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Program Overview

The Lucas Center for Faculty Development promotes excellence and innovation in teaching and learning at FGCU.  We offer programs for new faculty and their seasoned colleagues that aim to transform classrooms and careers. While most of our initiatives are targeted to faculty, we offer a robust selection of programming that supports, facilitates, promotes and advances best practices within our diverse learner-centered campus community.



The Course Design Academy (CDA) will meet for three full days in Summer A to explore learner-centered design principles, discuss ideas in small learning teams, and apply principles/concepts to courses and syllabi. You will exit with a new and improved fall course and tools to implement strategies and activities. Over the three days, we will continue to explore ways to “backward” design from what we want our students to know, identify effective ways to assess what our students know, explore ways to support significant long-term learning, and plug these ideas into your course.


Dates: May 15th, 17th & 19th
Time: 9:00a-3:00p
Location: LIB 221 (Lucas Center)

Assignment DEsign Academy

Assignments are powerful teaching tools, and their design is one of the most consequential intellectual tasks that faculty undertake in their work as educators. Yet that work is often private and unavailable for collegial exchange and knowledge building. This Academy will be an opportunity to talk with other faculty interested in trading ideas about the design and use of the various tasks, projects, papers, and performances we set for our students. Thoughtfully designed assignments can support learning-centered curricular and pedagogical reform and create clearer, more powerful pathways for  students. And for faculty, working together on the design and peer review of assignments has turned out to be a powerful professional development experience. This Academy makes use of resources developed by the Transparency in Learning and Teaching project, and you can find additional information here that may help you decide if this Academy is right for you.


Dates & Times: May 23rd 8:30a-1:00p & May 25th 9:00a-3:00p
Location: LIB 221 (Lucas Center)


The Academic Portfolio Workshop is an intensive, week-long, mentored experience for faculty who intend to submit a promotion portfolio within the next two years. Adapted from a model designed by Peter Seldin, co-author of The Academic Portfolio:  A Practical Guide to Documenting Teaching, Research, and Service, participants are assigned to a faculty coach who provides advice, editing, and feedback on the narrative portions of the promotion portfolio. The workshop will 1) aid you in developing an organizational framework to showcase your strengths and accomplishments as a faculty member and 2) offer guidance on how to organize your portfolio to meet university standards.


Dates: Week of June 5, 2023
Location: LIB 221 (Lucas Center)



Adjunct Academy

The Adjunct Academy is a professional development opportunity for adjunct instructors who are in good standing with their department and have taught for two consecutive years at FGCU. The purpose of the Adjunct Academy is to provide evidence-based pedagogy training to adjunct instructors who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge in teaching and learning best practices. Upon completion of all components of the Adjunct Academy compensation will be increased by $650 per three credit hour course. Note: this academy will be available twice per academic year, depending on demand.


Over a 12 month timeframe, the following components must be completed:

  • Four two-hour, in-person pedagogy workshops, (including preparation for each session and a post-session assignment to be submitted on Canvas).
  • Completion of Canvas online workshop
  • Participation in one additional Lucas Center or Digital Learning academy or program OR three single session pedagogy workshops/presentations.
  • One peer observation of teaching, documented by an observation report written by the peer observer.


Please contact lucascenter@fgcu.edu for additional information.


Peer observation of teaching is a supportive and developmental process to encourage dialogue about teaching among collaborative peers. Research suggests that the peer observation process can benefit the teaching of both observer and observed (Hendry & Oliver, 2012). Therefore, by participating in this workshop you will 1) increase your capacity to provide a valuable service to your peers and the university, and 2) engage in professional development to enhance your own teaching. Faculty who have achieved the rank of associate professor or instructor II are eligible.


This workshop is facilitated over the course of three days from 9:00a-3:00p in-person at the Lucas Center (LIB-221).


The Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Academy provides time, space, and resources for individuals from across the university to engage in inter- and cross-disciplinary discussions for sustainability content development. Faculty, staff, and adjuncts from all colleges and programs are encouraged to apply to this cohort-based annual workshop. No prior experience with sustainability is necessary. Participants will be compensated by stipend for participating in all scheduled dates and revising and/or implementing sustainability content, activities, or experiences.


Dates: May 10th, 12th & 18th
Location: LIB 221 (Lucas Center)


Questions? Email jpmarcolini@fgcu.edu or bhollingshead@fgcu.edu 

Application Due March 31, 2023!


Course-Based ApplicationCo-Curricular Application




Intermittent Academies

These academies are available according to faculty/staff interest.


