Funded Projects
Faculty Development Fund (FDF)
Project Title Overview of the Project
Curriculum development for Language, Disability, and Neurodiversity
Jonathan Brennan
LSA - Linguistics
Natasha Abner
LSA - Linguistics


We propose bring scholarship connected to disability justice and neurodiversity into required "core" Linguistics courses at the 300 level. We develop curricular units that move topics of disability and neurodiversity from the periphery to the center of our curriculum. These units will address topics that are already recognized as key materials for these levels (e.g., reasoning about meaning in discourse, the acquisition of grammar, or processing variability in language perception) but which can be made richer when combined with a disability and neurodiversity lens. With such a lens, we move away from a curriculum that contrasts a binary “typical” with “atypical” language towards one that embraces a fuller range of human language experiences.
Activating Service Learning in Entrepreneurship & Leadership
Antonio Cuyler
Music, Theatre & Dance


Through this project, I will identify, select, and partner with 25 cultural organizations across the U. S. to implement service learning in three courses: Arts in Community Engagement, Cultural Policy, and Managing Cultural Organizations About, By, For, and Near People of the Global Majority. Research has found, at a minimum, that implementing service learning into these courses will lead to gains in academic abilities, career skills development, and an overall positive college experience for students (Cuyler, 2017; Cuyler, 2018; Miller et al., 2022). Furthermore, successfully implementing service learning into my courses, could compel further evidence-based curricular enhancements because this project represents a potential improvement upon and departure from existing practice within the Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership because few courses utilize service learning or community service as an opportunity to innovate in teaching and learning within the discipline. I will use analysis of student work, course assignment, documents review, and syllabi to disseminate, document, and evaluate this project’s four SMART goals.
Musical Theatre Wellness Initiative
Catherine A. Walker
Music, Theatre & Dance


The Musical Theatre Department is strongly committed to the health and well-being of our student and faculty community. This 3-tiered initiative is designed to enhance the wellness of the musical theatre students and provide professional development for faculty. This collaborative, multidimensional proposal involves 90 students and 18 faculty and includes Physical Assessments for Injury Prevention; Vocal Health & Pedagogy; Somatic Training in the Art of Conscious Breathing. As a direct result of the pandemic, e-learning became common practice and the hours of use of electronic devices increased substantially. Studies have linked this increased device usage to diminished physical and emotional health in both students and faculty. There has been a noticeable change in the student's connection to their bodies, breathing, posture, and alignment as well as diminished concentration, anxiety, digestive health, and quality sleep. This type of training will enrich the curriculum and teach awareness, the practice of self-care, and wellness, which will serve our students as they enter this demanding profession. This Wellness Initiative will support the physical, vocal, and emotional health of both our students and faculty. The health of an individual directly impacts the health of the community writ large. Since musical theatre requires collaboration and engagement in group activities, this wellness initiative will have an impact on the health of both the individual and the collective community. This proposal is in alignment with the University of Michigan’s commitment to a campus-wide Well-being Collective to make our campus a better place to live, work, and learn.
Evaluating and Refining the Health Equity via Anti-Racist Teaching (HEART) training
Paul Fleming
Public Health
Melissa Creary
Public Health


The “Health Equity via Anti-Racist Teaching”, or HEART project is aiming to transform the way that Public Health and allied health sciences is taught so that future health professionals will learn in an anti-racist environment and have an anti-racist toolkit to address inequities. The HEART project is an online course to train health instructors (including graduate student instructors) on how to implement anti-racist teaching principles and reduce barriers to anti-racist teaching methods. The curriculum is already created and includes six different modules with readings and about 10 hours of new recorded video content (e.g. a combination of video lectures and montages of anti-racist teaching experts). The initial build of this training program has been funded by Poverty Solutions and the School of Public Health. To further the powerful potential impact of this project, the creators would like to use $10,000 for mixed-methods evaluation to refine the effectiveness of this training and create an implementation guide for health training programs to utilize this training content for a group of instructors (i.e. GSI training or faculty professional development). The evaluation money would be used for conducting focus groups of faculty and GSI that will go through the curriculum. In response to this evaluation, the curriculum can be revised and refined, preparing it to be further implemented and distributed to Schools of Public Health, Nursing, Social Work, and beyond.
Developing and Evaluating a Large Team-Based Learning Organic Chemistry Course
Nicole Tuttle
LSA - Chemistry
LSA - Comprehensive Studies


