Fostering collegiality and celebrating outstanding teaching

In 1999, former University of Minnesota (UMN) President Mark Yudof established the Academy of Distinguished Teachers (ADT) in recognition of the importance of outstanding teaching to the university. The ADT’s purpose is to recognize and celebrate teaching excellence, foster continuous improvement of teaching and learning at the UMN, and strengthen the resources to do so. UMN College of Pharmacy faculty and scholars who are members of this prestigious group include Richard Brundage, James Cloyd, Ronald Hadsall, Rory Remmel, Jon Schommer, Raj Suryanarayan, and Donald Uden.

On April 27th, the ADT held their biennial conference where educators from across all UMN campuses gathered together to share ideas and have collegial discussions through workshops, roundtables, poster presentations, and short podium presentations. The program’s theme was “Good Stress, Bad Stress and the Teaching-Learning Relationship.” UMN College of Pharmacy educators and staff developed new and fostered existing relationships with colleagues across the university. At the conference, UMN College of Pharmacy personnel had three presentations where they shared their innovative, cutting-edge educational experiences with university-wide colleagues.

Sirikan ADT conf
Presenters: Sirikan Rojanasarot, BSc (Pharm), Anna Milone, PharmD, BCPS, Rebecca Balestrieri, MEd. Missing from the photo is Amy Pittenger, PharmD, MS, PhD.

One group led by Dr. Sirikan Rojanasarot had a poster titled “Personalized Learning in an Online Pharmacy Course.” The study showed that creating personalized learning objectives, which build on centralized course objectives and connect to a broader context, is one way to achieve the goal of an engaged and expanded learning experience for students.

P Ranelli at ADT conf
Dr. Paul Ranelli and “Go Ask Alice”

Dr. Paul Ranelli’s podium presentation, “Using Theater as a Tool for Healthcare Professionals (Go Ask Alice)”, included a scene from the full theater production of a play on the medication experience. An audience member commented, “That was a very powerful scene. It’s very important to take the patient’s perspective into account when talking with them about their medications. Thank you for sharing.”

Bethany at ADT conf
Dr. Bethany Von Hoff leading a session on student success

A panel discussion led by Dr. Bethany Von Hoff, “Joining Forces to Impact Student Development and Success,” included student services, student organization advisors, faculty members, educational design specialists, graduate students and pharmacy students to discuss elements of student success, as well as new curricular and co-curricular activities to help students thrive.

Panelists at ADT conf
UMN College of Pharmacy panelists at 2017 ADT conference

Student success is more than grades and graduation. Thriving includes healthy relationships, sense of community, making a contribution, and proactively coping with life’s challenges. There is still a lot to learn when it comes to student success and thriving.

Overall, the full-day event was a great success. It gave pharmacy educators and staff an opportunity to clarify and share their ideas for advancing education. New relationships were built and ideas were garnered, in order to advance student development and faculty development in the various disciplines and programs.

Presentation theme: “Creating successful, thriving students will take a variety of perspectives”

Can’t wait for the next ADT conference! Here’s to finding opportunities for collegiality and building relationships within and across academic institutions!!