Learning Communities & Book Groups



Community Cafe: Teaching & Learning in STEM

Dates: Wednesdays (Sept. 13 & 20, Oct. 11 & 25, Nov. 8 & 29)
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Christian Cafeteria Executive Dining Room
Facilitator: Kyle Hurley

STEM disciplines face unique challenges in the fields of teaching and learning. This year-long learning community will serve as a meeting place for anyone interested in improving, exploring, and growing as professionals. We will meet twice a month for lunch and discussion on a variety of topics from best practices, to technology, to interdisciplinary and interdepartmental approaches for teaching and beyond! Register online!


Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity Learning Group

Dates: Mondays (Sept. 11 & 25, Oct. 9 & 23, Nov. 6 & 20)
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 302
Facilitator: Faith Yarberry

Individuals in this group will participate in activities designed to examine their own cultural identity and to recognize how cultural identities impact behavior. An understanding of the effects of culture on the individual will build an awareness and create a bridge of understanding and cooperation. Language has the ability to divide as well as unify. Therefore, we will increase our capacity to recognize and interrupt microaggressions experienced by members of the campus community in order to maintain a community of excellence and collegiality. Register online!

Global Learning & Internationalization Reading and Research Group

Dates: Thursdays (Sept. 7 & 21, Oct. 5, Nov. 2, 16 & 30)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 302
Facilitator: Riva Brown and Allison Freed

This group seeks to bring together faculty and staff interested in learning and adapting pedagogy to enhance global learning and internationalization within our programs and curricula. In addition, this group will research the impacts of internationalization efforts on our teaching and programs. This group will meet twice a month. In one of our meetings, we will read and discuss the book: The Future Agenda for Internationalization in Higher Education: Next Generation Insights into Research, Policy, and Practice. In the other meeting, we will dedicate time to discussing and planning our global teaching and learning research efforts. Register online!

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) Community of Practice 

Dates: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: TBD
Facilitator: Marsha Massey

Description coming soon!



New Faculty Teaching Academy (NFTA)

Dates: Mondays (Sept. 11 & 25, Oct. 9 & 23, Nov. 6 & 13, Dec. 4)
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitators: Stacy Lom and Zach Smith

This community for first- and second-year faculty meets twice a month, in-person, throughout the academic year to provide new faculty with a strong foundation in research-based strategies for teaching and learning, key insights into UCA-specific resources and student populations, and a supportive environment for discussing and responding to the emergent needs of new faculty. Participants in the program will have opportunities to workshop inclusive syllabi and effective assessments, and to participate in peer teaching observations valuable in the process of applying for tenure and/or promotion. NFTA provides a laboratory of ideas and supportive feedback for any new faculty looking to take their teaching to the next level. Register online!


Early Career Coaching Circle (ECCC)

Dates: Tuesdays (Sept. 12 & 26, Oct. 10 & 24, Nov. 7 & 28)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitators: Amy Hawkins, Rebekah Luong, Arijit Mukherjee, Ashley Phillips, Amy Thompson

Interested in setting yourself up for success in your first few years as a UCA faculty member? ECCC is a learning community with a semi-structured discussion format for faculty in their second through fifth year at UCA. This group will meet twice a month throughout the academic year to support each other in the development of individualized plans to set and achieve goals in the areas of teaching, scholarship & creative activity, and service. Register online!


Academic Leadership Coaching Circle

Dates: Fridays (Sept. 22, Oct. 6, Nov. 3, 17 & Dec. 1)
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitators: Nancy Reese & Amy Hawkins

This learning community explores topics and application exercises to hone participants’ leadership skills. Whether you are a new or experienced chair or director or interested in exploring academic leadership roles and responsibilities, this group is for you! Register online!


Inclusive Teaching: Strategies for Promoting Equity in the College Classroom Book Group

Dates: Wednesdays (Sept. 13 & 27, Oct. 4, 11 & 25, Nov. 8 & 15)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitator: Steve Karafit

In this in-person book discussion group, we will be reading Inclusive Teaching: Strategies for Promoting Equity in the College Classroom by Drs. Kelly Hogan and Viji Sathy. We will discuss everything from developing an inclusive mindset, writing an inclusive syllabus, developing course structure and more. 

“In a book written by and for college teachers, Kelly Hogan and Viji Sathy provide tips and advice on how to make all students feel welcome and included. They begin with a framework describing why explicit attention to structure enhances inclusiveness in both course design and interactions with and between students. Inclusive Teaching then provides practical ways to include more voices in a series of contexts: when giving instructions for group work and class activities, holding office hours, communicating with students, and more. The authors finish with an opportunity for the reader to reflect on what evidence to include in a teaching dossier that demonstrates inclusive practices.”  Register online!


Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies Book Group

Dates: Tuesdays (Sept. 5 & 26, Oct. 17, Nov. 7 & 28)
Time: 12:15 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitator: Jen Talbot

Naming What We Know introduces a series of “threshold concepts” key to the understanding of writing theory and pedagogy, and offers insight into writing as an interdisciplinary high-impact practice. This book group welcomes faculty from writing-intensive and writing-adjacent disciplines as well as faculty who would like to leverage writing projects to build students’ cognitive and metacognitive skills and fluency with the specialized language of their disciplines. We will divide our attention between discussing the theories presented in the book and potential applications in our own writing-intensive courses. Register online!


A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD: Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers Book Group

Dates: Thursdays (Aug. 31, Sept. 14 & 28, Oct. 12 & 26, Nov. 9)
Time: 2:40 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitators: Millie Goins & Tami Phillips

Do your brain-based differences impact your executive functioning? Are you seeking a safe space to explore and unlearn the cultural message that our differences make us inadequate? Would you like to work toward boosting your confidence by beginning to appreciate your strengths and live authentically? Whether you have a formal diagnosis or not, join us as we work through A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD by Sari Solden and Michelle Frank. Register online!



Uncommon Sense Teaching: Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn Book Group

Dates: Mondays (Sept. 11 & 25, Oct. 9, 23 & 30, Nov. 13 & 27)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitator: Amy Hawkins

“Neuroscientists and cognitive scientists have made enormous strides in understanding the brain and how we learn, but little of that insight has filtered down to the way teachers teach. Uncommon Sense Teaching applies this research to the classroom for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in improving education. Topics include:

  • Keeping students motivated and engaged, especially with online learning
  • Helping students remember information long-term, so it isn’t immediately forgotten after a test
  • How to teach inclusively in a diverse classroom where students have a wide range of abilities

Drawing on research findings as well as the authors’ combined decades of experience in the classroom, Uncommon Sense Teaching equips [participants] with the tools to enhance their teaching.” (from Amazon.com) Register online!




Teaching by Design Mini-Conferences Series

While the Teaching by Design mini-conference is offered as a series, you may register for each event individually and choose the sessions that work for your schedule. Please note each lunch is capped at 40 participants and then a waiting list will be started. Explore the Teaching by Design Mini-Conference Series webpage for detailed events.