In a typical 40-hour week for a Samford University faculty member, 24 of those hours are taken up with teaching obligations, eight of those with service and the remaining eight for their own research.
Samford’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CTLS) collaborated with the Communication Resource Center (CRC) to provide time for faculty members to gather together for several hours each day to work on research, presentations and even nonfiction books. The writing “boot camp” was held the week of May 21.
“It’s about providing faculty with the space and time to finish a writing project,” geography professor and CTLS Eric Fournier said.
Faculty represented all areas of campus, including world languages, history, geography, chemistry, law, nursing and public health.
From the world languages and cultures department, Heather West created a presentation for an upcoming conference. West has participated in this boot camp several times previously, and it has always been helpful for her. “It’s a nice time to get out of my office to focus on getting a presentation together or turning it into a paper.”
Charlotte Brammer, associate professor and CRC director, assisted other faculty members with their work, in addition to writing a nonfiction book about her uncle, a man doing ordinary tasks in an extraordinary circumstance.
Stacy Gay, advancement officer for Howard College of Arts and Sciences and the university library, quietly worked on her dissertation about student involvement and alumni giving.
Across the room, Dale Wilger from the chemistry department worked on a student-organized research paper on the biosynthesis of indenos. He was writing the introduction and background and later in the summer, the student would be completing the rest of the paper.
Cumberland School of Law professor Tracey Roberts was in the process of working on several pieces including a book with a colleague from the University of Oregon titled “Tax and the Environment,” artificial intelligence and basic income, and the problem of stranded assets.
“This time has been really fruitful in terms of setting a pattern for the summer,” Roberts said. “It gets you in the habit of spending the morning hours of doing really important work and if you can get that started, the next two and a half months will be really fruitful.”
The CTLS is a multifaceted resource to assist faculty, staff and administrators in their development as teachers and scholars. Primary areas of emphasis include: innovative teaching and learning techniques, high-impact practices, integration of technology in teaching, and the scholarship of teaching.
The CRC is a free tutoring service to help students with writing, speaking and critical reading.
Maryellen Newton is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Division of Marketing and Communication.