Funded Projects
Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching
Project Title Overview of the Project
Reproductive justice education: collaborating with reproductive justice advocates to create a video-based teaching.
Charisse Loder
Medical School
Joanne Bailey
Medical School
Chris Chapman
Medical School


Reproductive justice is defined as “the human right to maintain bodily autonomy, have children, not have children and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities”. In the United States, there is a history of reproductive injustices in which health professionals were complicit in coercive sterilization, experimentation with sexually transmitted diseases and new contraceptive technologies on women of color. Currently, there is no formal reproductive justice education for health professionals, however, reproductive justice advocates are interested in designing education in cultural humility, reproductive rights and social determinants of health to train providers.Women's studies undergraduates learn about reproductive justice, however, experts in this topic area are often outside of the academic realm. We propose to create video-based education through collaboration with a diverse group of reproductive justice advocates to educate undergraduates in Women’s Studies, graduate nursing students and medical students. These 5-8 minute videos will introduce key reproductive justice topics and can be used in conjunction with lectures, small group discussion and written case discussions. We will assess student and facilitator satisfaction with the video learning tool, student attitudes and confidence with applying reproductive justice skills. Additionally, we will use qualitative methods to determine if learners incorporate key reproductive justice knowledge and skills into coursework.

Understanding student learning in introductory astronomy classes


More than 2500 students per year fulfill at least in part their natural science and quantitative reasoning requirements with an intro astronomy class for non-science majors. To make this learning experience as impactful as possible, we should understand what our students are learning (facts, concepts, skills or attitudes) and how instructors shape that learning. Accordingly, the astronomy department has been assessing the learning of ~1000 students/year in some large enrollment 3 and 4 credit classes. This effort has provided an understanding of typical learning gains, how these gains vary between students with different backgrounds and characteristics and gives a rich dataset for both more nuanced analysis and as a baseline for assessing the impact of interventions.
This effort allows us to frame some urgent, important and as-yet-unanswered questions.
a) Has learning actually improved over the last four years, and if so, has that affected students from diverse academic and social backgrounds? Or, have we instead been monitoring but not improving?
b) What, if any, is the measurable impact of particular interventions?
c) How are students learning in our other large-enrollment classes?
The goal of this proposal is to provide the funds to support the effort an astronomy education researcher to continue our assessment effort and answer these questions. This proposal strongly aligns with the Whitaker Fund goal of ‘assessing courses and/or curricula’, and supports our assessment and prioritization of ‘innovations in teaching methods or approaches’ and ‘inclusive teaching practices that foster success for students of all academic and social backgrounds.’
Trauma-informed Practice Certificate for Prospective Teachers, Social Workers, and Nurses
Julia Seng
Todd Herrenkohl
Social Work


Schools are an important context for building resilience in children who have experienced trauma. To do so, school professionals must understand the impacts of adversity and how trauma manifests in the body. They must also learn to interact with students in ways that are sensitive to the social and behavioral challenges that some will inevitably encounter. Pre-service training in trauma-informed practices is notably lacking, which is concerning because undergraduate and graduate students who aspire to careers in education or other helping professions have little or no exposure to this critically important content. Faculty from the School of Education (SOE), School of Nursing (SN), and School of Social Work (SSW) will collaborate on a certificate program for UM students called Trauma-informed Practice & Leadership (TiPL). TiPL is unique in its emphasis on interprofessional education for practice across the three disciplines. Enrollment of practicing school professionals in the certificate program, along with UM students, will enrich the learning environment and bring examples from the field into the classroom. Completion of a sequence of 3 one-credit courses will result in a certificate of completion. TiPL will have a significant impact on the teaching and learning environment at the UM by providing a space for faculty and students in SOE, SN, and SSW to share knowledge and pursue common interests. Because this certificate will also include practicing professionals, there will be a unique opportunity to strengthen ties to schools and to the local community.
Lessons from the Front Lines: Piloting an Online Platform for Strengthening Community Organization Courses in the School of Social Work Via a Michigan Organizers Video Archive
Barry Checkoway
Social Work
Larry Gant
Social Work
Joseph Galura
Social Work
Shanna Kattari
Social Work
Beth Reed
Social Work
Amber Williams
Social Work


