University of South Florida

Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning (CITL)


A Look Back at the 2023 Celebration of Teaching

By Sara Friedman

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning’s annual Celebration of Teaching is returning in April, this year with events on both the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses. As we prepare for our 2024 event, we are looking back on last year’s celebration. 
To close out the spring semester on a celebratory note, the Celebration of Teaching was developed as an opportunity for all who teach at USF (full-time faculty, adjuncts, and graduate teaching assistants) to come together to exchange ideas and highlight efforts related to teaching and learning around the university.  
Last year’s inaugural event on April 11, 2023, on the Tampa campus, featured a poster session on teaching tips, a panel discussion with past winners of the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, and a hosted lunch, giving colleagues the chance to connect and take a moment to reflect in the lead up to the last few hectic weeks before finals. 


With over 60 faculty, TAs, and administrators in attendance and 30 posters presented, the 2023 Celebration provided a space for sharing diverse views and teaching practices from across disciplines. The poster session showcased a wide range of topics, including “Embedding authentic science research activities in an undergraduate course” by Dr. Allan Feldman, Emeritus Professor, and GTA Rita Ortiz, College of Education, “Exploring the use of ChatGPT and discussion board assignments” by Dr. Vickie Lynn, Assistant Professor of Instruction, School of Social Work, and “Teaching STEM labs: A project-based approach” by Dr. Olukemi Akintewe, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Medical Engineering. Each poster created for the event was an opportunity to foster conversations between colleagues.  


In addition to the poster session, participants also heard from a panel of faculty who had previously won the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. Panelists included Dr. Kelli Burns, an Associate Professor from the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications, Dr. Ashok Upadhyaya a Professor of Instruction from Molecular Biosciences and Dr. Judy Bryant, a Professor from Psychology. They discussed topics ranging from the challenges of creating community in large classes to what inspires them to keep innovating their teaching practice.

Faculty panel at Celebration of Teaching

When reflecting on her experience as a panelist and poster presenter last April, Dr. Bryant shared, “there is nothing more rejuvenating near the end of the year than being around people who value teaching and who share great, implementable tips for improving our teaching effectiveness.”  
This year, those in USF’s teaching community will have two opportunities to join in on the festivities!

  • The event on the Tampa campus will focus on the theme of “Celebrating Innovation in Teaching” again including a poster session sharing teaching tips and a buffet lunch, but will also feature a keynote address on new advances in teaching technology from Rob Curtin, Director of Higher Education for Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Industry.  
    Details: April 9, 10:00 am-12:30 pm, Marshall Student Center Ballroom | Click here to register
  • The St. Petersburg campus will host the faculty panel, centered around the theme of “Celebrating our Teaching Community.” Join panelists Nicole Stowell, Professor of Instruction, Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy and Dr. Morgan Gresham, Associate Professor, English, for a discussion of teaching and learning topics relevant to the USF experience, along with coffee and pastries.  
    Details: April 11, 9:00 am-10:30am, Nelson Poynter Memorial Library | Click here to register 

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CITL News covers upcoming faculty development events, latest trends in teaching and learning, and innovative approaches USF faculty use to engage their students.