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Posted on April 10, 2013

To showcase the talents of faculty and students, the Faculty Professional Development Committee will present the seventh annual Academic Excellence Days April 23-24.

This year’s theme is “Taking the Lead Together.”   

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

The FPDC Teaching and Learning Subcommittee will sponsor two presentations by Dr. Ian Crawford, chair of the Arts and Humanities Division of the Council for Undergraduate Research.

Both presentations will take place on April 23 in Room 206 of the student center.

At 11 a.m., Crawford will present “Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity: Going Beyond the Sciences.” He will describe the benefits of undergraduate research for faculty as well as students, discuss the institutional value of undergraduate research programs, and identify key features of successful programs.  

At 2 p.m., Crawford will facilitate a workshop, “Incorporating Undergraduate Research into Your Syllabus,” designed to help faculty build undergraduate research opportunities into their existing courses and implement them throughout the curriculum.

Additional faculty and student presentations will take place during the two-day event. Attendees will learn about encryption codes and how to “crack” them, discover how iPads can be used in the classroom, and explore the use of mock trials to teach legal concepts.

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 April 23, and the Service and Service-Learning Poster Session will be held April 24.  

Artworks created by students in the Department of Art and Design will be displayed both days 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. on April 24.

The Academic Excellence Learning Communities Award 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. 

During this year’s Academic Excellence Days, Dr. Marta McClintock-Comeaux, the 2012 AED award winner, will report on her project activities during the past year. Other CAL U faculty members who have received FPDC grants also will discuss their grant-funded projects and how they have contributed to their professional development.  

A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be served both days at the Natali Performance Center from 7:30-9 a.m. and from 11a.m.-12:30 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