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Center for Teaching and Learning

Daily Brown Bags

Every weekday from noon-1:00, the Center for Teaching and Learning will be hosting brown bags. Sign up via the links below, bring your lunch, and join us!

The Dean's (Reading) List: Mondays, October 2, 2017 - April 16, 2018, Mahan 220, noon-1:00 pm
Sustaining an Academic Career ~ August 22, 2017 - April 24, 2018, Mahan 220, noon-1:00 pm.  
During the year we will discuss how to balance teaching, research, and service with the rest of our lives. For help with this difficult challenge we will read Robert Boice, Advice for New Faculty Members and talk with folks from a variety of offices at USNA that support faculty work. 

Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series: Wednesdays, September 6, 2017- April 25, 2018, Mahan 220, noon-1:00 pm.
These innovative teaching sessions focuses on special topics in Blackboard. We will also share best practices. Detailed descriptions and schedule of these sessions can be accessed at To sign up, please complete the registration form at:
Educational Technology Demonstrations: Thursdays, September 7, 2017 - April 26, 2018, Mahan 220, noon-1:00 pm.
Demonstrations of latest educational technologies. Detailed descriptions and schedule of these technologies can be accessed at: To sign up for these demos, please complete the registration form at:

FRIDAYS, NEW! Pop-Up Friday, September 21, 2017- April 27, 2018, Mahan 220 (except 9/29), noon-1:00 pm. — Discussions of current issues in teaching and learning—suggestions welcome

  • April 27 -- YP Cruise -- meet at the Sea Wall​. We will get underway at 1215 from the Sea Wall and return no later than 1315. 

  • April 20 -- Steam Tunnel Tour--location TBA. Public Works will lead a tour of USNA's underground

  • April 13 -- Active Learning & Improving Student Outcomes, Nancy Berkowitz, (president, Arbee Associates) and Co. This discussion will include research on how the design of a classroom can facilitate active learning.
  • March 2 -- Improving Student Writing: Building on Skills Learned in Plebe English--English Department Faculty
    The best way to improve student writing is to activate the skills they have already developed. Students don’t transfer skills from one course to another unless they are deliberately reminded to do so. Understanding more about what they have learned in Plebe English can help us activate those skills--and build on them.

  • February 23 -- Who Are Our Students? What does national data from NSSE tell us about them? Mike Kellermann (Political Science)
    For over thirty years, the Naval Academy has participated in the Higher Education Research Institute’s Freshman Survey along with hundreds of other colleges and universities around the country.  Using these survey results, this talk will discuss the experiences, opinions, and aspirations of the Class of 2021, how they compare to first-year students at other institutions, and how they differ (or not) from incoming midshipmen in prior decades.
  • February ​16 -- Writing Effective Mappers, Karyn Sproles
    W​e will look at examples of good and bad mappers and talk about how to write them so that they are useful. We will also talk about strategies for doing this efficiently.​
  • February 9 -- Fulbright Grants, Sharika Crawford & Friends

  • Stories from the Civil Rights Movement, Priscilla Zotti (Political Science and Senior Professor for Humanities and Social Science) & Sylvia Jordan (History).
    Journey through important places of transformation, then and now, on a virtual tour of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • ​January 26 at Noon in Mahan 220​ --​How to Have a Difficult Conversation, Karyn Sproles
    We will discuss guidelines for managing difficult conversations with students and colleagues. We will look at a case study that exemplifies best practices, and we will practice a few conversations ourselves.
  • ​January 19​, Luce Hall Bridge Simulator (Ground Floor of Luce Hall), 1215-1315 -- Inaugural Ship's Bridge Simulator
    USNA's faculty, coaches, and staff are invited to get a ship underway, park a ship alongside a pier, drive an underway replenishment, or conduct a sea and anchor transit all within the confines of the warm and dry Luce Hall!  You are invited to participate, or simply attend.  It will most assuredly be an amazing seamanship experience with experts who will coach you through conning and steering the ship.  If you don’t want to actually give the orders to drive the ship, come along for the ​experience and to learn what your midshipmen do as they grow their professional development skills.


  • December 8 -- Teaching Portfolios and Teaching Philosophies--An Introduction​, Karyn Sproles
    Many people include a teaching portfolio among the materials they submit to P & T for promotion and tenure. This is a a quick introduction to the elements included in Teaching Portfolios and teaching philosophies. Examples of  past Teaching Portfolios will be available.

  • Tuesday​!​, ​December 5​ --Planning a Realistic Winter Break, Karyn Sproles
    This workshop is designed to create a plan for the winter break that will help make it more productive AND relaxing. Bring you calendars.

  • Dec​ember​​ ​1 -- Supporting Academic Leadership”, Karyn Sproles and Blues Baker (Stockdale Center​)​
    This discussion seeks to identify ways in which the Stockdale Center can best support faculty in their leadership roles at the Academy and in their disciplines.

  • November 17-- Life After USNA: A Workshop for Officers – Carol Graser (Executive Career Coach), LCDR Jack Ryan (English),Prof. Ann Vanleer (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

  • November 3-- Positive & Powerful Presentation – A Vocal Seminar, Techniques for cultivating confident, authentic and efficient vocal habits in the workplace --Dr. Madeline Miskie D.M.A., 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. A copy of Dr. Miskie's biography can be found here. 
    During this interactive workshop we will explore the relationship between body / breath awareness and the voice; specifically, how excess tension in various regions of the body can have a potentially negative impact on the voice. First, we will go through some light stretching and movement to loosen up some of those tension-prone areas (shoulders / neck / hips, etc.). We will then discuss the basic principles of efficient breathing techniques and healthy phonation and then put them into practice with some simple speaking exercises; highlighting the importance of pacing and volume control in presentation. The seminar will conclude with a brief Q&A. No need to wear athletic clothing to the class. Attendees are advised to bring water!​​

  • October 20--How to Run a Meeting--Karyn Sproles
    Here is a link to the templates​ from Boudett and City's Meeting Wise:  

  • October 13, 2017, 1200-1315, One Book, Many Conversations: A Seminar on George Orwell's1984, Register for workshop at (USNA login required)
    At the core of a democracy lies conversation.  The ability to talk with one another about the issues before us, and to come together and share our many perspectives, is a vital aspect of a thriving democratic society. Discussions grounded in a book can be particularly fertile for productive exchanges—giving everyone in the conversation a common point of reference for examining and articulating their ideas. Join members of the USNA community in practicing our core values as citizens and educators in a 75-minute exploration of Orwell's 1984. All who are interested, regardless of academic background, are encouraged to register. This event will be co-moderated by Dr. Joanna Bache Tobin, The Aspen Institute, and Prof. Shirley Lin, USNA Chemistry Department. A copy of Dr. Tobin's biography can be found here. While participants are encouraged to read the entire book, the discussion will focus upon the following sections: Signet Classics edition pp: 1-29; 69-81; 239-274; and 287-298. More information regarding One Book, Many Conversations can be found at

  • October 6: Flipping Your Classroom--Ric Crabbe, Computer Science

  • September 29--YP Cruise--Blues Baker--Meet at the Seawall!
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