Daemen Opens Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Daemen Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will Provide Faculty with Resources and Professional Development Opportunities



July 1, 2011



Contact: Mike Andrei

                Director-College Relations




Center for Excellence

In Teaching and

Learning: Mimi Steadman

                Executive Director




           Daemen College faculty members who wish to explore innovative instructional techniques and upgrade learning experiences now have a dynamic on campus resource. The Daemen College Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will promote cutting-edge technologies and high impact pedagogies, providing a single location for faculty seeking teaching and learning resources.


           Former Daemen Director of Institutional Assessment Mimi Steadman has been named Executive Director of the Center, which will also feature a new Experimental Classroom scheduled to open this September. A key goal of the center will be to strengthen the reputation of Daemen as a leading institution for excellence in teaching and learning technologies.

           “The Center will coordinate new and existing initiatives to enhance teaching, learning and assessment at Daemen, and provide space in the RIC for faculty collaboration and experimentation,” Steadman explained. “It is a privilege to support and showcase the outstanding teaching commitment to undergraduate learners that attracts students to Daemen.”  


           The Center for Excellence will seek to support and retain new faculty across the disciplines; challenge and engage experienced faculty in the scholarship of teaching; and actively contribute to the campus-wide effort to increase student retention, persistence and success. The Center will, in addition, promote, support and sustain lean and effective processes for assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness that are used for ongoing planning and improvement.

           The Center for Excellence, with guidance from a faculty advisory committee, will include the following features:

Teaching & Learning Resources:
The Center will be the source for print and digital resources on teaching and learning for full-time and adjunct faculty, including articles, workshop handouts, links and on-line seminars that are remotely accessible via the Daemen website.

           Assessment, Institutional Effectiveness, and Survey Resources: Encompassing the work of the Office of Institutional Assessment, the Center will have resources and support for faculty, staff and administrators on assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness.  The Center will serve as a clearinghouse for institutional surveys and streamlined electronic storage of and access to assessment documents for use in planning.

           The Teaching Commons:  The Center (together with Core Director and Associate Professor of Mathematics Intisar Q. Hibschweiler), will retain a comprehensive program of professional development, including the annual Learning & Teaching Symposium and ongoing Spotlight on Teaching workshops, and new F2FX (faculty-to-faculty technology exchange) workshops. As part of the Center’s mission to support new faculty in teaching and scholarship, the Center will co-sponsor New Faculty Orientation with Pamela Neumann, Director of Personnel.

           The Experimental Classroom will be a designated space for exploration, collaboration and innovation using new software and technologies.  The Classroom will provide support for and opportunities to both enhance existing courses and create new courses that integrate web-based, blended, and virtual learning environments.
           Mike Berta has been named Director of the Experimental Classroom at Daemen. Prior to joining Daemen, Berta was a National Training Manager at the University of Phoenix, bringing extensive experience in online education and learning technologies, both as an educator and as a student. 


           Berta earned a BA from Canisius College in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and an MA in eEducation Adult Education & Distance Learning from the University of Phoenix.  He is currently working on his doctorate, investigating the impact of using weblogs and podcasting in learning.  


           The Experimental Classroom provides designated space in RIC 213 for faculty to meet and experiment with existing and emerging learning technologies. Mike Berta will offer course design and technology support to faculty content experts who are developing and delivering on-line or blended/hybrid courses. He will also work with faculty to add new technology or web-enhanced features to support learning goals in the face-to-face classroom.


            Berta has already begun discussions with Daemen faculty members of ideas for incorporating new technologies or hybrid design into fall courses. He can be reached in his office, RIC 318, by phone, 566-7870, and via e-mail at mberta@daemen.edu.


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