Learning Communities & Book Groups



Community Cafe: Teaching & Learning in STEM

Dates: Wednesdays (2/14 & 2/28, 3/13 & 3/27, 4/10 & 4/24)
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!

Global Learning & Internationalization Reading and Research Group

Dates: Thursdays (1/18, 2/1, 2/15, 2/29, 3/14, 3/28, 4/4, 4/18)
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!



New Faculty Teaching Academy (NFTA)

Dates: Mondays (1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/19, 3/4, 4/1, 4/29)
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 (1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23)
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 (1/19, 2/2, 2/16, 3/1, 3/8)
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! 


In it for the Long Haul: Overcoming Burnout and Passion Fatigue as Social Justice Change Agents

Dates: Thursdays (2/1, 2/15, 2/29, 3/7, 3/28, 4/4, 4/18)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: TORW 319
Facilitator: Faith Yarberry

This book group focused on “In It for the Long Haul helps social justice change agents stop burning out and reclaim their energy to create meaningful change. Social justice change agents often feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the urgent need for change; yet, they can get stuck in hopelessness and despair. They are continuously running on empty, having to push themselves to keep going, afraid of burnout or slowly fading away from passion fatigue. Social justice change agent Kathy Obear almost dropped out of social change work several times in her career due to the depth of burnout and passion fatigue she experienced….Obear encourages agents to recommit to self-care so they can be of greater service and spark real change in the world.” (from Amazon description)  Register online!

Real Self-Care: [Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included]

Dates: Wednesdays (1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/6, 3/13)
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Facilitator: Amy Hawkins

“From women’s mental health specialist and New York Times contributor Pooja Lakshmin, MD, comes a long-overdue reckoning with the contradictions of the wellness industry and a paradigm-shifting program for practicing real self-care that will empower, uplift, and maybe even start a revolution.

You may have noticed that it’s nearly impossible to go even a couple days without coming across the term self-care. A word that encompasses any number of lifestyle choices and products—from juice cleanses to yoga workshops to luxury bamboo sheets—self-care has exploded in our collective consciousness as a panacea for practically all of women’s problems. 

Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Pooja Lakshmin finds this cultural embrace of self-care incomplete at best and manipulative at worst. Fixing your troubles isn’t as simple as buying a new day planner or signing up for a meditation class. These faux self-care practices keep us looking outward—comparing ourselves with others or striving for a certain type of perfection. Even worse, they exonerate an oppressive social system that has betrayed women and minorities.

Real self-care, in contrast, is an internal, self-reflective process that involves making difficult decisions in line with our values, and when we practice it, we shift our relationships, our workplaces, and even our broken systems. In Real Self-Care, Lakshmin helps readers understand what a real practice of caring for yourself could—and does—look like.” (from Amazon description)  Register online!