Climbing the Ladder to Successful Teaching, Scholarship and Service

Since the inception of the New Faculty Academy, we have had requests to develop similar experiences for faculty members who have been at FGCU for some time. The Lucas Center for Faculty Development has developed an annual academy to support faculty at early career (Instructor I, Assistant Professor, Assistant Librarian). The topics we cover and the tools we will provide will prepare, lead, guide, and challenge you to define your goals for the next 3-5 years, to support the attainment of your goals and identify how to integrate the three areas of faculty work with your personal and professional life. Imagining what your career can look like will prepare you to be an agent for your own growth and development. We hope you join fellow faculty members as they explore and plan their future career path.


Managing your Career as Running a Marathon: Reflection & Transformation

Since the inception of the New Faculty Academy, we have had requests to develop similar experiences for faculty members who have been at FGCU for some time. The Lucas Center for Faculty Development has developed an annual academy to support faculty at established career (Instructor II & III, Associate Professor/Associate Librarian, Professor/University Librarian). The goal of this academy is to maintain instructional vitality, explore the role of advocacy and leadership, and to develop ways to engage in the reciprocal nature of mentoring. You will participate in a community of scholars and collaborate with a colleague across disciplines.

Book Clubs

Book Clubs are scheduled for fall and spring terms. Faculty and staff members can sign up for one club and must commit to reading assigned pages and participating in every discussion. The Lucas Center provides a copy of the book for participants to keep.



By: Brené Brown

Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. When we dare to lead, we don't pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don't see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don't avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it's necessary to do good work.


Discussion Facilitated By: Lindsay Singh
Dates: Thursdays - 1/19, 2/16, 3/16 & 4/6
Time: 10:00a-11:00a
Location: Lucas Center (LIB 221)
Modality: In-Person




atomic habits

By: James Clear

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.


Discussion Facilitated By: Kristine Tullo & Angel Taylor
Dates: Thursdays - 1/19, 2/16, 3/16 & 4/13
Time: 11:30a-12:30p
Location: Lucas Center (LIB 221)


What Inclusive Instructors Do

By: Tracie Marcella Addy, Derek Dube, Khadijah A. Mitchell, Mallory SoRelle

This book uniquely offers the distilled wisdom of scores of instructors across ranks, disciplines and institution types, whose contributions are organized into a thematic framework that progressively introduces the reader to the key dispositions, principles and practices for creating the inclusive classroom environments (in person and online) that will help their students succeed.


Discussion Facilitated By: Brenda Thomas
Dates: Tuesdays - 1/31, 2/21 & 3/14
Time: 3:00p-4:00p
Location: Lucas Center (LIB 221)
Modality: In-Person


The Spark of Learning

By: Sarah Rose Cavanagh

In friendly, readable prose, Sarah Rose Cavanagh argues that if you as an educator want to capture your students' attention, harness their working memory, bolster their long-term retention, and enhance their motivation, you should consider the emotional impact of your teaching style and course design. To make this argument, she brings to bear a wide range of evidence from the study of education, psychology, and neuroscience, and she provides practical examples of successful classroom activities from a variety of disciplines in secondary and higher education.


Discussion Facilitated By: Jessica Marcolini
Dates: Tuesdays - 1/24, 2/28 & 4/4
Time: 1:00p-2:00p
Location: Lucas Center (LIB 221)


The Dawn of Everything

By: David Graeber

The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and a faith in the power of direct action.


Discussion Facilitated By: Laura Frost, Ph.D.

Fall Dates: Tuesdays - 8/30, 9/20, 10/18 & 11/15  |  Spring Dates: Tuesdays - 1/17, 2/14, 3/14 & 4/11
Fall Time: 12:30p-1:30p  |  Spring Time: 12:00p-1:00p
Location: Lucas Center (LIB 221)


This is a 2 semester book group spanning both fall 2022 and spring 2023. Only participants from the fall are able to participate in the spring.


Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) are informal groups of faculty members who meet on a regular basis to explore topics of common interest. Groups may discuss relevant articles and classroom examples. Some groups may pose questions for the group to answer or seek problem solving help. Other groups may develop research projects or begin scholarly writing groups.


Facilitated by Heather Snapp


This faculty learning community is designed to help you integrate information literacy more intentionally into your assignments and courses. Learn about best practices, discuss strategies, and share and gain ideas from each other. Attendees will create or modify a new or existing assignment or course with the goal of incorporating information literacy objectives. This FLC is facilitated by Heather Snapp, First Year Experience and Outreach Librarian.