The proposed project aims to create an online platform through which community organizers’ experiences and stories can be captured, taped, and archived in a curated video format and used across multiple classrooms in and outside of the School of Social Work. As an innovative and sustainable teaching model, the project would enhance student learning by integrating Michigan’s community organizers into classrooms using a dynamic digital platform. Lessons from the Front Lines: Community Organizing Archives will feature 15 to 20 organizers in 20-minute videos, sharing their own experiences and their practice, key skills and strategies, lessons from the field, and other information in an interview style setting. These videos will be coupled with short biographies, photos, information about communities/issues, suggested readings, and links to additional resources. For more robust access, the information will be searchable by “type” of practice, and will also have keywords connected to organizers’ profiles. We anticipate partnering with Academic Innovations to create the most user friendly and dynamic online experience while also leveraging the A/V, communications, and technology resources already available to us at the School of Social Work. The videos will be used within multiples community organization social work courses at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels, to supplement and enhance current course content. We intend to reach approximately 100 undergraduates and over 200 graduate students annually. This project supports the School’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals to bring diverse voices and experiences into the classroom in new and meaningful ways.
Instructional Development Fund (IDF)
Project Title Overview of the Project
"At Home in the World": Female Filmmakers from the Global South
Swapnil Rai
LSA - Film, Television, and Media


This grant will help fund an industry speaker for two projects:

: "At Home in the world: Transnational Women's Cinema": The course examines women’s films produced within national and transnational geo-cultural spaces posing questions about national versus exilic or postcolonial auteur subjectivities. In doing so we will analyze the films’ aesthetics, institutional context of production, global circulation and situate them within the larger theoretical framework of transnational feminist scholarship. To help students understand the perspective of filmmaking in the Global South I want to invite a speaker from India to video conference with the students. She has written the screenplay for the controversial feminist film "Lipstick Under My Burka" that was banned by the Indian Censors for being too "lady oriented".

: Concurrently, I am teaching a second course on Global Media where the class critically examines the role that film, television, video games, and other media play in shaping our sense of global, national, and local cultures and identities. The primary assignment for this class focuses on Netflix and the speaker identified for project one is currently working on multiple projects for Netflix India. The CRLT grant would enable me to offer the speaker an honorarium that would make it worthwhile for her to speak to both my classes about her experience as a woman in a male dominated film industry as well as the dynamics of Netflix's localization in transnational markets.


Honorarium for speaker : 2 Lectures : $ 350

Impact of traditional versus virtual simulation education for pharmacists on aminoglycoside pharmacokinetic dosing and monitoring


Aminoglycosides have narrow therapeutic window and patient-specific pharmacokinetics are highly variable in hospitalized patients; therefore, necessitating intensive therapeutic drug monitoring to prevent supratherapeutic and subtherapeutic levels that can lead to clinical consequences (i.e. nephrotoxicity). It is crucial to provide effective aminoglycoside education to pharmacists. Unfortunately, there is limited data evaluating traditional compared to innovative educational interventions (i.e. computer-based patient simulation) in teaching aminoglycosides. Computer-based patient simulation technology simulates “real-life” clinical scenarios for learners to utilize their critical-thinking skills. We plan to evaluate learning outcomes (knowledge and application) and pharmacist perception of two educational activities on aminoglycosides (traditional vs computer-based simulation). We propose that implementing a computer-based patient simulation educational intervention compared to traditional education on aminoglycosides in pharmacists will improve knowledge and application scores. This study is a prospective, comparative, pilot study (pre- and post-study) will include pharmacists at Michigan Medicine that provide patient care in the adult inpatient setting. The educational interventions will consist of: traditional education (a review document, paper-based cases through a multiple-choice-question competency, and one-hour debrief with an Infectious Diseases clinical pharmacist) or computer-based simulation education (same components of traditional education with computer-based patient simulation activities instead of paper-based cases). Pharmacists will be grouped to receive either traditional (pre-group) or computer-based simulation (post-group) education. Pharmacists will receive pre- and post-assessments and survey evaluation of the activity. Based on the results, we plan to expand computer-based simulation education to all pharmacists and other healthcare professionals hospital-wide and assess the impact of this intervention on patient clinical outcomes.
Experiential Workshops in Butoh (Japanese Contemporary Dance)


