“Hungry for the future,” is how Dean Andreas Cangellaris described engineering students in his welcome to the 2014-2015 cohort of Collins Scholars. “They are here because of you, and you are here because of them,” he asserted, emphasizing for the new engineering faculty and instructors the power of the student-teacher relationship, and the shared excitement of being part of Engineering at Illinois.
Approximately 30 new faculty and instructors participated in the August 22, 2104 Collins Scholars Kick Off. The afternoon began with lunch and an overview of the program from AE3 Staff Laura Hahn, Chris Migotsky and Leslie Crowley. “People here care about your success, and we want to help you get and stay connected,” Laura stated in her welcoming remarks. The Collins Scholars program provides a culture of support for teaching, research and service in a collegial environment.
Chris emphasized that the peer observation process is “a crucial part of the program, and past participants consistently say that being observed by experienced, supportive colleagues is one of the most useful activities the program offers.” Past Collins Scholars Ashlynn Stillwell (CEE) and Tomasz Kozlowsk (NPRE) joined this year’s cohort for lunch and strongly endorsed this, sharing some of their own experiences with the being observed in the classroom.
“Being a Collins Scholar means being part of the legacy that Leighton Collins helped create at Illinois,” said Leslie. “Collins believed that teaching engineering meant having ‘two professions: one to be a good engineer and the other to be a good teacher.'”
New Collins Scholars also heard from several engineering students who shared their “best and worst teaching experiences,” and answered many questions about student and faculty expectations.
The Kick Off concluded with a Reception for the new cohort and their families, with departments heads, senior faculty, and campus experts in teaching and learning also in attendance. We look forward to a productive year with our new Collins Scholars!