Hello from CAST!!!  Here’s what’s happening in the next few weeks.  As always you can check out the CAST page above to find meeting minutes.

  • This Friday CAST is co-sponsoring a Faculty Development Workshop on Active learning from 9-3 in room 1115.  Several of our esteemed faculty will be doing presentations.  This event is required for non-tenured faculty.
  • Next Friday, 11/4, will be CAST’s first mini-TIE day.  You may remember a few semesters ago Ephrem Rabin’s TIE (Technology in Education).  This is a shorter version.  The event will run from 10-12.  Topics may include Google docs, Blackboard ins and outs, Prezi, Jing, etc.  We’re still finalizing the list of topics and presenters (our faculty again).  If you’re interested in presenting, let me know ASAP.  There may still be a slot for you. The presentations will run from 10:15-11 and 11:15-12 rooms TBD.
  • SAVE THE DATE!!!  Tuesday 11/15 will be the 2nd Technology Tools of the Trade from 2:30-3:30 in room 102.  Topics will include Google Docs and/or Prezi, a blackboard roundtable, Animoto, etc…  If you’re interested in presenting, let me know ASAP.  There may still be a slot for you.  Presentations occur simultaneously in “speed dating” style (i.e. attendees choose the topic, go to that table and watch/listen/interact for 10ish minutes before moving to the next table.  It’s fast-paced, fun and a great chance to learn about several different technologies in a short amount of time.  Here’s last week’s more detailed summary if you’re interested.
  • The pedagogy subgroup of CAST is kicking off the yet-to-be-named peer observations.  8 faculty signed up to participate in these non-evaluative observations over the next several weeks.  I’ll let you know how it goes.
  • The research subgroup is attempting to compile a list of the research faculty are engaged in.  Look out for an e-mail from your Department Chairs soon.  Department Chairs, look out for an e-mail from me.


That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading!  We’ve got a lot going on.  I hope to see you all soon.  The CAST meeting schedule is on our page above as is the calendar for room 1046, our faculty lounge.

Oh, one more thing… CAST is in the process of rewriting its charter.  Once completed, we’ll be calling for nominations for new officers.  Keep an eye out for that.

Greetings from CAST

Though you just heard from me yesterday, I’ve got a few things to say today that just can’t wait.  You’ll find a link to this post in your e-mail later today.   Here’s some updates of CAST’s work this semester.  We’ve been busy.

Yesterday CAST’s Technology Group held its first Technology Tools of the Trade.  Though somewhat lightly attended, the event was a great kick-off to a new way for us to share the together we use with each other.  Maybe you were grading.  Maybe you forgot about it.  Maybe, like so many, the time didn’t work with your schedule.  Nonetheless, here’s what you missed.

5 presenters took their place at round tables.  Attendees moved from table to table watching and engaging with the presenter for 10-15 minutes before moving to the next table in a speed dating-esque fashion.  Below is a run-down of the specific topics at each table.

  • Chris Sabino (me) showed the attendees how to create forms (surveys really) in Google docs.
  • Gitte Maronde showed the attendees how to create blogs quickly and effectively.  She had a very nice handout as well.  (Speaking of which, I’ll make any materials from yesterday available to anyone who wants them.)
  • Michal Eskayo showed attendees how to use online jeopardy in their classes.
  • Liliana Marin showed attendees the wonders of Google earth.
  • last but not least, Ephrem Rabin took a break from Blackboard and introduced attendees to Jing

If you wish you could have made it, don’t fret.  The CAST technology group will be having a long technology session on Friday Nov. 4 from 10-12 and will have a 2nd Technology Tools of the Trade on Tuesday Nov. 15 from 2:30-3:30 in room 102.  At TTotT 2, presenters will present on the same topics, if there’s a demand or new topics.  Vincent Wiggins has already agreed to do a presentation on Animoto.


Also, if you’re wondering what the Pedagogy and Research groups have been up to, check out the now approved CAST meeting minutes on the CAST page at the top of this screen.  The big initiative from the Pedagogy group is to get an “observation collective” in place in which faculty observe one another in a non-evaluative way.  If you’re interested, click here.  The research group has many plans that will soon come to fruition.  One of them is to compile a list of faculty actively doing research.  Another is to host a grant writing panel with members of our faculty who have had success obtaining grants. More pressing, the research group is hoping to team up with Dave Richardson and Kamran Swanson to host Great Books debriefs on the Tuesdays following the Great Books discussion weeks.


Other news…If you haven’t been to 1046 in a while you may have missed that we finally have some bookshelves.  Feel free to fill them at will.  CAST is working with the HW Library to see what journals and other publication HW has subscriptions to in hope of requesting other resources.  Also, I had the pleasure of meeting with Vanessa Smith who is the gallery director for the Department of Art & Architecture.  More pertinently, she manages the permanent art collection for the whole college.  She took at look at 1046 and told me that she’d put in a request for artwork to cover the bare walls.  These steps bring us closer to have a lounge that feels like a sanctuary and not just another classroom.


