By Laura Knight
Adriene Tribble, professor of humanities on Osceola Campus, says that by the time she began her second semester of teaching at Valencia, she was “hooked.” Her first semester though was difficult, “Having not been trained as an educator, I had a challenging first semester as a part-time faculty member.” She thought teaching might not be her calling, but then her supervisors recommended a few Faculty Development courses for her and that had a profound impact on her approach to teaching.
“I am very grateful that my supervisors recommended some of the great course offerings from Faculty Development that helped me to think intentionally about my teaching philosophy and who I was in front of the classroom,” she reflects.
Adriene was a graduate of the inaugural Academy for Learning Leadership, (newly named PIVOT 360), which concluded in June. PIVOT 360 is Valencia’s academic leadership cohort program that focuses on mastery of the seven dimensions of academic leadership and fosters on-going support for new academic leaders. Honored to be a part of the program, she said that it gave her an opportunity to build relationships with leaders on other campuses. “Perhaps the greatest take away from that experience is witnessing the collegiality and humorous rapport among campus leadership.”
Adriene admits she is still developing as an educator in her third year of the tenure-track process with the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA). She is proud (and “relieved!”) to have recently completed her portfolio and the Digital Professor Certification. Portfolios of pre-tenure candidates demonstrate their proficiency in the essential competencies of a Valencia educator.
She is also excited about her upcoming work with faculty development as a Faculty Fellow for Osceola campus, which will give her an opportunity to lead some of the programs that she benefited from as a participant. In her role as Fellow, she will lead a track for part-time faculty titled “Inside the OC” and Circles of Innovation, a monthly meeting in which faculty and staff share ideas and best practices peer-to-peer. Adriene will also be working with TLA to develop an inclusion and diversity workshop that incorporates Multiple Perspectives, a type of lesson plan that promotes media literacy and critical thinking.
“I am in a profession where I will never stop learning,” she shares. “There is always something more I can know about the humanities and the life-long student in me is constantly indulging in something new to learn.”
Now, she contends when she thinks about teaching, two things come to mind primarily. The first is witnessing the spark in students as they are being exposed to the arts, many of them for the first time. “To bring a student to his first concert or first visit to a museum and know that they will likely return long after our semester together is over, is the greatest source of pride for me.”
The second thing is taking advantage of opportunities that bridge community partners with the students – like the Interfaith Panels held on Osceola campus that have featured local faith leaders who led discussions about current events.
Prior to joining Valencia in 2010, Adriene worked in various positions related to religious leadership. In 2007, she was chosen as a Chaplain intern for an intensive clinical pastoral education unit with Florida Hospital. The unit provided ministerial services primarily to neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, with on-call night responsibilities that covered the entire hospital.
During her time at Stetson University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in religious studies with a minor in applied ethics, she was the organizer and facilitator for a gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered (GLBT) religious forum that discussed the role of campus ministries and religious individuals in upholding Stetson University’s commitment to welcoming and affirming GLBT persons.
Adriene went on to earn her master of divinity degree from the University of Chicago with a focus on theological ethics. While there, she was an intern at Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and participated in several areas of professional ministry including church administration, marriage and family life programs and religious education and theology programs for adults, some of which were specifically for young adults.
In 2008, she was a Theologians-in-Residence Grant recipient at the University of Chicago, where she helped to lead a lecture and discussion series about current theological topics at a downtown Chicago church.
Adriene enthusiastically described her role as a humanities teacher, sharing that she is “in a profession where [she] will never have cabin fever. There are incredible opportunities to attend conferences and workshops and continue my education by traveling to the places I teach about. I love watching my students experience the arts for the first time, and I can have my own truly awesome experiences traveling to different parts of the world for the first time and seeing firsthand the artworks I show in the classroom.”
When asked what the best thing about working at Valencia is, Adriene eagerly responds, “My department! There is not a day that goes by in my hallway when we are not laughing.”
She goes on to share an anecdote about a prank her colleagues played on her after they discovered her extreme phobia of roaches. One day she received a plastic bug via interoffice mail, she smiled, “I knew then I was officially a part of the Osceola Humanities Department.”
“I enjoy going in to work every day because I am working with friends,” she shares contentedly.
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