Steve Cunningham Inspired by Faculty Fellow Experience — Faculty Highlight


From the Desk of Steve Cunningham, Professor of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English, Osceola Campus

The past two years of being a faculty fellow for the Center of Teaching/Learning Innovation has been anfaculty-insight-news-id incredible time of sharing and learning. When I began this role on the Osceola Campus two years ago, I had no idea what a significant impact this experience would have on my professional development and network within the College. Ultimately, the program enabled me to connect with faculty throughout the College whom I otherwise may have not encountered and inspired me to become the best educator I can be.

One of my principal roles as a faculty fellow has been to facilitate faculty development courses in the “Inside the OC” program, which was designed specifically to support our part-time faculty and full-time, non-tenure earning faculty at the Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses. This experience has given me the opportunity to interact with many faculty members across an array of disciplines. Together, using our combined skills and backgrounds, we explored various aspects of the Essential Competencies of a Valencia Educator and, as a result, garnered a greater understanding of exactly what makes a Valencia educator great. Furthermore, by working so closely with a diverse group of faculty to facilitate the faculty development courses, I developed a heightened respect and admiration for the level of commitment and expertise that adjunct faculty bring to the College community.

Another rewarding and very satisfying aspect of my role has been working with the faculty fellows from other campuses to develop and facilitate Circles of Innovation sessions each month, where faculty come together and spark discussion on an innovative teaching/learning concept. Like my work facilitating faculty development courses, working in these sessions afforded me a chance to meet a cross-functional group of faculty brought together for one common goal — to enhance student learning.

Finally, being a faculty fellow has enabled me to learn about course development as, throughout the program, I have voiced the faculty perspective to a team of instructional designers and contributed to the design of faculty development courses from conception to implementation. Acting as a faculty leader in the active learning track of the summer Destination program has been particularly stimulating as we have explored ways to engage students in learning through technology-enhanced, active learning methods. Of course, this is just one example of how my colleagues and I were able to contribute to Valencia’s commitment to innovative learning.

As I return to the classroom full time in the upcoming fall semester, I look forward to implementing the many new tools and skills that I have acquired to keep my classes active and learning-centered. I thank Shara Lee, campus director, faculty and instructional development, and the entire Faculty and Instructional Development team on the Osceola Campus for all that they have invested in my professional development and for giving me the opportunity to share my experience with others.


  • Richard Sansone said:

    I know I am not alone in expressing my great pride and admiration for all you have contributed, Steve!

    PMThu, 26 May 2016 23:21:44 +0000Thu, 26 May 2016 23:21:44 +0000pm16,11:21 pm

  • Nichole Segarra said:

    The Lake Nona Faculty are so grateful for the time that you have spent with us. We have learned so much from our sessions with you and have become a closer team as a result of your hard work.

    PMFri, 27 May 2016 13:40:28 +0000Fri, 27 May 2016 13:40:28 +0000pm16,1:40 pm

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