Faculty Stories

There are numerous examples of teaching and learning excellence at Humboldt. This university is known for it and it remains one of our greatest assets. The purpose of the Faculty Stories is to make visible the work we do as educators: to recognize our efforts, and to share it with our colleagues. If you have something to share or wish to refer a colleague, then please contact the CTL.

Video interviews by Enoch Hale & Sue Armitage

CTL Faculty Stories: Kimberly White

Stepping Stones to Learning

Dr. Kimberly White, Chemistry Department

Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Dr. White discusses how she sees her courses, her instruction, and student learning as a river. She uses the stepping stones metaphor to explain how practical steps can be taken to help students achieve their goals. 

CTL Faculty Stories: Chris Harmon

Teaching How To Learn

Dr. Chris Harmon, Chemistry Department

Dr. Harmon credits much of his success in reducing equity gaps to having participated in the ESCALA program that has been part of an HHMI grant in CNRS. “Before attending ESCALA, I believed that science isn’t inherently racist, so race doesn’t matter. I was not aware of the variations in learning beyond that of just putting in hard work, and I was convinced I couldn’t change the way I taught.” 

CTL Faculty Stories: Sally Hang

Empowering Students Through Specs Grading

Sally Hang, Psychology Department
Grading shapes the experience of instructors and students. As a psychology lecturer and a recent first-generation student of color, Sally Hang intimately understands the importance of cultivating a growth mindset particularly for marginalized students. Using a grade schema that maximizes student agency appeals to her on many levels.                                                                                                                                                             

CTL Faculty Stories: Jianmin Zhong and Loren Collins

Inspiring Professional Identity

Dr. Jianmin Zhong, Biology Department and Loren Collins, Faculty Support Coordinator
Dr. Jianmin Zhong, professor of biology, and Mr. Loren Collins, Faculty Support Coordinator for Service Learning and Career Education, joined forces to assist Humboldt students prepare for a career in medicine. The idea was simple. If students could gain academic credit working with community health care providers, then they would be able to have a grade on their transcript, which is required for admittance into health care graduate programs. 

CTL Faculty Stories: Justus Ortega

Integrative Learning

Dr. Justus Ortega, Kinesiology Department
Taking an integrative approach to teaching and learning prepares and transforms students into  professionals in their field. It’s not enough to listen to a lecture, or practice in a lab, or engage in community service. All these parts are important and often necessary for deep learning to happen, but it takes much more to transform students into dedicated practitioners.

CTL Faculty Stories: James Woglom

Teaching like a Jazz Musician

Dr. James Woglom, Art Department
Teaching, crafting significant learning experiences is like jazz. Faculty create structures that guide student learning. They organize content, craft curriculum, and choose engagement methods and tools, yet implementing these choices is much more complex. Dr. James Woglom describes the intersection of structure with its actualization as improvisation is to jazz.

CTL Faculty Stories: Eileen Cashman

Equity of Voice, Empowering Students to Ask Questions

Dr. Eileen Cashman, Environmental Resources Engineering
One slight change in the way an instructor interacts with students can dramatically change student thinking, learning, and engagement for the better. Teaching presence can span the gap between student transformation and the often hidden or unrecognized personal transformation that we undergo as instructors.