SCHUYLKILL, Pa. — Nicole Andel, associate professor of teaching in English at Penn State Schuylkill, was recently named one of six Faculty Scholars across the University by Penn State’s Office for General Education. The new group of Faculty Scholars will join the inaugural group of 10 Faculty Scholars who were selected for this honor last year.
Andel, along with other Faculty Scholars, will serve in an advisory capacity to the Office for General Education and for faculty as general education courses are developed and/or revised.
Teaching both general education and composition courses at Schuylkill, Andel has consistently demonstrated an innovative approach to classroom instruction that includes the creative use of technology.
"Quality teaching is a hallmark of the Schuylkill campus," said Darcy Medica, interim chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill. “Dr. Andel's appointment as a Faculty Scholar underscores our campus' commitment to teaching excellence. She practices intentional curricular design that is innovative and integrates technology in the classroom to engage students and to enhance the overall educational experience."
Andel, along with Michael Gallis, associate professor of physics at Schuylkill, and principal investigator Jeffrey Stone, assistant professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State Lehigh Valley (formerly at Schuylkill), are designing a virtual reality course titled Art and Science of the Virtual World. The course will debut in fall 2018 or spring 2019. Her role in the course development includes integrating narrative theory and design.
Andel designed the popular Introduction to International Arts course that the students refer to as the “Christmas class.” Her research for the class dovetailed into a project on Eastern European Christmas dramas, particularly Shepherd Carolers and Krampus visitations.
In spring 2018, she will teach the course with a focus on Easter to Schuylkill campus radiological sciences students to fulfill their arts and international cultures credit requirement.
Another example of Andel’s innovative course design is a literature class about hunting and fishing. To keep the course relevant to students, she melds together references from both the old and the new, including "The Hunger Games.”
According to the Office of General Education’s website, the Faculty Scholars will help build the capacity of faculty to use educational change initiatives to advance greater intentionality in curricular and course design, learning outcomes and assessment, and high-impact teaching and learning practices in general education.
Faculty Scholars serve three-year terms and represent the campuses, colleges, and General Education areas of Penn State.