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Wednesday, June 18 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
CON1.10 – Transformations - Transitioning from Professional to Academic Life: The First Year (Room A343)

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This panel discussion will explore the experiences of four new faculty members who participated in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) during their first year in an academic position. The PLC was designed to support the acclimatization of new faculty, informed by literature on new faculty support (Austin, 2003; Eddy & Gaston-Gayles, 2008; Sorcinelli, 1994), communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and mentoring in academia (Solem & Foote, 2006). The panelists, all of whom have transitioned from professional to academic life, shared a journey of ‘transforming professional teaching practices within and beyond the classroom.’ From the professional fields of nursing, education, counseling, and aviation, panelists experienced unique challenges and successes in their first year, yet some recurring conversations continued to emerge within the group. Each panelist will focus on a theme that was most salient to their experience as follows:

Robert Catena, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Translating professional experience and expertise into the classroom: Nurses build upon foundational skills and knowledge through clinical practice that enables them to progress from novice to expert (Benner, 1982). However, challenges may emerge when new nursing faculty endeavor to translate professional (clinical) expertise to the academic setting. This panelist will share approaches and strategies used to facilitate student learning and bridge these two contexts.

Shannon Funk, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies

Transitioning geographically and theoretically to a new community: Coming from a public school teaching background, how can a new faculty member create connections within/beyond the university walls? What does ‘being new’ mean and how does one begin to network on a new geographical and theoretical/professional landscape?

Shelley Skelton, Assistant Professor, Child and Youth Studies

Navigating relationships with students and colleagues: How does a new faculty member negotiate boundaries and relationships with students? This issue is a particularly salient one for this panelist, as relationship building is foundational to counseling but must take a different form in teaching.

Deanna Wiebe, Aviation

Freedom and decision-making in a new role: How does one shift from a team environment in flight instruction, to one of isolation as the program’s only faculty member? Coming from a flight training background which focused on the in-aircraft training rather than the academic aviation training, this panelist experienced both an increase and a decrease in freedom and decision making.

Moderator: Jennifer Boman, Assistant Professor, Academic Development Centre

Jennifer is one of the two facilitators of the Professional Learning Community and will moderate the panel.

Participants in this session will be invited to discuss their experiences relating to transitioning to academia and/or being new faculty. Panelists will share strategies that have helped them transform their teaching, learning, and shifting identities as new faculty, as well as elicit participant thoughts and experiences.  The intended outcome of the session will be for participants and panelists to leave with ideas and strategies to support their own learning and transition to academia and/or to have new insights to better support transitioning new faculty.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 1:30pm - 2:20pm EDT
A343 McArthur Hall

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