In Spring 2022, I experimented with moving Chem 215 (generally a traditional lecture/discussion course) to flipped, team-based design. These changes led to some more equitable outcomes as desired (such as a reduced withdraw rate), but further development and evaluation is required to fully understand the impacts. This proposal seeks funds to research and develop: (1) rethinking the discussion section and how it can best be used, since the "lecture" portion of the course generally functions as the discussion section used to; (2) training a new generation of GSIs/UIAs to facilitate group work during, which is training they generally have not previously received; and (3) evaluate the changes to the course on students and instructors. The impacts of this work are potentially quite significant; about 140 students take Chem 215 in Spring semester, but the course serves ~1500 students annually. The Chemistry building is undergoing planning for a renovation, and so the moment is now to consider future team-based classroom needs. Evaluation of the course changes will focus on both undergraduate students, with a particular focus on the development of confidence around learning chemistry and a growth mindset, and the undergraduate and graduate instructors in the course, looking at their sense of a growth mindset, confidence with organic chemistry, persistence, and sense of themselves as a teaching professional.
Format, Sources, Framework: A Three-Fold Redesign of a Survey of Early Christianity
Ellen Muehlberger
LSA - History
LSA - Middle East Studies
LSA - Classical Studies


This grant would support the redesign of a historical survey of early Christianity on three fronts. The instructor and two graduate students involved will explore potential changes to the traditional lecture format and select a model to run in Winter 2024; they will generate a broader range of historical sources for students to work with in the course than has been used in the past, part of which will comprise the development of assorted research dossiers to support a mid-term group project; and they will consult with other instructors of the survey on its framework, specifically to break away from the traditional chronological presentation of material. The work will take place over two summers: Summer 2023, when the consultation, planning, and research for the initial iteration of the redesigned course in Winter 2024 will take place, and Summer 2024, when evaluation of the new course and new adjustments will be made.
Supported Study Groups in Key Second Year STEM Courses
Nina White
LSA - Mathematics
Greg Bodwin
Engineering - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Kolby Gadd


Inspired by programs such as Treisman’s Emerging Scholars Program, this project will create, support, and refine models for out-of-class study groups in the specific context of key second-year courses for Math, Computer Science, and Statistics majors at our institution. The goals of these groups include building students’ content knowledge, self-sufficient collaborative learning skills, and sense of belonging in the discipline. This proposal aims, specifically, to evaluate and compare distinct models for out-of-class study groups. The models range from intensive support (with graduate student “guides”, extra faculty office hours, and more) to less supported (reflection assignments). There are two primary undergraduate populations these groups are serving: first is MaCSS scholars---a recently funded scholarship program for low-income math, stats, and computer science majors; second is students, more generally, in Math 214, Math 215, and EECS 203. Best practices for supporting these study groups that learn from this implementation and evaluation will be shared broadly with instructors and coordinators of mathematics, statistics, and computer science courses at the University.
Are we All on the Same Page? Capturing and Visualizing Real-time Multi-source Evaluations using MIRROR in Team-Based Simulations
Vitaliy Popov
Medical School


To enhance the current high-stakes learning environment, technological advances are needed to provide team- and learner-specific feedback to coach learners in retaining and improving cognitive and behavioral skills required for team-based clinical care (Kozlowski & Chao, 2018; Rosen et al., 2018a,b). This project aims to fill this gap by building upon the previously validated Radar graphical tool to develop and evaluate a novel real-time 3600 assessment and feedback system: MIRROR (MultIsource RadaR Tool On Team Reflexivity). MIRROR maps the four constructs of clinical decision-making (seeking information from the patient, seeking information from the team, evaluating information, and planning and acting on a decision), where output is a visualization of multisource evaluations from the instructor, peer-observers, learner, and team on a given simulated situation. Through this, instructors will be able to provide new insights and personalized feedback during reflection-based debriefing sessions to allow for more meaningful reflection, targeted intervention, and rapid development of these complex skills.
Worldbuilding Game
Alina Nazmeeva
Architecture and Urban Planning


