Funded Projects
Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching
Project Title Overview of the Project
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
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.
Communication and Case Studies in Nursing Education
Jade Burns


To better support our faculty members at the School of Nursing to adopt inclusive teaching as a mindset and to and incorporate various materials into their courses and curriculum design, the School of Nursing developed an inclusive teaching checklist modeled after the CRLT checklist and also a teaching Canvas site. These resources guide faculty members to create inclusive syllabi and course materials, set inclusive classroom norms and guidelines, maintain inclusivity over the course, and incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion-related materials related to health into course materials. Currently however, there is a need for more complex case studies specific to different nursing courses that faculty can use to spark student discussions and facilitate their understanding of how various social identities influence nursing and health. Furthermore, there is also a need for communication guidelines on how to listen deeply to give and receive feedback during sensitive moments. Therefore, the CRLT Instructional Development Grant will be used to organize and facilitate a writing retreat for nursing faculty to develop case studies relevant to their individual courses and will be used to develop a brief 3-5 minute video on giving and receiving feedback.
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.
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.
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.
Entrepreneurship Case Study Podcasting
Brian Hayden


Finding Your Venture (ENTR 410) offers a uniquely practical framework for launching a new venture. Our students are bright and capable but lack context and perspective about what happens in business and startups. Guest speakers and storytelling help bridge that gap, but are sub-optimal teaching tools. It’s hard to map what a guest speaker will say to measurable learning objectives and we want to change that. I’ve begun experimenting with video and podcast case studies as a more intentional way to bring context into the classroom,. Episodes of the podcast “How I Built This” have been useful for testing the concept, but a library of case studies that we build ourselves could be even more powerful. I’ve spoken with other faculty who want to use these resources in their courses, and who will use the equipment to create more content.
Online lectures on Great Lake Science and Management
Karen Alofs
Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)


The project centers on the production of a series of online video lectures by experts which will facilitate flipping the Science and Management of the Great Lakes course in the School for Environment and Sustainability. Lectures will be organized around six themes: the Great Lakes Ecosystem, Economy and Society, Water Quantity, Fisheries Management, Water Quality, Coastal Communities, and Envisioning the Future. Funding will be used to hire a student to coordinate with instructors, facilitate filming, editing and posting lectures online. Students will use the video lectures to develop background knowledge to apply during in class case-studies and discussions. Online lectures will also function as a resource for the broader audience of those interested in the sustainable management of the Great Lakes Region.
Lecturers' Professional Development Fund (LPDF)
Project Title Overview of the Project
Participation in ASEE Annual Conference
Robin Fowler


I am requesting funds to support my travel to and participation in the 2020 annual conference of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), the largest engineering education conference. I anticipate presenting at this conference (abstract submissions will be reviewed in late Fall; final paper acceptance won’t come until ~March 2020).
Electro-Acoustic Percussion Composition, Recording, and Performance Project
Jeremy Edwards
Music, Theatre & Dance


I am requesting funding in support of a 12 month electro-acoustic music composition, performance and recording project. The acquisition of the Sensory Percussions System, a new technology for integrating electronics and percussion instruments through the use of sensors, would allow me to develop new skills in the area of composition, sound design, interactive systems design and explore new aesthetic territory as a musician. I plan to use the funds to purchase a set of Sensory Percussion drum sensors, special silent drum heads for use with the sensors, and to fund the production of an electro-acoustic percussion CD of new original works. The project will be divided into five phases: technological and aesthetic research, composition and interactive system programming and design, practice/rehearsal and system iteration, recording and post-production work, and a public artist talk and live performance of the developed works. At the end of the project I intend to make the hardware purchased through the grant available to the Performing Arts Technology (PAT) department for use in relevant performance courses and for students to use in their own original work. Both of the 200 level courses that I teach in PAT contain projects in live performance with electronics and PAT 432, a course in studio production, focuses on advanced techniques in recording, mixing, and mastering. The experience and knowledge gained through this project will directly inform the teaching in my current courses and has the potential to open up new opportunities to expand my role within the department.
Learning From Adaptive Reuse Architecture in Detroit
De Peter Yi
Architecture and Urban Planning


I am applying for funding to support my research and teaching on adaptive reuse architecture. Specifically, the funding will go towards hiring and mentoring a student researcher, as well as producing an exhibition of the research output at the 555 Arts Gallery in Detroit in spring 2020. Adaptive reuse architecture touches on many key issues facing the built environment today, including urban identity, equitable development, and sustainable material use. These issues have a magnified presence in Detroit, where there is currently a large number of pre-existing building stock waiting to be renovated and repurposed. Over many trips to Detroit, I engaged with a diverse range of organizations working on adaptive reuse projects throughout the city, including a non-profit arts group that is currently renovating a former tobacco warehouse in Poletown. My research spans the site’s history of industrial use, neglect, and resurgence, tracing the private and public initiatives that have shaped Detroit’s urban fabric. My goal is to bridge between topics that are prevalent in architecture academia with community stakeholders working on adaptive reuse projects that could make use of this knowledge. The exhibition of my research in the form of drawings, maps, and models at 555 Arts Gallery will further communicate this shared knowledge to not only the university community but also a larger audience in Detroit. Ultimately, this work will continue to support my expertise and teaching in adaptive reuse architecture and provide my students with the opportunity to engage real world challenges in their own studies.
Safe Passage- Camino Seguro - Guatemala City Garbage Dump Community Education Program Volunteer


Safe Passage- Camino Seguro - Guatemala City Garbage Dump Community Education Program Volunteer.

Safe Passage/Camino Seguro is a non-profit in Guatemala which helps children and families, living in the community surrounding the Guatemala City garbage dump, break out of poverty in a dignified and permanent way through education. Safe Passage offers educational programming and psychosocial emotional support services to 550 students, ages 4-high school. (

My primary goal at Safe Passage is to prepare a future Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates in 2021. Given that I will be responsible for a group of UM students, I want to ensure students’ safety, establish what work students will be doing, figure out the cost of living, possible cultural events and excursions, etc. I will work directly with the Volunteer Coordinator to put together a proposal for this GIEU.

From June 1-19, 2020, I will serve as a volunteer. I will collaborate with teachers and assist in the classrooms, providing support and training for both students and teachers. I will:
- Serve as a teacher for students and adult literacy/Creamos students
- Assist and mentor our lead teachers in middle school and high school programs
- Create and implement creative classroom lessons, working to promote the development of critical thinking skills
- Carryout other classroom duties as assigned

As I am a non-native speaker Spanish Lecturer, immersion in the language and culture is essential to my professional development. I will bring both my linguistic and cultural advancements directly back to the classroom.