Meet our newest Center for Teaching/Learning Innovation faculty fellows, who share in their own words what teaching means to them and what they look forward to accomplishing in their expanded roles as fellows for the 2015 – 2016 academic year:
Nicole Spottke, Professor of English and Faculty Fellow for Excellence in Online Hybrid Teaching/Learning, West Campus
“I am a teacher, it is my life, my passion, my reason for being.”-Nicole Spottke
I oversee the facilitators of Blackboard Boot Camp — someone has to divvy up the responsibilities, set up the course on Blackboard each semester and work with the amazing guys over at Blackboard Help to set up development spaces for all participants on Blackboard. However, the amazing facilitators take it from there and run the show. I also will begin teaching Quality Matters, both the initial course and the online, self-paced, refresher course to Valencia faculty.
What’s most rewarding about the Faculty Fellow opportunity is working with faculty — both the facilitators and participants. I learn something new every semester. Valencia has some wonderfully experienced and talented faculty, willing to share their knowledge, as well as some who want to learn to teach online. It is such fun teaching/learning from professionals.
I just celebrated my 10th year at Valencia — my longest job ever! I was certified to be a high school teacher, but high school was not a good fit for me. I started at Valencia as a temporary four-month instructor, spending three years in this role. Once a tenure-track position opened, I was blessed to have colleagues who helped me prepare for the interview process. My colleagues are amazing.
On the extracurricular side, I like to help out where I can, so I look forward to participating during the Global Peace Week’s activities (Monday, September 28 – Friday, October 2, 2015). I also volunteer as the lead copy editor for an online literary journal, ABO, the website for the Aphra Behn Society, which is dedicated to encouraging and advancing research that focuses on issues of gender and/or women’s role in the arts of early modern culture, circa 1660-1830. In addition, I am currently training with two Valencia peeps, Josh and Shannon Murdock, to run our first half marathon in November.
Nicole has an Associate in Arts from Orange County Community College (now SUNY Orange), a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Arts in English from SUNY New Paltz, and a Ph.D. in literature with a focus on 18th century literature from the University of South Florida. Nicole received the Raymer F. Maguire, Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications in 2011 – 2012.
Julia Nudel, Professor of Mathematics and Faculty Fellow for Excellence in Online/Hybrid Teaching/Learning, West Campus
“One of my passions is online teaching and learning, and I constantly look for opportunities to improve current practices to enhance student and faculty experience in online courses”. -Julia Nudel
As a Faculty Fellow for Online Teaching and Learning, I collaborate with faculty members to create and implement faculty development courses in support of online and hybrid teaching and learning, coordinate and facilitate communication with facilitators, distribute surveys and survey results and develop strategies to expand communities of practice for full-time and part-time faculty members to achieve excellence and innovation in online and hybrid teaching and learning.
One of the many aspects that I love about Valencia is its strong professional development program (Digital Professor, Learning Technology Services, etc.) and opportunities to improve current practices for online and hybrid teaching and learning. This opportunity allows me to work directly with faculty offering professional development courses as part of Online Teaching and Learning. I get to work on the front lines of faculty development and innovation in teaching and learning.
I’ve been teaching at Valencia since 2007 and received tenure in 2011. I also had the opportunity to serve on the Teaching/Learning Academy team from 2011 – 2013, and I received an Endowed Chair in implementing a flipped classroom model in my courses in 2012. Currently, I’m also business calculus course chair on West Campus, and I facilitate Developing Interactive Web-based Courses and Flipped Classroom professional development (PD) courses at Valencia.
As for campus activities, I recently attended TEDx Orlando in Winter Garden and hope to get involved in one of Valencia initiatives in TEDx. I also would like to participate in Circles of Innovation, Orlando Startup Weekend for Education and other tech initiatives at Valencia this year.
Julia completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at University of California, Los Angeles.