In January 2022, Dr. Lisa Farman was named a Dana Teaching Fellow within the Ithaca College Center for Faculty Excellence. Dr. Farman has been a professor in the Roy H. Park School of Communications within the Strategic Communications Department since August 2014. One of the main reasons she applied to work at Ithaca College was because she wanted to be at a school that really cared about teaching. Because her perspective was: “No matter what, I’m going to care about teaching.”
Ithaca College, unlike some other universities or institutions, places a higher priority on teaching than
research. It was her love for teaching that led her to the Dana Teaching Fellowship. The Dana Teaching Fellowship is a program located within the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE), which focuses on pedagogical and professional development. It is designed to help professors become better teachers and develop their skills within a changing environment. The CFE introduced the Dana Teaching Fellowship to assist faculty collegewide with teaching excellence.
Gordon Rowland, director of the CFE, said, “Dr. Farman was selected in recognition of her outstanding teaching, scholarship and service, and her desire to help her colleagues with their professional development.”
“Whether professors are teaching at a tier-one research institution where the priority is research or a college like IC where teaching is the priority, professors still have to teach—and that is what the students are there for,” Dr. Farman said. “Students come to college and university to learn from professors, and Ithaca College evaluates professors on teaching excellence. It is in the institution’s best interest to implement a program that works to develop those skills.”
Throughout her master’s and Ph.D. programs, Dr. Farman noticed a severe lack of training in regard to learning how to teach. She said: “I think it's so important for professors to become better teachers and learn how to work effectively with students. And I feel really passionately about it.”
As for the future of the fellowship, Dr. Farman plans to collaborate with other fellows over the summer in designing modules for new faculty joining IC in the Fall of 2022. In this module, the faculty will gain knowledge about how to design a syllabus, how to use Canvas and a basic introduction to Ithaca College as well as other teaching basics. The fellows will act as a resource for faculty throughout their first year of teaching. Through this fellowship, Dr. Farman will be able to merge her love for learning and teaching.
Dr. Farman stated: “It is a great program. I’m really excited that I was chosen for it. The program also benefits the students in the end because it can only be a positive thing to have faculty working together to figure out how to make the classes at Ithaca College become the best they can possibly be.”
Li De Jong, the author of this story and one of Dr. Farman’s former students, said: “I have no doubt that Dr. Farman will shine in this position. Her willingness to help shows just how much she cares for each and every one of her students.”
Her students responded with the same sentiments. Current student Grace Collins ‘22 had this to say: “Dr. Farman is the type of professor who makes you really excited to come to class every day. I was originally in her remote class during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you never would’ve known that wasn’t always how she intended to teach the class.”