Peter Felten receives Fulbright award to conduct research in Canada

Felten, assistant provost for teaching and learning and executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, will spend the next academic year at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Peter Felten, assistant provost for teaching and learning and executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, has been selected by Fulbright Canada to be the Distinguished Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) at Carleton University in Ottawa for the 2022-23 academic year.

The distinguished chair position was established by Fulbright Canada and Carleton University as an opportunity for extraordinary scholars and top-tier researchers to spend a year at the university as a visiting research scholar. The role allows these scholars to conduct innovative SoTL projects, lead seminars and workshops, and generate new idas for SoTL research collaborations and knowledge exchange among Carleton educators.

Felten said he is honored to be selected given Carleton’s position as a leader in the field of teaching and learning. “They are really committed to teaching and learning and scholarship and discovery for the good of the community,” Felten said. “They have put a lot of resources into community-based learning and are creating new spaces for students, faculty and staff to work together in the community and on campus.”

Felten, a professor of history, is a highly regarded researcher and thinker in the realm of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He is the author of six books about undergraduate education, most recently “Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College,” which he co-authored with Elon President Emeritus Leo M. Lambert.

He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and of the Professional & Organizational Development (POD) Network, a professional society for those who work in faculty and educational development in the United States. He is on the advisory board of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and is a fellow of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.

Felten said a primary goal during this Fulbright opportunity will be to discover how to work with scholars at Carleton in ways that are mutually beneficial. He is particularly interested in learning more about indigeneity and indigenous ways of knowing and teaching, a central topic of Canadian higher education since the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. This involves access and inclusion for indigenous students, faculty, staff, and communities, and it also requires sustained focus on indigenous ways of knowing, learning and being.

He is looking forward to talking with Canadian colleagues about Elon’s approaches to engaged learning and high-impact educational practices. “We’ll be thinking together about how they can adapt the work that Elon continues to do around quality and access to high-impact experiences, and how to integrate those experiences across a student’s time of study,” Felten said. He also plans to bring ideas and insights from Carleton back to Elon when he returns.

Felten is no stranger to higher education in Canada, having given talks or led workshops at more than a dozen Canadian universities. He has worked with a number of colleagues at Carleton before and is looking forward to deepening those relationships.

“I’m confident that during the nine months of immersing myself in Carleton’s environment and with their students, faculty and staff, I will have many opportunities to write about this experience and it will spur additional research in the future,” he said. “Fulbright is all about building lasting relationships and exploring how culture and context shape what we do and how we think.”

The Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America (aka Fulbright Canada) is a bi-national, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with a mandate to identify the best and brightest minds in both countries and engage them in residential academic exchange. Fulbright Canada, which is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, provides support to students, scholars, teachers, and independent researchers through a variety of programs that are open to individuals in all academic fields with the exception of medical training.