We seek funding to cover expenses for a Chicago-based butoh artist to give specialized, experience-based workshops to our students in butoh, a contemporary Japanese dance form we are covering directly in two courses: ASIAN 200/HISTORY 203: Introduction to Japanese Civilization and ASIAN 480: Dance In Modern Asia. The workshops allow students to learn about the materials we are covering in class through kinesthetic, auditory, and visual engagement. They also provide students with deeper personal experience of a non-Western dance style not taught at the University of Michigan. The artist we are proposing to bring this year is Ginger Krebs, Adjunct Associate Professor of Performance and Contemporary Practices at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Krebs received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 and is a prominent artist in the butoh field in North America. Krebs has presented recent work at several leading Butoh festivals, including the Post-Butoh Festival (2014, 2015) and the Seattle International Butoh Festival (2018). Both courses will have already used readings and films to introduce students to butoh history and theory and its relationship to Japanese society and Asian dance history. The workshop will give students an opportunity to experience butoh practice in an embodied way. The two faculty are working collaboratively to save on expenses and minimize costs related to this visit.
Scent Mediums and the Sensory Life of Religion: Experiential Learning in “Religion, Media, and Politics” course


Mediation is central to sensory religion and religious publicity alike. In my course “Religion, Media and Politics” we consider not only the religious use of mass media technologies but also how old and new mediums -- from loudspeakers to billboards to icons to incense -- materially mediated religious sights, sounds, tastes and smells. In class, we experience first-hand the audio, visual and even tactile productions of the religious communities and movements we are studying. This grant extends such experiential learning to smell, perhaps our most overlooked and taken for granted sense. Through group activities around smelling materials and objects of religious significance, we consider how smell intersects with notions of difference, communal belonging and individual memory. This raises new ways of understanding the olfactory sensory politics not just of religion, but also of class, race and gender. It also engenders reflections on the smell-scapes of students’ own everyday life, from advertising to beauty to food.
The Dissertation Coach
Simone Sessolo
LSA - Sweetland Center for Writing


The Dissertation Coach draws on dissertation writing strategies to affect individual student characteristics. As students interact with the Dissertation Coach by responding to evaluations of individual writing practices, they receive personalized feedback that encourages effective writing habits. It collects ongoing data on students’ challenges and pedagogical complications in dissertation writing and supervisory practices, and offers consistent writing feedback that dissertation advisors often cannot provide for lack of time. Among other benefits, the platform enables inclusive learning: students with disabilities, off-site students, and first-generation students can access the platform from wherever they are, in whatever form works best for them. The tool’s purpose is to engage early dissertation writers in effective writing habits: it molds behavior for long-form academic writing. Because of the interdisciplinary composition of the student body using the tool, the Dissertation Coach offers “writing across the disciplines” advice. It has the potential to impact early dissertation writers from across the University. Moreover, the Dissertation Coach can be adapted to specific departments or disciplines by adding content tailored for those units. This means the Dissertation Coach is both scalable and replicable: scalable, because it can be easily offered open-access to all graduate students; and replicable, because its interdisciplinary content can be easily augmented with discipline-specific messages.
Collaborative Syllabus Design: Summer Birth Book Club
Leigh Stuckey
LSA - Anthropology


