The Office of Faculty Development fosters a supportive culture of inquiry and teaching, enabling all learners to succeed and thrive.
October 19, 2021
WMUx/OLLI Instructional Preparation Program
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WMU (OLLI), directed by Dr. Toni Woolfork-Barnes, relies on volunteers to offer short enrichment experiences to Southwest Michigan's mature adult population. In collaboration with the Graduate College and Merze Tate College, WMUx/OFD will prepare a group of ten doctoral students to design OLLI course or event offerings in their areas of specialization. In addition to providing participants with practical experience in their field, it will allow students to connect with area residents in a meaningful way and to earn partial fulfilment of a Signature program designation on their transcript. If you are a doctoral student or are mentoring one, you can find more information and apply here. The deadline for applications will be Friday, November 5, 2021, at 5:00 PM.
May 4, 2021
Meet the Director
Dr. Gwen Tarbox
It my great pleasure to announce that after a very thorough and competitive search process, Dr. Gwen Tarbox has agreed to serve as the next director of the Office of Faculty Development.
A graduate of Purdue University, with a doctoral degree in American Literature and Culture, Gwen Tarbox joined the Department of English as an assistant professor in 1999. Since that time, she has been actively involved in teaching and mentoring students, serving as Director of Graduate Studies for two terms, and publishing monographs and essays on topics as diverse as YA literature, comics studies, popular culture, and American studies. She is a proud 2014 graduate of WMU's Academic Leadership Academy, and in 2017, she was awarded a University Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Tarbox has served as co-chair of the WMU Common Read Committee, as past chair of the WMU Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation Committee, and as secretary and member of the executive board of the Children's Literature Association.
An advocate of joining her teaching practice to her university service, Dr. Tarbox has participated in a number of university-wide initiatives surrounding teaching & learning, most recently as a Faculty Champion for WMUx during the transition to remote learning and as a member of the OFD Steering Committee. In 2018, she worked as a faculty fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences, leading two semester-long blended learning workshops for CAS graduate instructors and teaching assistants.
In the months ahead, Dr. Tarbox will work with the OFD and WMUx teams, as well as other critical campus partners, to implement the new vision of OFD, to continue to update and diversify the programming offered through OFD and WMUx, and to help advance more broadly the core mission of teaching and learning at WMU.
Please join me in congratulating and wishing Dr. Tarbox well in this important new role.
Dr. Edwin Martini
Associate Provost, WMUx
Dean, University College
Professor of History
June 16, 2020
The Office of Faculty Development (OFD) held a brown bag virtual discussion Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on the topic of faculty retirement. This virtual session included recently retired emeriti faculty sharing their experiences and Dr. Toni Woolfork-Barnes, Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at WMU, who discussed options to teach and take classes through OLLI. Additional topics that were explored included personal and professional questions faculty may be struggling with as they ponder the decision about retirement, how retired faculty can stay engaged in teaching and research fields, and how to remain connected with colleagues at the University.
Note on Instructor II status applications
Although there are no virtual workshops currently planned on applying for Instructor II Status, if you are a part-time instructor with an interest in learning more about it, you can either email Part-time Faculty Fellow, Elise DeCamp or visit the Instructor II Status page. The video attached below, "Teaching Portfolio: Documenting Effectiveness" was part of the Part-time Faculty Seminar series and could also be useful in preparing an Instructor II Application.
Make a donation to OFD
Funds are used to provide programming for part-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants
Career Development Resources for Faculty
General resources for classroom career workshops and providing students with career direction