tried to cull together some resources and present them in the medium I find most useful & satisfying for processing complex information: poetry! More specifically, below are 3 haikus, which attempt to distill some of the tech, safety, & teaching questions that are emerging. Each line of each of these three haikus links to a different relevant resource somewhere on campus that provides much more detailed & prescriptive information concerning the given topic. (The final haiku contains some of my own feelings & thoughts about the fall semester and links to absolutely nothing useful because 1) I think a little levity in stressful times can be useful and 2) What are memes if not the haikus of our time.)


Nineteen in Glenside,

One in Texas—What’s a D-

Ten Board? Tori, help!


Vaccines in the blood.

Masks covering the faces.

Safety in numbers.


For some, failure works

Best; others, experience.

I prefer Ellen.


I’m calm. I’m ready.

The burning is baked into

The pedagogy.

LOVE Returns!

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By Monica Day

CTLM is thrilled to invite the entire Arcadia community to join the Living Our Values Experience (LOVE) Pilot Program this fall, and to announce that there are even more ways to connect to LOVE this semester.

The LOVE Pilot Program will continue to be a co-curricular (non-credit) gathering space for under/grad students, staff and faculty to collaborate on ways to strengthen the Arcadia community on issues of identity, racism and systemic discrimination, and to examine their own role within society as a change agent. By engaging the community in this important conversation, we live our values and culture as a community unafraid to look at racist ideas and practices, our personal role in them, and acquire tools for dismantling a system that is built on injustice.

This fall, LOVE will also act as a learning lab for a number of courses and as an Honors Adaptation to provide for deeper study and engagement, as well as offer students more ways to get credit for their participation. We encourage all students and their advisors to consider whether these credit-bearing options might enable them to participate. The current affiliations include:

  • GCE/GCR: LOVE has been approved as a domestic Global Connections Experience, and offers a section of Global Connections Reflections 101 to fulfill the requirement for all undergraduates (to register for GCR101, complete registration for LOVE PIlot below and indicate GCR101 interest).

  • Moving Beyond Allyship in Antiracist Work (FY103.27)
    This First-Year Seminar will introduce incoming Arcadia students to the work of antiracism, both in the Arcadia community and beyond.

  • Where Race Lives: The Somatic Experience of Racialization (US285.2)
    This University Seminar is available for 2nd-4th year undergraduate students and will look at racialization and racism through the lens of the body and uses various forms of creative expression as part of its inquiry.

  • The Sociology of Healthcare (SO260)
    This course defines health and illness in the US and other cultures, and explores the impact of multiple factors on healthcare.

  • Honors Adaptation: Students enrolled in the Honors Program can participate in LOVE to satisfy their program requirements.

Click here for more information on each course, and details about meeting times, requirements, and other details.

Of course, LOVE will remain an experience that is open to all members of the Arcadia community, and will continue to align with and reflect the ongoing Anti-Black Racism Initiatives (ABRI) that are a core part of our values and commitments. Meetings for all LOVE participants will be held on Wednesdays from 4-5:30pm in a hybrid format (in-person and virtual) from September 8th - December 8th. There will also be three community-wide Teach-ins held throughout the semester, with dates and topics to be announced.

To participate in LOVE, simply click here to register. We also encourage participants to invite others to share in the experience together. It is our hope that the LOVE Pilot Program will continue to offer a space for conversations, discovery, and applied learning across all departments in our community.

For further information about the program, email


Faculty Director

Dr. Ellen Skilton, Professor of Education

Projects & Strategies Lead

Dr. Brittani Smit

Administrative Liaison

Monica Day

Faculty & Staff Fellows

Dr. Jodi Bornstein, Associate Professor of Education

Lindsay McGann, Student Success Projects Manager (Division of Student Success) and Professional Faculty, Public Health

Dr. Katherine Moore, Associate Professor of Psychology

Daniel Pieczkolon, Adjunct Professor of English

Dr. Brittani Smit, TCGS, Resident Director, South Africa

Student Fellows

Ryan Hiemenz, ‘23

Keisha Robinson, '23

Barbara St. Fleur, '22

Anna Cheluget Kawira ‘21

Sam Jackson, ‘23

Dillon Shash, ‘24

Leigh Ferrier, ‘22

Julie Edmundson (SGO Liaison), ‘23

Courtney Thoroughgood, ‘22