This proposal seeks funding to create, test and evaluate an advanced prototype of a creative game, titled Worldbuilding Game that facilitates and structures interdisciplinary and collaborative learning in design. The continuous development of the Worldbuilding Game as a method of teaching and learning serves two major goals that improve the existing teaching practices in design disciplines and beyond. First, as an educator in the design field I am particularly interested in implementing gamified learning practices in my classes as a way to introduce inclusive and collaborative learning. Worldbuilding Game is a departure from the existing design studio teaching practice that often excessively focuses on individual work. As a method of inclusive learning, and a part of anti-racist and inclusive pedagogy, Worldbuilding Game has a capacity to incorporate interests, experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, creative proposals, and ideas from all students in a gamified, playful context. Second, gamification methods – using game elements in non-game contexts – are utilized to promote change and challenge both disciplinary epistemic brackets and siloed knowledge. In the design studio classroom context, worldbuilding aids in crafting a rigorous contextual framework that supersedes singular imaginations, contingent on individual experiences, positions and affinities. Going beyond thinking as an urban designer or an architect, during this exercise students engage in role-playing actors, with perspectives, affinities and positions that may differ or oppose their own.
Inclusive Simulation for Weight Bias Reduction to Prepare Students for Equity-Driven Nursing Practice


The obesity epidemic in the U.S. impacts roughly 42% of individuals (CDC, 2021), and a 66% rise in weight discrimination has occurred over the past decade (Fruh et al., 2016). Obesity impacts not only physical health and wellbeing but influences the quality of care that overweight and obese individuals receive. To address this inequity, this project aims to use inclusive simulation strategies to educate nursing students in the care of overweight/obese patients.
Currently, all simulation manikins in the School of Nursing represent a thin body type. This inhibits hands-on content for overweight/obese patients in the curriculum. If selected for funding, we aim to improve our existing practice by disrupting the thin body type norm of training equipment. Money from the Faculty Development Fund would aid in purchasing four bariatric obesity simulation suits (Sim U Suit, 2022) that can be weighted and fit over existing manikins or live persons. These suits will allow for more realistic student experiences to enhance the quality of learning in the care of overweight/obese patients.
Simulated student experiences with the suits will be created based on the level of clinical development. Students will be invited to complete a survey prior to and immediately after their training or simulation to measure cultural humility, overweight/obesity bias, and the perceived effectiveness of the simulation. This project has the potential to positively influence the readiness of graduating and registered nurses to engage in inclusive practices and reduce weight biases, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.
Urology Surgical Collaborative Resident Education Curriculum (SCoRE Curriculum)
Yooni Yi
Medical School


Urology Surgical Collaborative Resident Education Curriculum (SCoRE Curriculum) – A solution to the challenges of the rapidly evolving landscape of urology residency

The field of urology is a rapidly expanding field and research has suggested that recently graduated urology residents do not feel ready for independent practice. Currently, a dedicated surgical curriculum outside the OR is absent. This presents an opportunity to modify surgical training to better meet the operative needs of trainees. In light of this gap, we sought to create a dedicated surgical curriculum incorporating video-based review. This curriculum would incorporate index cases – initially robotic and laparoscopic cases. Two faculty members from two different institutions would serve as panelist to display expert videos with annotation. This would then be followed by review of two trainee videos to provide constructive feedback and advice. A library of videos and video reviews will be created on a secure website for further review. We anticipate this curriculum will increase the trainee level of confidence, increase autonomy, and ultimately improve surgical education.
The M-COPE Curriculum Series for Pediatric Cardiology Fellows – Promoting Mental Health in both our Patients and Physicians
Amanda McCormick
Medical School
Melissa Cousino
Medical School
Sonal Owens
Medical School
Carolyn Vitale
Medical School
Heang Lim
Medical School


Aim: To design, implement and rigorously study a curriculum aimed at patient mental health in children with congenital heart disease as well as physician well-being for pediatric cardiology trainees.
Background: Through limited studies, it is known that children with congenital heart disease have increased incidence of mental health disorders than their peers, yet are underrecognized. Mental health disorders are associated with poor outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease. Currently, no formal training exists for pediatric cardiology fellows in mental health. Additionally, physician and fellow physician burnout and mental health is known to result in poor patient care as well as increased rates of physician suicide.
Approach: Design of a holistic and interdisciplinary led 8-12 month didactic based train-the-trainer model curriculum, integrating mental health topics directed at both the mental health of the patient and the physician. Pediatric cardiology trainees will learn to screen their patients for mental health disorders and facilitate referral, as well as participate in self screening for burnout and specific anxieties related to fellowship, and learn strategies to increase resilience and self-care.
Future Directions: If successful, this curriculum may be reproducible to other subspecialties and/or other centers for collaboration in larger multi-center studies.