2015-16 Williams Instructional Fund Recipients

Thinking Like a Social Scientist

Alison Gash, Associate Professor, Political Science
Craig Parsons, Professor, Political Science

This project develops a pair of quantitative literacy courses, one at the 100-level called “Thinking Like a Social Scientist,” and one at the 300-level called “Getting the Facts.” Both courses “will concentrate on real-world examples from policymaking and politics, but their conceptual and methodological content” — which allows students to become critical readers and savvy users of data — “will serve a wide variety of majors and career paths.”

Experiential Learning in Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM)

Bethany Steiner, Instructor, PPPM
Robert Parker, Instructor, PPPM

Professors Bethany Steiner and Robert Parker — both planning, public policy and management —for their project to engage advanced undergraduate students in experiential learning opportunities that previously were available only to graduate students. Students will work in small teams on policy and planning issues with local governments and nonprofit university partners. This capstone experience — with a strong emphasis on writing — is designed to integrate and build on all aspects of the students’ undergraduate course of study in PPPM.

Teaching Excellence Professorships

Lee Rumbarger, Director, Teaching Effectiveness Program

The Teaching Effectiveness Program, will pilot a new program that creates “Teaching Excellence Professorships.” Senior members of the faculty with distinguished teaching records will apply to become directly engaged with the Teaching Effectiveness Program to take techniques and issues that matter to them in their own teaching and expand the impact across campus. Professional staff from the Teaching Effectiveness Program will support these senior faculty members in developing programming or conducting teaching-focused research and invite them to participate in the program’s many initiatives to enhance teaching.

Life Stories: A Disabilities Studies Off-Campus Seminar

Elizabeth Wheeler, Associate Professor, English

“Life Stories: A Disability Studies Off-Campus Seminar.” will allow undergraduates to learn not just about people with disabilities but with and from them. Half the students will be UO undergraduates and the other half will be young adults in the Lane County Transitions Program who experience intellectual and developmental difficulties. Students will create an archive of oral histories and craft them into a Life Story Theater performance and a class book and develop term papers in which they develop original theories and definitions of identity.

Learning Chemistry

Deboarh Exton, Senior Instructor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Thomas Greenbowe, Senior Instructor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Randy Sullivan, Lecture Demonstrator, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Brandi Baldock, Graduate Student, Chemistry and Biochemistry

A project titled “Learning Chemistry” provides direct support to students experiencing difficulty in General Chemistry 221. This new program will complement the successful SUPer Chemistry peer tutorial program that was funded for its first year by the Williams Council in 1997. “Learning Chemistry” will identify students in CH221 whose early work in the course indicates they are at risk of not succeeding and will draw them to creative, supportive, supplemental instruction sessions.