"Collaborative Syllabus Design: Summer Birth Book Club" is a project to collaboratively update the 150-student ANTHRCUL 325 Childbirth and Culture syllabus by reading significant new literature in the field together with former students. Birth Book Club will provide a smaller, more informal setting for student-instructor interaction, with benefits for students and for my teaching. Students with significant interest in and career goals involving childbirth will have an opportunity to delve more deeply into the subject, connect with peers that share similar interests, and collaborate closely with their instructor in a setting outside of the classroom. I will also invite birth practitioners in Ann Arbor to participate in our book club and lend expert insight, providing a chance for students to meet local leaders in their intended fields. Finally, by getting to know these students in a more intimate setting, I will be able to be a better resource, recommendation writer, and advisor to them. Further, I will be able to evaluate student learning and garner substantial feedback about how students are interacting with course texts in ways that are often not available to me as a lecturer of a large class. Ultimately, collaboratively, students and I will assess the texts and determine whether and how they best fit into the Childbirth and Culture syllabus, paying careful attention to which chapters are most valuable, interesting, and accessible to undergraduate students.
Connect and Assess
Daicia Price
Social Work


An interdisciplinary group including medicine, nursing, and social work was formed for the purpose of providing Michigan graduate and undergraduate students with an interdisciplinary, experiential learning experience in a community setting. The project will use the funding to purchase the Michigan Model of Health. This grade-specific curriculum will be brought into the classrooms of Dixon Educational Learning Academy. At the same time, these health care students will use their assessment skills to identify physical, social, emotional and learning needs.
Adding an Experiential Dimension to Introduction to Judaism


When we learn about the religious traditions of our own heritage communities, it is typically a multi-sensory and immersive experience only loosely connected to the official beliefs of a given religious community. When we are taught about the religious traditions of other heritage communities, it is a very different experience. The first real consideration of non-heritage religious traditions frequently happens at the college level through the mediation of secondary sources or even textbook descriptions of a tradition’s official tenets. The contrast is not benign. One tradition is experienced as a living tradition-—alive, multifaceted, complicated, and rich in sensory experience. The other is experienced through a flattened description given at second hand-—devoid of complexity or moving sensory associations. Moreover, since introductory courses often elide this formal difference, students may be tempted to attribute the unflattering contrast to the religious traditions themselves. This project seeks funding to break down this dichotomy by introducing new students of Judaism in "What is Judaism" (Introduction to Judaism) to some of the smells, sounds, tastes, and textures of Judaism as a religious tradition.
Master Class: Dr. Christin Schillnger, bassoonist from Ithaca College
Jeffrey Lyman
Music, Theatre & Dance


As part of a national series of celebrations and recitals in honor of my primary teacher Bernard Garfield, former principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, I am hosting four guest bassoonists (all former students of mine) who have each carved a unique niche in the larger discipline of bassoon performance and who are all "grand-students" of Garfield. I am seeking assistance from CRLT via the Instructional Development Fund to cover the honorarium of one of these guests, Dr. Christin Schillinger, Assistant Professor of Bassoon at Ithaca College. Dr. Schillinger is an advocate for women composers and women bassoonists, having recently released a compact disc dedicated entirely to music by women, including many newly commissioned pieces written especially for her. Other past recordings have covered a wide range of contemporary compositions for bassoon and piano, bassoon and percussion, and bassoon with voice. Dr. Schillinger has appeared as a featured guest of the Meg Quigley Competition, an event that offers master classes and a competition to young women bassoonists from across the US. Dr. Schillinger has recently published a historical survey of reed making for our instrument titled Bassoon Reed Making (Indiana University Press 2016.)
Using a tablet to represent student thinking and aid in formative assessment


I am seeking funding to buy an IPad and accessories for two teaching projects I am implementing this semester. The first project will use the tablet, almost daily, to project my representations of students' diverse numerical strategies. The second will use applications on the tablet to help me with rigorous, ongoing, real-time, formative assessment.