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Posted on April 2, 2012

To showcase the talents of faculty and students, the Faculty Professional Development Committee will present the sixth annual Academic Excellence Days Tuesday and Wednesday.  

This year’s theme is “Connecting Faculty and Students Through Academic Achievement.”   

A variety of activities designed to stimulate academic excellence will take place each day from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Natali Student Center.  

The FPDC Teaching and Learning Subcommittee will sponsor a workshop by Dr. Marie Norman, associate director of the Eberly Center of Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University.

Norman will lead “Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching” from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Tuesday in Room 206 of the Natali Student Center. She will discuss three simple but powerful principles of learning, along with teaching strategies to put these principles into practice.

Dozens of other faculty and student presentations will take place during the two-day event. Attendees will learn how to create documents with LaTeX and how to make medieval-style arts and crafts.

Faculty members will discuss effective uses of classroom technology and incorporating Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into their courses. Students will present academic research, projects and activities.

Posters created by students will be on display from 9:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. each day in the Performance Center. The Student Scholarship, Research and Creativity Day Poster Session will be held Tuesday, and the Service and Service-Learning Poster Session will be held April Wednesday.  

Faculty also will present posters on topics including the Cal U Leader for Life program and issues in health and exercise science.

Artworks created by students in the Department of Art and Design will be displayed in the Airport Lounge, where three a cappella singing groups — Cal Singers, Vulcanize and Acappella Stella — will perform an eclectic mix of popular music from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday.

The Academic Excellence program, initiated by and supported through the FPDC, awards competitive grants to faculty and staff who want to plan a learning community to foster academic excellence, intellectual rigor and civil discourse. Proposed learning communities must be multidisciplinary and include students, staff and faculty. 

Recipients of the 2011 Academic Excellence awards will report on their work on last year’s projects.

The 2012 recipients will launch their learning communities during this year’s Academic Excellence Days and wrap them up at the 2013 event.

A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be served both days at the Natali Performance Center from 7:30-9 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., respectively.

All members of the University community are invited to attend this event.

A complete schedule of events will be available at the Faculty Professional Development Center’s website.  For more information, contact the FPDC office at 724-938-4505 or e-mail