One last thing…If you’re untenured or going through post-tenure review and would like evidence that you attended FDW events, e-mail me.  I’m in the process of scanning all of the sign sheets so I can easily e-mail them to interested parties.

Thanks for reading!

Highlights from the Board Report–January

Highlights from the Board Report is a monthly regular feature that highlights what one person finds to be important from the most recent Board Report. We read it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

It was a busy January session (held at HW, woo-hoo!), but the report went up fast! As a bonus, it included the full list of the Reinvention Task Force members, which means we finally have a winner for our Task Force Announcement Prediction Finals Week Diversion Contest!

The predictor extraordinaire is Mathissexy who predicted January 12th at noon. I’m not sure whether the announcement was before or after noon, but the public report that includes the names of all of the members of the Reinvention Task Force, didn’t go up until a few days later, which is, as a carpenter I used to work for liked to say, “Close enough for government work!” Congrats to Mathissexy. Your prize is on the way! Heirapparent was quite close, predicting January 14th at 2:30, which was, unfortunately, after the time the report was posted (Price Is Right rules! You’re OVER!). Condolences on that.

What’s that? You want to know who’s on the list? Hold your horses, people; there’s more to report. For example:

~The HW Presidential Search is in full swing, having sifted through 40 applications and begun the process of interviewing top candidates.

~Academically speaking, 121 new tutors have been hired across the district, and the Provost met with multiple faculty to discuss multiple issues, including our Alan Meyers about Reading and English, Jeff Libman about Remediation, and Truman Faculty Council President Joy Walker about communication with faculty.

~Something about money.

~The Board approved lots of interesting changes to the Academic Policy, such as: some official approvals to our degree programs, acceptance of virtual office hours for instructors teaching online and hybrid courses, a few changes to the Tenure Requirements (including the requirement that hires with M.F.A.s take additional graduate hours (formerly exempted because of having terminal degrees), that all hires complete the Faculty Development Seminar in their first year (which counts for three graduate hours, apparently), and an academic integrity statement), some changes regarding Blackboard (adjuncts have to post their syllabus and all of them have to include “measurable SLOs” and must be available for students, guests, and observers by the end of the first week), seniors get to register for courses during open registration (rather than after classes begin), some changes to the nursing program requirements, and a rescinding of the requirement for written approval by the VP in order to have visitors.

~We are all accountable now for the success of the Reinvention. If it fails it’s your fault.

~It was a big month for hiring, too, with lots of good news for recently RIF’d HW people. The district hired 50 people including 16 advisors (including Patricia Cuevas, Devon Glover (welcome back, you two!) and Kenyon Douglass and Allison Zures). Also hired as an advisor is former HW star  and Mario Diaz (MX), while former HW star Zalika Brown was hired as a Director of a Special Needs Center (KK). The district also hired 8 new faculty members (African American Studies, Reading, Respiratory Care, and English at MX,  Child Development and a Librarian @ Truman, Reading @ Daley, and English @ KK (at a total salary cost of$375, 976). Also hired in January to work at the District Office were a new Vice Chancellor of Safety and Security, a new Chief Operating Officer, a new Executive Director (Nursing Programs), a new Managing Director (Special Projects), a new Executive Director (Academic Development), a new Project Team Leader, and a new Vice Chancellor–Human Resources & Staff Development. (Total salary cost for those 7 positions: $799,200). Plus, Brandon Pendleton was hired as the Interim Dean of Student Services at Kennedy King. Congratulations, Brandon. Also, welcome to Jeremy Gonzalez, a new engineer at HW, and last but not anywhere close to least, welcome back Cynthia Crump!

Oh! And if you scroll down a bit, you’ll find that list of Task Force Assignees, who include 18 students (4 from Wright, 4 from Truman, 3 from Kennedy-King, 2 from HW, 2 from Malcolm X, 2 from Daley, and 1 from Olive-Harvey), 16 FT faculty members 4 from Olive Harvey (English, Speech, Social Science, Data Processing), 3 from HW (Social Science, Business, Math),  3 from Daley (Math, Business, Biology), 2 from Truman (English, Speech), 1 from Malcolm X (Math), and 1 from Kennedy King (English), 3 adjuncts (HW, KK, and OH), 4 Adult Educators (2 from Daley, 1 from HW, 1 from Truman), 2 Advisors (Kennedy-King and Daley), 5 staff members (3 HW, 2 MX), 8 Administrators (3 from Truman, 2 from Kennedy-King, 1 each from HW, OH, and the District Office), and a Part Time Coordinator from Malcolm X.

~The District is applying for a $250,000 grant to “adapt and scale the Math on Demand program, currently used at Wright College, to the other six colleges (send your questions to Mike Davis).

~Finally, FC4 President Ellen Eason-Montgomery addressed the Board.