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Peretz named Biggio Faculty Fellow

As 2020 brought on swift changes to teaching at Auburn University, the need to support faculty in adapting to these changes also grew. To sustain this support, the Biggio Center recently welcomed four new Faculty Fellows – Tal Peretz, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work; Karen Hopkins, lecturer in the Department of Marketing; Karley Riffe, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology; and Stephanie Shepherd, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences.

Launched in 2019, the Biggio Center’s Faculty Fellows program now enters its third year of helping to advance a mission of promoting teaching excellence and increased opportunities for faculty.

“The Faculty Fellows program is expanding the reach and impact of the Biggio Center as it empowers excellent faculty to become recognized campus leaders in innovative teaching and learning practices,” said Lindsay Doukopoulos, Biggio Center associate director for educational development. “Faculty Fellows are asked to engage in high-impact efforts, from conducting peer observations and student feedback focus groups to developing and implementing projects and programs that support faculty in their home departments and beyond.”

Tal Peretz is an assistant professor of sociology and women’s and gender studies in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. For over a decade, Peretz has engaged in scholarship to better understand gender, intersectional inequality and social movements. He plans to extend the Biggio Center’s existing teaching feedback opportunities by providing feedback sessions that specifically look at improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, related content of Auburn’s courses in a way that feels appropriate and well-integrated.

Karen Hopkins, a lecturer in the Department of Marketing with 20 years of teaching experience, looks forward to working with faculty to integrate the innovations and lessons through the pandemic into a traditional classroom context and developing methods of instruction that incorporate the best of both paradigms.

Karley Riffe is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology and brings a deep knowledge of educational theory and practice to her role. She strives to combine active learning strategies and a student-centered approach in the classroom and help others learn how to prioritize compassion, humor and care alongside content delivery to connect with students and empower lasting learning.

Stephanie Shepherd is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences who will use her fellowship to engage science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, faculty in inclusive teaching practices like creating an inviting and engaging learning environment for students from varied backgrounds and learning styles.

From student-centered teaching and learning approaches to DEI-focused feedback services and programs, the Biggio Center Faculty Fellows are already leading change across the institution. The disciplinary diversity they bring to the Biggio Center is also helping to enrich long-standing programs and events such as Summer Course (Re)Design and New Faculty Orientation.

Peretz, Hopkins, Riffe, and Shepherd join ongoing Biggio Center Faculty Fellows: Matthew Clary, lecturer in the Department of Political Science; Allie Brandriet, lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Min Zhong, senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Tags: Faculty Sociology Anthropology and Social Work Sociology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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