Meet the 2022 Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows

May 23, 2022

CPC cohort.
The 2022 Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows (Back row: Miranda Welsh, Catherine Admay, Germain Choffart, Christopher Sims, Bobby Compton, Colin Yuckman, Alvan Ukachukwu, Andrew Nurkin; 
Front row: Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Silvia Serano, Mattia Begali, Eileen Anderson, Cambey Mikush, Jessica Sperling, Jenifer Hamil-Luker) (Photo: Blythe Tyrone)

Learning Innovation and Bass Connections are pleased to welcome the second cohort of Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows. Launched in May, the Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows Program supports faculty seeking to design courses where priority is given to student learning through collaborative, applied projects that extend across an entire semester.

This year’s cohort includes 14 faculty affiliated with four Duke schools and two university institutes. Participants will reimagine an existing course, or design a course from scratch, in which students will work on teams to create new knowledge, tangible works and/or creative or artistic projects. Courses under development include five graduate-level courses, nine undergraduate courses and one undergraduate/graduate level course. Course re(design) will be facilitated through intensive workshops and collaborations between Fellows, with support and guidance from faculty and pedagogy experts with relevant experience.

Topics covered in the fellowship include writing learning objectives and designing a course syllabus; choosing and scoping projects; creating course and project milestones; identifying project partners and/or clients; creating, leading and mentoring student teams; and assessing collaborative work.

2022 Faculty Fellows

Catherine Admay
Sanford School of Public Policy
Admay will redesign PUBPOL 816: Ethical Analysis, a required course for Master’s of Public Policy students. The goal of this core course is to equip students with the skills to identify, analyze and discuss ethical questions and issues that arise in the policy making process. The topical focus will be on structural inequality, equal dignity and structural solidarity. Students in this course will learn about ethically grounded legal and policy frameworks through mini-case studies and then apply them to particular cases through semester-long collaborative projects. In doing so, students will gain experience working in teams and resolving conflicts; producing deliverables for a real-world audience; critically considering the advantages and disadvantages of the ethical framework they’ve chosen for their project; and reflecting on the personal meaning of the themes of the course with an eye toward leadership roles in their future professional paths. Student will learn applied analytical skills, individual intellectual investment and creativity, teamwork skills, dynamic problem solving, leadership skills and reflection.

Eileen Anderson, Mattia Begali and Germain Choffart 
Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Working together, Anderson, Begali and Choffart will re-design a series of three intersecting 300-level undergraduate language courses that will investigate how “fake news” circulates across languages and cultures, deeply affecting the public discourse and everyday information practices of people in different countries. The classes will be taught in three different languages (Italian, French and Spanish) and will encourage a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to disinformation. The classes will be organized in three thematic units: disinformation and political culture, disinformation and migration, and disinformation and health. Each of the three units will begin with a workshop led by an expert in the field (linguistics, computer science, journalism, etc.) to introduce students to the topics. Students will collaborate in small groups during the semester and through a final project. By the end of the semester, students should be able to identify, analyze and contextualize fake news as a multimodal and global genre; analyze and contextualize the discourses about migration/political culture/health as produced by fake news in different cultures; and develop information-literacy and media-literacy skills while cooperating in a multilingual environment.

Bobby Compton
Master of Engineering Management, Pratt School of Engineering
Compton will redesign Managing Energy Transitions, a Master of Engineering Management course. This course covers various fossil fuel and renewable technologies for generation, transportation and storage through the objective lens of engineering physics, financial economics and environmental science. A significant portion of class will involve student teams working on a real-world, energy transition/decarbonization project challenge. Projects will include interactions with industry mentors and will culminate in each team providing an executive summary solution presentation and a written report.

Jenifer Hamil-Luker
Sociology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Hamil-Luker will design a new undergraduate level course, U.S. Law in Practice, which will attract majors in public policy, history and political science and will focus on the relationship between law and the distribution of power in U.S. society. Students will learn how and why laws create and maintain hierarchies of privilege and disadvantage and will explore legal changes that have reduced inequalities and redistributed resources. The goal of the course is to identify specific areas of legal reform and create white papers proposing policy changes. Students will choose a law field and meet with community organizations to identify specific forms of inequality to address and action steps to reach desired outcomes. Teams will create a white paper that summarizes their legal issue and recommends implementable changes. Working with their community partners, teams will identify other ways to communicate their findings, such as editorials, public service announcements, fact sheets, web pages or social media posts.

Cambey Mikush
Orthopaedics, School of Medicine
Mikush will design a capstone course for the new Doctorate in Occupational Therapy program (OTD). In this course, OTD students will learn to design and implement applied projects with a community partner. In collaboration with interprofessional stakeholders, students will use a human-centered design framework to identify a complex issue and design and implement a project that synthesizes the knowledge gained throughout their OTD curriculum.