Facilitated by Anne-Marie Bouché


All teachers are necessarily designers — we create a universe of material and immaterial “things” with which students have to interact. How well that interaction goes is, to a surprising extent, controlled by the design of those things, whether that means a whole course, a webpage or an individual learning object.

The term “design” encompasses a very broad range of useful concepts and processes that can be used to improve educational materials and outcomes. By applying research-based design principles, and by simply looking at our courses and course materials more critically with a design-sensitized eye, we can discover many creative ways to enhance usability, reduce errors and confusion, make course communication more efficient, improve outcomes, provide an enhanced learning environment for a wider range of students and increase student satisfaction.

This Faculty Learning Community is for those who would like to explore the application of basic design principles and concepts to teaching and learning. Using our own courses and course artifacts as examples, we will share creative ideas and insights and develop a community of practice with the goal of making our courses more functional and more engaging. The first two meetings will be devoted to foundational concepts: design thinking, the design process and an introduction to basic principles. Participants will then be invited to select specific aspects of their courses they would like to focus on in subsequent meetings. Some possible topics include: syllabus design, designing your Canvas website; using design to improve assignment instructions; using visual assets effectively.

Week 1: What does “design” have to offer to teachers? Basic design concepts; “design thinking” and design process; “accessible” and “universal” design in education.

Week 2: Evaluating courses and learning objects from a design standpoint. Please bring at least one example or problem from your own practice that provides a problem or a solution that illustrates the application of one or more of the design principles explained in the readings below:

Donald Norman. The Design of Everyday Things (introduction)

William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler. Universal Principles of Design (excerpts)

Weeks 3-5: Specific topics to be determined by the group.


Facilitated by Greg Boyce


Undergraduate research is a high impact teaching practice that provides a unique mentoring opportunity for students and faculty. The Council of Undergraduate Research goes as far as to state “We believe that undergraduate research is the pedagogy of the 21st century.” In this faculty learning community, we will discuss best practices, design appropriate level projects, identify internal and external funding opportunities, and share what works best in providing transformative experiences to our undergraduate students. New cross-discipline collaborations may also arise from attending this FLC. We will also have guests from various fields of study who will briefly share their experience followed by group discussion and Q&A. Research is broadly defined as seeking new knowledge and all disciplines (including art, business, engineering, entrepreneurship, humanities, nursing, sciences) are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Lucas Faculty Fellows 2022-2023


Megan Atha, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Educational Measurement, Assessment, & Research
COE Department of Leadership, Technology & Research
Focus of Fellowship: Focus of Fellowship:  The focus on my fellowship is in supporting FGCU faculty in using Qualtrics survey software to enhance pedagogy and scholarship through workshops and consulting.

matha@fgcu.edu | 239-590-7202



Jessie Marcolini, Ed.D.
Assistant Director/Instructor II
Whitaker Center for STEM Education/ Department of Integrated Studies
Focus of Fellowship: Creating Teaching Resources to Increase Active Learning Strategies within High Enrollment and DFW courses.

jpmarcolini@fgcu.edu | 239-745-4293


Coming Soon

Georgia Strange, Ed.D.
Adjunct Instructor
University Colloquium
Focus of Fellowship: Representing and advocating for adjunct faculty, starting with research about the Florida University System while learning how different departments on campus support their adjunct faculty. Communication with departmental chairs and upper administration will be informed through interaction with adjunct faculty in diverse venues and formats.



Coming Soon

Elizabeth Weatherford, M.A.
Instructor II
Language & Literature
Focus of Fellowship: Researching and demonstrating how Universal Design for Learning can be used to increase student engagement, performance, and instructor satisfaction.

eweatherford@fgcu.edu | 239-590-7773

2020-2022 Fellows' Resources

2018-2020 Fellows' Resources

New Faculty Mentoring

What is a Mentor?

Mentors are full-time faculty members at FGCU who have been with the university for at least three years. Faculty members who have successfully completed the Course Design Academy will be given preference as mentors because of their work in best practice pedagogy. Mentors have skills in many areas but do not profess to be a “guru” about all things but rather are a “coach” who can support early career faculty members and help a new faculty member find the resources either on-campus or in the wider academic community to be a successful faculty member. Although these mentors will be expected to primarily support the new faculty members with classroom pedagogy, they may be called upon for advice and support in other areas.  A mentor may not be from the same discipline or department as the mentee; however, the mentor will help the mentee find the advice and resources they need.

For application information, contact the Lucas Center at lucascenter@fgcu.edu.

