GSC Adds Four Faculty to Chancellor's Learning Scholars for Cohort 3


Dr. Cristina Fermin-Ennis, Melissa Harrison, Dr. Brent Johnson and Dr. Scott Shubitz were named to Gordon State College Cohort Three of Chancellors Learning Scholars (CLS).

The Chancellor’s Learning Scholars program has included more than 240 scholars and 1,400 faculty learning community members, representing every institution in the University System of Georgia (USG). 

Gordon’s Cohort One scholars included Samantha Bishop, Wendy Martin, Dr. Anthony Pearson and Dr. Jessica Traylor. Dr. Alan Burstein was named to Cohort Two last year. 

Selected by the USG from an impressive list of Gordon State faculty nominees, GSC’s newest Chancellor’s Scholars will join Burstein to facilitate five Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) for Spring Semester 2021. These supportive communities are designed to give small groups of faculty, usually eight to 10 members, the opportunity to engage in sustained, meaningful conversations about teaching and learning.

The FLCs will meet regularly throughout the length of the two-year program to explore areas of interest that will lead to changes in their pedagogy and/or teaching practices. At the end of the program, each CLS and FLC participant should be able to point to a change or innovation they have made in their course design, approach to assignments, or some other area of their teaching. 

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton said, “I am extremely proud of our third cohort of Chancellor’s Learning Scholars. They are outstanding teachers who will also be excellent learning community facilitators.” 

Throughout their tenure, Fermin-Ennis, Harrison, Johnson and Shubitz will be provided pedagogical and logistical support by Gordon’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), by the USG Center for Teaching and Learning Regents Advisory Committee (GA-CTL RAC), and by the state-wide Chancellor’s Learning Scholars Community. 

Dr. Anna Higgins-Harrell, Director for the GSC CETL, said, “I am so excited that the USG extended the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars initiative to include a third cohort! This program includes a rich professional development element for both the scholars and the members of their learning communities, something especially welcoming in the midst of such challenging times when attending an academic conference is out of the question.  The fact that the topics explored this year deal with online learning makes that development even more vital.”

A professor of chemistry and Fayette County resident, Fermin-Ennis said it is an honor to be nominated and selected as one of the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars, Cohort 3.  “I am excited to be part of an initiative that aims to improve teaching and learning by providing opportunities to engage in conversations, attend webinars and receive mentorship,” she said.

 Harrison, an associate professor of nursing and Jones County resident, said, ”I am looking forward to leading a group this year for the Chancellor’s Scholars group. I participated in a group last year and really enjoyed it. I am excited to learn new things to share with others that will continue to guide and educate our students.” 

Johnson, an associate professor of education and Cobb County resident, said, “With the pandemic and racial unrest clearly highlighting the accumulation of systemic inequity, I am excited to work with my fellow Chancellor’s Learning Scholars and colleagues to explore ways to use pedagogy and instruction to assist in deconstructing our current ‘normal’ and reconstructing a ‘normal’ that moves us closer to the American ideal.” 

An assistant professor of history, Shubitz is a Macon-Bibb County resident. He said, “I am excited about the opportunity to participate in the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars program and to work with my fellow faculty to make Gordon State an even more student-centered and engaging environment.”