Andrew Nurkin
Sanford School of Public Policy
Nurkin will redesign an undergraduate-level course, Leadership and the Arts, which will explore two parallel questions: what kinds of leadership do the arts require now and what can we learn from the arts, broadly defined, about leadership in other contexts? Students will learn about effective leadership practices and common challenges in the arts from anchor cultural institutions like museums to informal artistic collectives. Students will also experience and discuss the arts in practice to understand how every cultural work is both produced by, and expressive of, a specific vision of leadership. Possible project-based assignments for this course include: a student-curated exhibition of socially engaged arts or a set of interviews/oral histories with arts leaders about their challenges and lessons from the past two years. These projects will serve as the basis for a compendium of case studies about innovative leadership and policy ideas within the cultural sector.

Silvia Serrano
Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Serrano will redesign a course that examines the politics of radio production in the context of local, Indigenous and community radio stations in Latin America and Latinx America. Through case studies, students will critically analyze radio’s contributions to issues of social justice, freedom of speech, self-representation and language politics. They will become familiar with analytical categories that examine radio as a site of cultural contestation mediated by the state, religion, cultural identities, and notions of citizenship and participation. Students will work collaboratively on a project that will circulate and make audible the role that radio plays in efforts of cultural resistance in Latinx America. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with community radio leaders and producers and learn from their experience in the field. Students will also learn the value of teamwork both in their collaborative project and in their observation of how radio leaders create their productions and keep the stations going. 

Christopher Sims
Sanford School of Public Policy
Sims will redesign PUBPOL 890: Ethics and Equity in Media, Documentary and Technology. In this course, students will engage with media, journalism and technology industry case studies to examine contemporary and historical ethical questions around race, gender, sexuality and class in the south. Students will also co-produce the initial curatorial design of a public exhibition around the rich and contentious history of race and racism in Alamance County, North Carolina. Working in teams, students will explore archival material, conduct oral history interviews, write short companion text pieces for use in the exhibition, propose visual lay-outs and fabricate exhibition models.

Jessica Sperling
Social Science Research Institute
Sperling will redesign the Social Science Research Lab (SSRL), an undergraduate-level course that provides a foundational and applied experience in social science research methods, principles and their real-world application. It is associated with an applied/community partner (recently, Duke Institute for Health Innovation), which provides a topical focus for the real-world application of research methods. Students collaborate in teams to develop research/evaluation designs for projects run by the course’s applied/community-based project partner. By the end of the semester, students will understand and employ social science methodologies and related evaluation-specific processes; employ best practices in collaboration between researchers and applied/community entities; employ best practices in collaborative team structure; understand the main issues and challenges in the applied partner’s sector; and understand how research methods and evaluation can inform the applied partner’s sector.

Alvan Ukachukwu
Neurosurgery, School of Medicine and the Duke Global Health Institute
In this new course, Global Neurosurgery: Building Sustainable Neurosurgical Systems in Developing Countries, undergraduate and graduate students will work collaboratively to conduct a comparative study of neurosurgical health systems globally using various health system foundational frameworks such as the World Health Organization’s six building blocks framework. Students will develop policy plans for optimizing neurosurgical health systems and develop policy- and system-level interventions in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure both vertical and horizontal integration into neurosurgical systems. The course will involve community partners in various low- and middle-income countries. Students will collaborate to research the neurosurgical health systems of various countries using a mixed-methods approach and develop draft plans for optimizing those health systems with an emphasis on stakeholder mobilization and integration. Students will benefit from learning about non-U.S. health systems and appreciating global health disparities from a neurosurgical perspective. They will gain experience on collaborative project development and implementation, and gain skills on literature review and synthesis, and preparation of policy documents, presentation abstracts and journal manuscripts. Graduate students will gain experience in team building, leadership and management.

Miranda Welsh
Thompson Writing Program 
Welsh will redesign her Writing 101 course, Preventing Pandemics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Preparedness. In the first third of the course, students will conduct an interdisciplinary case study of a single epidemic. Students will collaborate informally in small-group discussions and peer review sessions. In the second two-thirds of the course, students will form formal collaborative teams to produce a research paper on an epidemic of their choice. After introducing the biology and epidemiology of the pathogen and the public health response, the paper will present three additional disciplinary narratives of the epidemic: ecological, political/economic and anthropological/cultural. Students will grapple with the complexity of epidemics and understand the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing problems with multiple explanations and competing solutions. Students will develop the capacity to engage with and represent the work of others, articulate and defend a position, develop awareness of disciplinary context, and manage and maintain effective collaborations.

Colin Yuckman
Divinity School
Yuckman will redesign Church and Ministry in the New Testament – a foundational course for Divinity students seeking to develop integrative skills in reading biblical texts in light of their respective affiliated traditions. This course covers both biblical and practical fields (New Testament and practical theology for ministry) and is designed to equip students to read New Testament texts closely and topically, while also applying these concepts to address pressing questions, such as polarization, structural racism and poverty, in their home communities. Students in the course will partner with church and community leaders through their local networks to design concrete projects to address the issues fueling crises in churches today. This course will help students better understand the gifts and challenges of their own learning contexts and think in terms of artifact production. Students will work projects in groups by similar community size, theological tradition, or specific subject interest (polarization, racial injustice, poverty, etc.).

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