New Faculty Academy


New Faculty Academy (NFA) is for new (and relatively new) faculty members at FGCU, who are referred to NFA by their department chair upon being hired. During the fall semester, we will focus on best practices for teaching effectiveness. In the spring we introduce an intentional, holistic approach to shaping your career. All new resident faculty hires at FGCU with less than two years of university teaching experience (not including graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships or adjunct teaching) are required to enroll. Other new faculty may enroll, if there is space available.


Teaching Effectiveness: The first half of NFA is built upon the belief that while no one can make you be a better teacher, you can be given the tools to develop your own “teacher persona” through reading, discussing, reflecting, and practicing.  Along the way you’ll have opportunities for feedback from your NFA facilitators, other faculty members and your peers.  The goal is to equip you with skills that will set you on the path of teaching effectiveness.


Shaping your Career: The second half of NFA recognizes that there are multiple demands on faculty members and that preparation to work in the academy does not always a) address the full range of professional responsibilities faculty engage in, b) clearly outline expectations for success, or c) acknowledge the challenge of finding a healthy balance between professional and personal responsibilities.  The goal is to equip you with skills that set you on the path to overall success as a faculty member at FGCU. 



NFA is offered bi-weekly during the fall term on Friday mornings from 9:00a-11:00a and monthly on Fridays during the spring term in LIB 221.

For more information, please contact us at lucascenter@fgcu.edu or 239-590-1282.

Peer Observation of Teaching


Formative Feedback


At the Lucas Center we view peer observation of teaching (POT) as an effective mechanism for assisting faculty to achieve their professional goals related to the art and science of teaching. Research strongly suggests that POT (being observed and observing others) can provide an opportunity for collegial conversations about teaching, while also enabling reflective practice and providing opportunities for the provision of developmental advice (Drew et al., 2016; Hammersley-Fletcher & Orsmond, 2005; Hendry & Oliver, 2012; Pressick-Kilborn & te Riele, 2008).

In order to most closely align POT with the mission, vision, and goals of the Lucas Center, we employ a coaching model that conceptualizes POT as a formative, collaborative, and developmental series of activities conducted between a Lucas Center representative and a faculty member who wishes to engage in a dialogue about her/his teaching (in contrast to a summative, more formally evaluative approach used by some institutions). In this spirit of mutuality, all observers commit to opening their classrooms to observation by those they observe.

Despite our intention to enact a process that is useful and fulfilling for both the faculty member being observed and the observer, we acknowledge that vulnerability and concerns about judgment are inherent in the process. Therefore, we ensure that confidentiality is built into the POT procedure, and written reports are provided directly and only to the observed faculty members when requested. Peer observers are encouraged to share their experiences of and feelings about being observed in their own classes in order to foster trust and mutuality in the observation process.

The Lucas Center will not provide letters or reports attesting to the quality or effectiveness of one’s teaching based on a single observation. However, when faculty members provide a clear set of learning objectives for a given lesson during the pre-observation meeting, observers can comment on the extent to which those objectives have been achieved.


Faculty wishing to schedule an observation should follow these steps.

  1. Contact your chosen observer to request an observation at least three weeks before the date of the class session you would like observed and arrange a pre-observation consultation.
  2. Email your observer the course syllabus and any materials you believe would help her/him better understand your goals for the class and how you intend to accomplish them.
  3. Attend a brief (typically 15 – 30 minutes) pre-observation meeting, during which you will a) discuss your general approach to teaching and any specific elements of your lesson (e.g., teaching methods, style, student engagement) about which you would like feedback and b) learn about the observer’s approach to conducting an observation.
  4. Within a week of the observed class, participate in a post-observation meeting, during which you and the observer will discuss your respective perceptions of the class, and the observer will provide feedback and suggestions (often including detailed descriptive notes) typically in direct response to the areas of focus discussed in the pre-observation meeting. 

We strongly believe that peer observation of teaching can play a valuable role for all faculty who engage in a reflective process of professional improvement. We hope to visit many of your classrooms and encourage you to observe the teaching of Lucas Center personnel at your convenience.

Trained Peer observers

  • Menaka Navaratna

  • Alayde Barbosa

  • Angel Taylor

  • Tatiana Schuss

  •  Brenda Thomas

  •  Lynn Jaffe

  •  Erik Insko

  •  Tanya Huffman

  • Jackie Greene

  • Dan Bacalzo

  • Reid Lennertz

  • Jason Zhang

  • Jan-Martijn Meij

  • Jeffrey Kleeger

  • Amanda Parke

  • Matt Palmtag

  • Daniel Lambrecht

  • Cara Brooks

  • Shelby Gilbert

Small Group Instructional Diagnosis of Teaching (SGID)

Between weeks four and seven of the semester is a terrific time to seek feedback from your students about how they are experiencing your class. The Small-Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID) is a focus group led by a trained facilitator who speaks directly with your students to provide formative feedback concerning ways learning can be enhanced. A post-SGID consultation between facilitator and instructor is part of the procedure. The SGID session takes about 30 minutes of class time. 


