Professional Development

Want Success As An Academic Writer? Build A Writing Circle

September 27th, 2016 by Kenya Hudson

Audio: Tenure & Promotion Overview and Panel Discussion

September 18th, 2016 by Kenya Hudson

Dr. Thomas Calhoun, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, gives an overview of procedures, timelines and expectations for tenure and promotion at JSU. Following him are insights from Dr. Farshad Amini, Professor and Chair in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Dr. Pamela Banks, Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology; and Dr. Joan Wesley, Associate Professor in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning. Recorded September 8, 2016. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016
10:00 AM – 11:20 AM
JSU INNOVATE, 1st Floor of the H.T. Sampson Library

This event provides an in-depth overview of the functions and procedures of Jackson State University's Institutional Review Board.  Included are an overview of requirements and procedures for securing approval of human subjects research and an examination of the types of research that require IRB review.  Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about thorny or difficult cases. 

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RSVP is requested so we can properly plan for your participation.

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For more information contact us by telephone at (601) 979-6949 or by e-mail at This activity is a part of the Faculty Engagement and Advancement Program (FEAP).  FEAP promotes faculty excellence in teaching and research and facilitates career advancement.

Audio: Undergraduate Research: Does the Mentor Matter?

September 15th, 2016 by Kenya Hudson

Dr. Erin Dolan, the Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Innovative Science Education at the University of Georgia, presents research that explores the impact of the type of mentor, i.e. faculty member or post-graduate trainee (doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows) on outcomes for undergraduate students in research experiences. This talk is a part of the Faculty Engagement & Advancement Program, which is co-sponsored by the Center for University Scholars, Division of Academic & Student Affairs and Division of Research & Federal Relations at Jackson State University. (Recorded on September 15, 2016) 

[Post Updated: September 21, 2017 at 2:17PM]

This workshop has been cancelled.  Please contact Sponsored Programs at (601) 979-2318 regarding future Cayuse training opportunities.

Sept. 20: Teaching Tuesdays Faculty Spotlight: Mark Geil

September 12th, 2016 by Kenya Hudson

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Room 146, Robinson College of Liberal Arts Building

This series spotlights the innovative teaching strategies and methods employed by Jackson State University faculty.  The teaching acumen of the presenters has been recognized by their deans, chairs, students and, sometimes, external actors.  Professor Geil will give an engaging presentation followed by the lively give-and-take of questions and answers.

Professor Mark Geil
Department of Art, College of Liberal Arts

Photographing Democratically When Everyone Is A Photographer

If everyone is a photographer, what makes a “good” photograph?  Increasingly, photography serves a fundamental and accessible form of expression in every dimension of life including education.  Being able to make a strong, compelling photograph is more important than ever. At the same time, being able to read a photograph and, more broadly, being able to read imagery is integral to critical thinking. As a teacher of photographer, one of Professor Geil's most significant challenges is finding ways to radically change the way students already photograph in their daily lives.

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Suggestions for Working in a Peer Review Team

August 30th, 2016 by Kenya Hudson

This post is written by Candis Pizzetta, Associate Vice President of Research & Scholarly Engagement and an associate professor of English at Jackson State University.  She also helms the Center for University Scholars.

Below are some suggestions for working in a Peer Review Team.  Keep in mind that these are suggestions and not requirements.

  1. Positive Feedback:  Advise everyone to start positive with a compliment, then offer honest, but objective, well-supported and practical advice, and then conclude with another commendation.  Continuously reinforce the message that no one is served when criticism is withheld; only focused, writing-centered (not writer-centered) commentary will help the writer grow.
  2. Vary the Routine:  Sometimes you may choose to read part of a draft aloud to your group and other times you may email a writing sample a week ahead of time to give others a chance to read and critique before the next meeting.  You may share notes on a group member's draft but only discuss a small portion of the suggested changes.  Try holding a writing session every now and then: everyone comes to the group, writes for an hour, takes turns reading part or all of their resulting selection for 5-10 minutes, and then receives feedback of 1-2 minutes from each group member.
  3. Do Your Homework:  Establish expectations for feedback.  When you read the writing of other group members, take notes, write down questions, suggestions, and compliments.  Be specific when you critique, praising a vivid description in particular or recommending more explanation or clarification with detailed advice.  Also, be willing to take the critique to heart.  You are investing a great deal of time and energy into the process, so part of your homework is to be open to feedback.
  4. Ask Questions:  Focus not on telling others what to do but on asking questions to help them decide what to do.  If you don't understand something, or you feel that details are lacking, ask for an explanation or background information.  Then, gently advise the author to incorporate their response into the draft.
  5. Take a Break:  At regular intervals, step back from the critiquing cycle to meet just to advise or brainstorm about how to organize notes, do research, or work on essay structure.  In other words, you can function as a Scholarly Writers' Accountability Group every now and then.  Several times a year, go to an event on campus or watch a movie together and then brainstorm on how you could connect that external event activity to your research.
  6. Check-In:  Periodically evaluate how the group is doing.  Are your meetings too often, not often enough, or just right?  Too long, not long enough, or ideal?  Is someone missing too many meetings or wall-flowering, or does one person dominate the meetings?  Is everybody getting what they want out of the experience?
  7. Set Boundaries from the Start:  What's the procedure when somebody's not fitting in?  What do you do when one or more members drop out, or one or more members feel like increasing the number of people in the group?  How do you recruit, and how do you decide whether to accept candidates?  Establish and review your membership policies.

Above all, remember that although the group is a democratic body that should operate by consensus, you as the founder, must continue to moderate the proceedings and nudge everyone to always honor its principles and purposes.