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​Current CTE Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events will take place at the Center for Teaching Excellence,
located in
the Feinstein Academic Center, Room 304.

The 2014 Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar on “Curiosity” invites you to:

Curiositas, Intellectual Curiosity and Transcendence


 Wednesday, April 30th, 2014, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Presenter: Dr. Patrick Byrne, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College

Great thinkers have both encouraged and cautioned us about curiosity. Curiosity has been called the inspiration that led to the greatest ideas in science, art and philosophy. Yet we are warned that "Curiosity killed the cat." This talk will explore the heights and depths of curiosity through the eyes of St. Augustine - who thought curiosity a vice - and Bernard Lonergan - who regarded intellectual curiosity as a divine gift. This event is open to all faculty and staff. Refreshments will be provided.

Patrick H. Byrne
is currently a Professor at Boston College.His teaching and research/publication interests include the relationships between science, evolution and religion; philosophy of service learning and social justice; and the thought of Bernard Lonergan, Albert Einstein, and Aristotle. His recent publications include: “What is an Evolutionary Explanation? —Darwin and Lonergan,” Lonergan Workshop (2012), “Is the Universe on Our Side? Scientific Understanding and Religious Faith,” The Lonergan Review 3 (2011), “Lonergan’s Transformation of the Darwinian World View”(with Frank Budenholzer) in Darwinism and Catholicism (2009); “The Integral Visions of Teilhard and Lonergan: Science, the Universe, Humanity and God,” Teilhard’s Vision for the 21st Century (2013); “Evolution, Randomness and Divine Purpose: A Reply to Cardinal Schörnborn,” (2006); and Analysis and Science in Aristotle (1997). He has completed a manuscript on the ethics of Bernard Lonergan.



Please RSVP by April 24th to, ext. 1340, or click the "SIGN UP" button below.

Click here for printable PDF event flyer.

Diversity Dialogues in Teaching

The Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) are hosting a multi-part discussion series entitled Diversity Dialogues in Teaching.
The purpose of the series is to promote faculty members’ ability to continue to be successful teachers in classrooms that are increasingly diverse.

The first part of the series is "How Stereotypes Affect Us". This centers around book discussion groups based on Claude Steele’s book “Whistling Vivaldi”.  Faculty who committed to participating were provided with a copy of the book upon RSVP.  Group discussions are currently in session. 

Watch for information on future groups and session offerings.


 Completed Events 2013-14


The PC Writing Center Spring 2014 Faculty Luncheon Series:
Building Better Student Writers

"Tackling Grammar"
This session begins with a short diagnostic that focuses on some of the more common errors in student writing. The ensuing discussion will help faculty members prioritize these errors and develop strategies to help students understand and avoid them.

1st offering:   Monday, March 17th 17 11:30 am, 2nd offering:  Monday, March 31st at 12:30 pm

"Promoting Real Revision"

Faculty have the opportunity to help students develop as writers and as thinkers through the feedback that they provide on papers - especially when feedback is intended to sustain the writing process. Join us for a conversation about the methods of responding that encourage students to think more critically and revise more substantively.

1st offering:  Thursday, March 20 at 11:30 am, 2nd offering:  Thursday, April 3rd at 1:00 pm

Sponsored by The Center for Teaching Excellence and the PC Writing Center.

Fulbright Experiences and Possibilities

Fulbright Ambassador Meg Stewart and Margaret Manchester, chair of the department of history and former Fulbright Scholar, will discuss their Fulbright experiences and the application process. 
Sponsored by: 
Sponsored Research & Programs, Center for International Studies, and Center for Teaching Excellence
For detailed information on the presenters and for a printable version of the event flyer, click here.

Stereotype Threat on Campus and in the Classroom

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 12:30 pm-2:00 pm

Presenter:  Rafael Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer,Office of Institutional Diversity

The fear or concern of being stereotyped changes how students perceive their classroom and campus environment, affecting their college performance.  During this workshop, participants will discuss a variety of case studies to consider how to reduce stereotype threat in the classroom and on campus.  Rafael Zapata, PC’s chief diversity officer, will moderate the case study discussion.  Refreshments will be provided.

The Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar presents:

Curiosity about Ancient New World Civilizations: the View from Colonial Mexico

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Presenter:  Dr. Rolena Adorno

In the Spanish American colonies of the Americas and the Caribbean, there was great curiosity, from 1493 onward, about the flora and fauna of the New World. This is a fascinating topic in its own right, but our question will be: when did curiosity about America’s ancient civilizations take root? When did the scholarly study of the ancient Amerindian peoples, those who had left great stone monuments and evidence of sophisticated material culture, begin? This presentation will explore how curiosity in colonial Mexico about the cultures of ancient America played a significant role in the foundation of Americanist studies. All faculty and staff are welcome.  Refreshments will be provided.

Click here for printable PDF event flyer.


Friday, February 28, 2013, 2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Facilitated by:
Siobhán Ross,Instructional Technology Development Coordinator
Dr. Angela Dills, Associate Director of  Center for Teaching Excellence, Professor of Economics

Snow days wreaking havoc on your syllabus?
Join us to discuss ways to engage with your students when you can’t be in the classroom.
 Sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the

Matters of Work and Family: A Discussion Among PC Staff Peers

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Facilitator:  Dr. Abigail Brooks
Director, Women’s Studies Program, Assistant Professor of Sociology 

An open, lively, and collaborative discussion on the joys and challenges of combining work and family today.

Technology in the Classroom: The Students’ Perspective

Friday, February 7, 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

During the Fall semester, the Instructional Technology Committee performed a random sampling of undergraduate, graduate and School of Continuing Education students about their experiences with technology at PC.  Members of ITeC will summarize these interesting results.  A student panel will
elaborate on student experiences with technology on campus.

The Diversity Proficiency

Friday, November 15, 2013, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Facilitated by:
Jim Keating
Chair, Core Curriculum Committee

Rafael Zapata,
Chief Diversity Officer,Office of Institutional Diversity

CCC Diversity Subcommittee members:
     Nuria Alonso Garcia, Foreign Language Studies    
     Mary Ann Sedney, Psychology
     Keith Morton, Public and Community Service Studies

A panel discussion of faculty members teaching courses fulfilling the diversity proficiency.  In a workshop following the panel, guests are invited to discuss their own courses and how they might satisfy the diversity proficiency requirements. This is a continuation of the diversity discussions begun last year.

Click here for printable PDF event flyer.


Infusing International Experiences into the Curriculum :

Brazil and India and the Dilemmas of Development

Dr. Nicholas Longo and Dr. Keith Morton, Public & Community Service Studies
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 12:00-1:30pm

As part of the PC International Education Week, Profs. Keith Morton and Nick Longo present on their participation in faculty seminars in Brazil and India this past summer.  They discuss especially the favelas in Rio and the massive urbanization in Mumbai. The presentation also includes a faculty conversation on how to better incorporate international dimensions into the PC curriculum, using these case studies as a starting point.

Sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Center for International Studies.

Click here for printable PDF event flyer.


DWC Colloquium Speed Dating is Back!

Thursday, September 19, 2013, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Thinking about proposing a DWC colloquium course?
Looking for ideas? Need a partner?

A brief overview of the colloquium teaching experience followed by opportunities to discuss ideas and connect with colleagues.  An additional session may be held next semester.
Sponsored by DWC and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Fall Fling!  A Welcome Reception for New Faculty

Friday, September 27, 2013, 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

An "open-house" format where the newest members of our academic community will share
their teaching and research interests in an informal setting. The social networking event of the
fall semester!

Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Teaching Excellence.


"A Day in the Life of a Teacher"

A conversation with 2012-13 Teacher of the year Award Recipient

Dr. Susan F. Skawinski, Associate Professor of Education
October 10, 2013, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Dr. Skawinski discusses her path as a teacher and shares her work educating teachers in children’s literacy. 


Faculty Lecture Series

The School of Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce the Post-Sabbatical Faculty Lecture Series for 2013-2014.  

Arts & Sciences faculty members who were on sabbatical in 2012-2013 have been invited to discuss the results of their sabbatical research with a general audience of faculty peers in the informal setting of the CTE.  All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.  Attendees are encouraged to bring lunch; light refreshments will be provided.