Information SheetMID-TERM FEEDBACK

Student-Faculty Partnership Program

Applications now open!

Applications for Fall 2023 Partners are open now through Monday, April 24th at 8am.


Students, filling out this application is Step One. You are also asked to prepare two letters of reccomendation, one from a faculty or staff member and one from a peer.

You will be contacted via email once you submit this applicatoin to further discuss next steps. 



The model for the SFPP is the Bryn Mawr Students as Learners and Teachers (SaLT) program (Cook-Sather, 2014), a student-faculty partnership program that has proven effective for over a decade. Like the SaLT program the SFPP pairs faculty members with students positioned as pedagogical consultants to those faculty. The program has been running successfully at FGCU since Fall 2018. Student-faculty pairs work in semester-long partnerships to analyze, affirm, and revise the pedagogical approaches employed in a particular course, with participants meeting regularly one-on-one and in larger groups to discuss their work. 

Students apply for the position of consultant; the application process includes writing a statement about why they want to be a consultant and what would make them good at the role. Student applicants also secure two letters of recommendation: one from a faculty or staff member, and one from a student peer. This application process is not designed to exclude but rather to prompt students to reflect on their experiences and recognize the ways in which they have expertise and insights to bring to conversations about teaching and learning. Each student consultant is paid approximately $1248 for the semester to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Consultants will participate in an orientation and all participants will be given detailed guidelines for participating in the program.
  • Consultants will meet with their faculty partners to establish why each is involved, what hopes both have for the collaboration, and to plan the semester’s focus and meetings.
  • Consultants will visit one class session of their faculty partner’s course each week and take detailed observation notes on the pedagogical challenge(s) the faculty member identifies.
  • Consultants will survey or interview students in the class (if the faculty member wishes), either for mid-course feedback or at another point in the semester.
  • Consultants will meet weekly with their faculty partners to discuss observation notes and other feedback and implications.
  • Consultants also participate in weekly meetings with other student consultants and with the coordinator of the program for support and debriefing.

Additional details of the SFPP are as follows:

  • Consultants are not enrolled in the courses for which they consult.
  • The student-faculty partnerships are formed largely based on participants’ schedules and, where possible, taking into consideration personality and academic experience.
  • Faculty receive a $500 stipend

By bringing faculty out of pedagogical solitude and into partnership with students, the program will invite faculty to reflect critically on their pedagogical practice in dialogue with those who spend their days in classrooms, and it positions students as co-producers rather than consumers of educational approaches and knowledge.



Cook-Sather, A. (2011). Layered learning: student consultants deepening classroom and life lessons. Educational Action Research, 19(1), 41–57. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2011.547680

Cook-Sather, A. (2014). Student-faculty partnership in explorations of pedagogical practice: a threshold concept in academic development. International Journal for Academic Development, 19(3), 186–198. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2013.805694

Cook-Sather, A. (2015). Dialogue Across Differences of Position, Perspective, and Identity: Reflective Practice in/on a Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership Program. Teachers College Record, 117(2), 1–42.

Cook-Sather, A., Bovill, C., & Felten, P. (2014). Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching: A Guide for Faculty. San Francisco, CA:  John Wiley & Sons.


2023 Southwest Florida Symposium on Teaching and Learning:

Fresh Ideas in Teaching and Learning

Two-day event for faculty, staff, and students


Keynote Address by Dr. Mays Imad
"Harnessing the Resilience Within"

Thursday, February 2, 2023

In-Person Lunch & Viewing at 11:30 on FGCU campus or FSW campus -OR- Zoom from anywhere at Noon


Symposium Sessions

Friday, February 3, 2023

Held remotely via Zoom; 9:00am to 1:50pm, 50 minute sessions every hour

Join us for our Symposium sessions presented by faculty and staff from both FGCU and FSW. We will facilitate a variety of 50 minute sessions every hour with the first beginning at 9:00a and the last beginning at 1:00p. By using the below link to register for the Symposium, you will be added to our email list to receive the Symposium Program. The program lists every session with respective Zoom links for you to join as your schedule allows. See the full program, with Zoom links to join individual sessions, HERE.


2019 program 2020 program2021 Program2022 PROGRAM 2023 Program
Questions? Contact lucascenter@fgcu.edu or tlc@fsw.edu