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Faculty members named CATL Scholars

The four professors will work on projects that explore the way students learn in business, Latin and early childhood education.

Clockwise from top left: Cherrel Miller-Dyce, Kristina Meinking, Kevin O’Mara and Mary Knight-McKenna.


Elon University professors Kevin O’Mara, Kristina Meinking, Cherrel Miller-Dyce and Mary Knight-McKenna have been named CATL Scholars for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning’s Scholar program supports innovative and scholarly teaching projects that aim to transform student learning. The award comprises a two-course reassignment for two consecutive years, plus $2,500 per year in project funding.

O’Mara, a professor of management, will focus his project on developing effective methods of integrate the teaching of innovation in both undergraduate and graduate programs in business. Innovation is a highly valued topic in business education, but many business schools struggle with how to teach it to and develop it in their students. The discrepancy between the wide agreement of the need for integrating innovation within business education and the lack of it in the curriculum is the crux of this project.

O’Mara will build on his recent scholarship on innovation and creativity to develop a framework and templates to better integrate innovation within business schools, and will conduct research with students on how they best learn about innovation.

Meinking, an assistant professor of Latin, will use her project to explore the ways in which elementary Latin students’ learning and language acquisition can be strengthened by class structure, in-class activities, and pedagogical methods. In a traditional elementary sequence of two semesters, students proceed through the textbook at the same pace and student comprehension of the material is evaluated on a regular basis with quizzes and tests.

In the model that Meinking is developing, rooted in a combination of SCALE-UP and Step-by-Step pedagogies, students instead progress at their own pace, work frequently with one another, and use class time as a workshop intended to support their mastery of the course material. Meinking aims to develop a deeper understanding of how student learning and language acquisition can be supported by and benefit from different types of instruction and the classroom environment, and to craft an ‘exportable’ model of the course to colleagues in other languages both ancient and modern.

Knight-McKenna and Miller-Dyce, associate and assistant professors of education, respectively, will develop and assess early childhood education students’ knowledge, skills and dispositions for partnering with families to prevent reading problems in young children who are living in poverty. This project will integrate student work in a pair of service-learning courses to build sustainable partnerships with families to enhance literacy development.

Knight-McKenna and Miller-Dyce will conduct a qualitative research studies of both their students’ learning and the literacy of children involved in the program. Based on this work, they plan to create and publish a model to be used by other early childhood education programs for preparing educators who are skilled at partnering with families for preventing reading difficulties.

O’Mara, Meinking, Knight-McKenna and Miller-Dyce will join 25 current or past CATL Scholars, including current scholars Chad Awtrey (Math and Statistics), Prudence Layne (English), Ketevan Kupatadze (Spanish), Rebecca Pope-Ruark (English) and David Neville (German).

A call for applications for CATL Scholars is announced early each fall. All faculty are encouraged to apply.

CATL Scholars are selected by a faculty committee comprised of other Scholars and CATL faculty advisory committee members. This year’s committee was: Phillip Motley (Communications), Ann Cahill (Philosophy), Katy Rouse (Economics), Sirena Hargrove-Leak (Engineering), Kevevan Kupatadze (Spanish), and Chad Awtrey (Math and Stats).

Eric Townsend,
12/10/2012 8:15 AM