April 23, 2009
Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges fellowship will allow the team to expand research on teaching and learning methods
LYNCHBURG – A fellowship from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) will allow a Randolph psychology professor/ student team to expand their summer research plans.
Beth Schwartz, who also serves as assistant dean, Carl Coffey `11, a psychology major, and Alexis Mandarakas `11, a biology and psychology major, will spend the bulk of the summer focusing on Schwartz’s research on learning and teaching as part of the college’s Summer Research program. The VFIC fellowship will allow Schwartz and Coffey to continue that research for several additional weeks.
“Our proposal includes two projects that are a continuation of my ongoing research program,” Schwartz said. “Any additional time that we can devote our attention and focus to the research is incredibly valuable.”
The team is using the summer to delve into two investigations of the scholarship of teaching and learning. The first study examines faculty/student classroom interactions, comparing single sex and mixed-sex classes. The second project focuses on a book Schwartz is co-writing with a colleague from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
“We are developing a book proposal that will provide readers with best practices for common teaching methods based on existing scholarship of teaching and learning findings.
“I’m really excited about being a part of the research process,” Coffey said. “It’s an awesome and rewarding experience to not only work alongside people whom I highly respect, but also to get the opportunity to conduct research and be published as an undergrad. That is definitely an accomplishment.”