Wisdom Made Visible: The Role of Art in Early Christian Learning

Arthur P. Urbano, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Theology

Thursday, April 24, 2014
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Why were Jesus (historically a Jewish peasant), the Apostles (fishermen and Jewish provincials), and the early saints depicted in the style of Greek philosophers in the earliest Christian art? Why were these figures who presumably had little or no formal training in literature and philosophy represented in the same way as the educated elite? 

In this presentation, I will present the preliminary results of my sabbatical research exploring the Christian adoption and adaptation of Greco-Roman philosophical and educational themes in early Christian art.  As the early Church's theology and catechesis confronted the philosophical heritage of Greece, art was used as a medium to communicate a distinctive Christian religious and intellectual vision.


Completed Lectures 2013-14

Imperium: Concepts of Authority in the Roman Republic

Fred K. Drogula, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

For the past 200 years, modern historians of ancient Rome have accepted that the fundamental authority of elected magistrates in the Republic was imperium—the complete and all-encompassing power of Rome’s ancient monarchs that was transferred to the annually elected magistrates at the foundation of the Republican government in 509 BC.

Imperium, therefore, has been defined as the underlying official power that authorized elected magistrates to operate as generals, police, judges, government and legislative leaders, and even authorized them to communicate with the gods on behalf of the state. My current research challenges this sweeping definition of imperium and argues for a very different concept of authority in the Roman Republic. By examining the surviving evidence I argue that modern historians have wrongly attributed modern ideas of power and authority onto the early Romans, which has misdirected their thinking about imperium. By removing modern assumptions of how government ‘must’ work, I argue for very different definitions of imperium and magisterial authority in the Roman Republic.

The Love Song of James Arlington Wright

Chard deNiord, Professor of English

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
12:00 pm-1:00 pm

 In 1973, James Wright, the eminent American poet who was instrumental in trail-blazing a new path for free verse as an innovative, internationally-inspired alternative to formal verse in the sixties and seventies, wrote the rough draft of a poem he called "Hook" that would, in his revision of this poem, become two of his most famous poems, "Hook" and "To A Blossoming Pear Tree." I will discuss his revision of this poem in conjunction with life events that influenced him not only to take a radical new turn in his work, but to change his life as well.

From Paris to Oxford: Four 19th Century Prophets of the 2nd Vatican Council

Rev. Peter M Batts, O.P., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology

Friday, October 25, 2013
12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
"Je suis citoyen des temps a venir.”
(I am a citizen of the future)

Themes from the writings of Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, Prosper Gueranger, Therese Martin, and John Henry Newman that anticipate the teachings of Vatican II will be discussed.

Completed Lectures


Dr. Eric Hirsch, Professor of Sociology
"Ending Homelessness in Rhode Island"     

Fr. Jon Alexander, Associate Professor of History
"Surprisingly Similar: The Autobiographical Apologias of William Apess, Whittaker Chambers, Angela Davis, Elizabeth Fisher, Lillian Hellman, and James Wilkinson"

Jim Janecek, Associate Professor of Art
"Imagery in Traditional and Digital Media"

Jack Costello, Professor of Biology
"Maybe Ignoring the World is a Good Idea"

Dr. Elizabeth Bridgham, Associate Professor of English
"The Function of Dickens Criticism at the Present Time; or, What's Dickens Doing in the Pacific?"

Dr. Sharon Ann Murphy, Associate Professor of History
"The Public Perception of Banks in the Early American Republic"

Dr. Thomas F. Strasser, Associate Professor of Art and Art History
"Greek Seafaring in the Stone and Bronze Ages" (Or ‘How to choose the wrong country for your sabbatical research’)

Dr. Despina D. Prassas, Associate Professor of Theology
"Who is the real paterfamilias? Ambrose of  Milan's De virginibus"

Dr. Rick Battistoni, Professor of Political Science and Public & Community Service Studies
"The Civic Value of an Undergraduate Degree: How Multi-term Undergraduate Civic Engagement Programs Impact Civic Identity and Action After College"

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About Providence College's Catholic and Dominican Identity