October 2020
Finding Supports and Connections
to Thrive as an Academic
In the first two newsletters of this year, you saw a theme of connecting and building your network; the October issue continues this trend. We in AAN and those units with whom we collaborate start from the premise that one way to thrive as an academic is figuring out with which activities, groups, associations, and people you want to connect, and then finding them at Michigan State and beyond. The life and career of an academic are not intended to be a solo path, no matter the specifics of one’s appointment or the stage of one’s career. It is also not a “one and done” set of decisions that necessarily...(read more)

Best wishes,

Marilyn Amey
Interim Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development
Making an Impact
Starting an Academic Career in Unusual Times
Ann Austin, Academic Career Paths Node Leader
Starting an academic career involves new opportunities to learn, connect with others, and make meaningful contributions--to share one’s excitement about one’s field with learners, to advance the knowledge base, and to use one’s expertise to address pressing issues in the broader society. For most people, the start of the career is exciting while also peppered with questions about getting established, understanding the organizational culture, and learning about useful resources. The unprecedented pandemic situation this year, however, means...

Professional Development — For Educators, By Educators
Makena Neal, Learning Designer, Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology
At a large, decentralized institution, it can be challenging to recognize and leverage the high impact practices of educators in varying roles working in discipline focused units and departments. Through recent history however, we knew that there was a desire amongst this group to engage in ongoing professional development. We also knew that some really outstanding practices were being implemented by individuals, but our institution lacked a way to connect those educators with others to share ideas. Our mission: create a way for Michigan State University educators to connect, share, and grow in their teaching practices. Ultimately, we created a platform model that places educators in the designer seat and...

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Fall 2020 “Coffee Hour” Meetings for Women Chairs and Directors
The series of meetings for women chairs, school directors, and associate deans from non-departmentally organized colleges and directors of academic programs similar to departments/schools will continue this fall. While these meetings have traditionally been held over the lunch hour, this semester we plan to host these as virtual “coffee hours”.  These sessions are designed to be informal gatherings to allow for discussion, peer mentoring and problem-solving. There is no set agenda and our hope is that these events will provide an opportunity for you to network with other women in similar positions across campus.

Leadership Institute Series
This is a series of 90-minute sessions designed to expand upon topics introduced at New Administrator Orientation. These sessions are required for department chairpersons, school directors, and associate deans of non-departmentally organized colleges within the first two years of their appointments; all other administrators are encouraged to attend sessions they would find useful.


  • Accessible Learning Conference 2020: Accessibility Reimagined, November 12-13
The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity offers live and recorded webinars, courses, and workshops covering many topics that pertain to different stages of academic careers. Topics range from learning core skills like how to engage in healthy conflict or overcoming academic perfectionism, to various other sessions on building and leading a successful research team or developing a career as a community-engaged scholar.
This site list of educator professional development tools, resources, and supports at MSU. This collection is just that, a sampling of offerings aimed at providing anyone who supports student success by contributing to the teaching and learning mission with a place to start when they're looking for ongoing opportunities for growth outside of the #iteachmsu Commons. 
This is a collection of resources on assessments that were part of a workshop offering in the Summer of 2020. 
Learning Communities are self-organized, safe, and supportive spaces for faculty and academic staff to address complicated questions of curriculum and pedagogy.
The Mission of the MSU Employee Assistance Program is to support and enhance the emotional health of the campus community. Find resources, articles, Health4U programs and more. 
Impacts shared about another educator
via #iteachmsu Thank an Educator:
Thank you to:
"Upon entering Deutsch 101 I was very uncertain as to if I would continue learning Deutsch after 101 and how the class would go in general. But I was overwhelmed with the kindness of Frau Dr. Banzhaf and her abilities to make me feel comfortable and welcome in our small Deutsch Gemeinde. This class made me develop a love for Deutsch Kultur and I believe that is now never going to change, and I owe that to Frau Dr.Banzhaf. Deutsch is one of the most important things in my life now because of the Deutsch Gemeinde that Frau Dr.Banzhaf created for me."
top of Beaumont Tower as graphic element