Strengthening Connections...

Amy M. Yorke, Physical Therapy  Assistant Professor, PT, PhD, NCS  

My advice for incoming new faculty is to recognize and leverage your personal and professional strengths when connecting to the students in order to support them in their educational journey.    Have you participated in personality/leadership/emotional intelligence assessments to help learn more about yourself?  What are your strengths? ? One assessment I participated in identified my signature strengths that furthered my understanding of how I work best and how I use my strengths to connect with others...  

Tenure Track...

Gregory A. LaurenceDepartment of Management and Marketing  Chair, Associate Professor of Management, PhD, MBA, MAIR

For tenure track faculty: Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t be research productive in year one. You can be productive and you have to be productive. Maintain your discipline. Carve out research time, whether it’s daily or on “non-teaching” days. Find a place where you can be productive,  whether it’s your on-campus office, a home office, or a tent in the woods. Go there when it’s your research time...

Establishing Rhythm...

Veronica Robinson, Nursing  Clinical Faculty, Lecturer III, MSN, RN    

It isn't easy learning the culture of a new academic institution while learning course content, developing your clinical program and trying to remember to "have a life." Remember to advocate for yourself - and don't be afraid to ask if you don't know or can't find something, You're still a novice in this new position. It's worthwhile to monitor how you spend your time and energy and adjust your routine accordingly. For example, don't get bogged down by email communications, you could set a specific time aside for them rather than letting them disrupt your workflow. And while it sometimes feels like you're barely keeping your head above water, you'll rejoice when you look back at all you were able to accomplish in your first year.

Teaching Abroad...

Maureen Tippen, Nursing  Clinical Assistant Professor, MS, RN     

I have been teaching international academic service learning courses since 1997 at the University of Michigan-Flint. Teaching a global studies course and going to the “other land” confronts different realities. In response to our diverse changing world, it is imperative faculty respond to the need for students to have global and cultural experiences. While it is a challenging teaching endeavor, there are many benefits for students and faculty, including...

Getting Involved...

Shelby Newport, Theatre & Dance Department  Chair, Associate Professor and Resident Costume Designer, MFA 

My advice to new faculty is to attend TCLT social events and programming! Meeting your colleagues outside of your content area is so important and will help foster your new community at UM-Flint.  Connecting with faculty members from other disciplines has opened unexpected doors for me. I’ve met faculty at the events that have turned into friends and those friendships have led to opportunities to serve the university in ways that I would not have come across if not for those relationships built around the common interest of teaching and learning... 

Soliciting Feedback...

Murali Mani, Computer Science & Information Systems  Associate Chair CSIS, Associate Professor, PhD 

Focus on teaching improvement. Try to get feedback from different people -- start with students in your classes and peers in your department. As appropriate, you can later try to get feedback from colleagues in other departments and schools. Reflect on all feedback and see how to incorporate the feedback in your teaching, if applicable.

Focused Criticism...

Michael D. Witt, School of Management  Entrepreneur in Residence, Director and Lecturer II, PharmD, JD 

Students will never forget you. 

So, what memory do you wish to impart to them?  If you encourage, through thought, word or deed, they will remember.  If you are respectful, they will respect others.  

If you critique and criticize, do so--this may be your most important contribution, showing you care enough to prune gently their intellectual branches. Focus on the idea, the thought, not the person, and do not embarrass them or make it personal...

Engaged Research and Teaching...

Emily Feuerherm, English & Linguistics  Assistant Professor of Linguistics, PhD

One of the things that surprised me when I came to UM-Flint was that there were no limits on how much you could print or copy (the University of California system was not so generous). I had become used to sharing digital documents or embedding practice exercises into my PowerPoints. When I got here, I tried conserving paper and limiting printing, but when I started providing more hard-copy handouts, students’ engagement went up and everyone was more focused on the task at hand...

Spring Advice...

Matt Wyneken, Education  Associate Professor, PhD

My advice is never to plan on using May as the month to accomplish or finish anything you were unable to get done in the previous eight months. For 30 years, May has always been my craziest month, and it’s worse if you are teaching in the spring.  It has always taken me until the end of June to get caught up and begin to get ready for the fall.  

Local Attractions...

Stephanie Dean, Theater Department  Associate Professor, MFA

My favorite "Flint things" are the Farmer's Market; The Torch burgers (my husband and I went there every single Wednesday night for at least a year); the Art Walk; the Art Fair that happens every June outside of the Flint Institute of Arts; Flint Youth Theatre, which has a wonderful staged reading series called "Off the Press" that takes place on Sunday afternoons every couple of months; there is also a fantastic ice skating rink called Flint Iceland Arena that offers ice skating lessons.

Outside of Flint, I wish I had been introduced to Frankenmuth sooner. There are tons of apple orchards in Genesee County...