Teaching Excellence, Honors Program and Experiential Learning
“The space created in the Tsotsis Family Academic Center for the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) has helped affirm for the campus community the vital and dynamic nature of teaching and learning at Assumption,” said Professor Jim Lang, Ph.D., director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence.
The new offices and shared conference rooms provide a welcoming environment for faculty to engage in both conversation and research about how to create the best possible learning experiences for their students. Prof. Lang shared that the new building has also provided space for the program to expand with the creation of the D’Amour Student Fellows program, which invites some of the College’s best students to help inform the work and extend the reach of the CTE.
The CTE shares its space with the Honors Program, which includes a spacious new lounge, study rooms and a computer room, and provides Assumption’s brightest students an appropriate space to promote both formal and informal learning.
"I love walking into the suite in the morning to find students working together on calculus problems on the whiteboard or in the study room reading or writing their senior theses,” said Director Molly Flynn, Ph.D. “This school and this program fosters learning, and also friendships and conversations.”
At any given time throughout the day, several students can be found studying or collaborating in the lounge or one of two study rooms and a dedicated computer room. “One of the benefits of the new study room is the amount of space it offers,” said honors student Abdul Nashef ’20, adding that the new equipment offered in the study room, such as new printers, provide students with a comfortable space where they can work on projects and study with other students. “In the [old] honors study room, you had to be quiet and considerate of others, whereas in this one you can interact with your friends and study for an exam.”
Maeve McDonald ’21 loves the resources available to honors students. “I think it really models what Assumption is trying to foster, which is a space that’s collaborative learning and getting to really exercise your talents, but then also working with other people. This is a great environment for that,” she said.
Other offices designed to assist students in their efforts to pursue a career are hosted in the new academic center such as the Experiential Learning Program. The program, an arm of the business studies department that connects students with local organizations in order to apply their academic learning in a real-world setting helps students seeking practical, relevant business-related internship opportunities to complement their Assumption education.
Geoffrey Skowronek ’18 has been working with Program Coordinator James Monette for two years, he finds the office’s new location much more convenient, as most of his classes are in the Tsotsis Family Academic Center. “He [Monette] has been extremely influential in preparing and finding opportunities to further my future career,” Skowronek said of Monette. “His understanding of experiential learning opportunities helped me to land a very crucial business internship which has made me a much stronger candidate to future employers. [I am] very glad to have such a strong resource like Mr. Monette in such a convenient location on campus.”
Skowronek is not the only student taking advantage of the new, convenient location of the Experiential Learning Program. “Since the move, I have been exposed to a greater number of students, and as a result, am able to work with an entirely new audience,” said Monette. “It has catapulted the Experiential Learning Program into an entirely new stratosphere.”
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College