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Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Hinten

Photo of Melissa HintenPlease join us in welcoming Melissa Hinten, lecturer in the Department of Geography, as the UT CIRTL Institutional Leader! UT CIRTL provides both local and online professional development opportunities for all UT instructional staff, but especially for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are thinking about an academic career in higher education.

We sat down with her and learned more about her interest in UT CIRTL: 

TLI: Why did you decide to take on this position? What are your goals during this position?

Hinten: My interest and background focus on improving undergraduate education in STEM fields. The CIRTL Institutional Leader position provides me with the opportunity to expand my scope of undergraduate education through engagement with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who will, in turn, have an impact on undergraduate education through their own teaching and research.

My initial goal for the CIRTL Institutional Leader position is to make CIRTL known and accessible to most graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at UTK.  I hope to achieve this goal through outreach and by expanding the local programming that UTK already provides.

TLI: In what ways do you see that UT CIRTL provides a benefit to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows as they prepare for careers? What would you want students to know/realize about UT CIRTL?

Hinten: The CIRTL network and certification aim to develop a faculty that implements evidence-based teaching practices that will increase the diversity and literacy of undergraduate students in STEM fields. The CIRTL network provides graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with an array of opportunities to develop evidence-based teaching and learning practices. These opportunities include online courses, workshops, learning communities and summer institutes.

Students and fellows who engage in CIRTL network and local UTK programming can achieve three outcome levels, which include associate, practitioner, and scholar.  Each outcome level provides a deeper understanding and commitment to evidence-based teaching and learning.  As students and fellows meet those outcomes they are certified at that level.  We want students to be aware that the knowledge, community, and certification that CIRTL provides is beneficial to their career development.

We look forward to working with Melissa Hinten and expanding our UT CIRTL opportunities! Read more about her on the Department of Geography website.