Skip to Navigation

Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows Program

The Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows Program, a collaborative program between Brown University and Wheaton College, annually offers outstanding advanced graduate students the opportunity to experience faculty life firsthand at a liberal arts college. By teaching a one-semester course at Wheaton and participating in the intellectual life of the college, Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows gain a better understanding of the responsibilities and challenges of academic life at a four-year, liberal arts college, which can be markedly different than those at a research institution such as Brown.

Wheaton College is a selective, coeducational liberal arts college of 120 full-time faculty and 1,550 students. Located in nearby Norton, Massachusetts, Wheaton was founded in 1834 as a women's institution and became coeducational in 1987. As with most liberal arts colleges, Wheaton 's educational philosophy is predicated on a close, collaborative relationship between students and faculty. A low student-faculty ratio and small class size (between fifteen and twenty) means students know their professors as scholar-teachers, advisors, mentors, and supervisors of research projects. Wheaton offers a curriculum leading to a degree in Bachelor of Arts in more than forty-four majors and sixty minors. Students choose from over 1,525 courses in subjects from physics to philosophy, political science to computer science, art history to theater, English to economics.

The Wheaton curriculum demonstrates the college's commitment to the traditional breadth and depth of the liberal arts and sciences while promoting connections across established academic divisions. Its new curriculum transformation initiative, the Infusion Project, integrates critical studies on race/ethnicity and its intersections with gender, sexuality, class, religion and technology in the US and globally in all disciplines.

At Brown, the program is administered by the Graduate School and the Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning.

Up to four doctoral students will be selected for the honor of serving as a Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellow in 2015-2016.  Application for this distinctive training opportunity is open to doctoral students in all disciplines, based on the eligibility criteria outlined below.

Qualifications
Brown doctoral students who have completed their coursework, advanced to candidacy (are at the dissertation-writing stage), have at least two semesters of teaching experience, and are currently in their third, fourth or fifth year of studies are eligible to apply for the Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows Program. See application instructions below, but note that students currently in their fifth year of study (i.e., rising sixth-year students) will need to submit a Dissertation Completion Proposal (DCP) that mentions their intention to apply to this program. Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows receive stipend support.

Successful candidates will have a strong commitment to teaching, as demonstrated by their participation in departmental teaching seminars and/or in the Sheridan Center's teaching certificate programs. The ideal applicants will have completed the Sheridan Center's Certificate I program.  

To Apply
All applicants, be they rising fourth-, fifth- or sixth-year students, must submit a cover letter and CV to Associate Dean Vanessa Ryan by the last Friday in January. (Submit these two documents via email as separate pdf files.) Applicants’ cover letters should describe their credentials and teaching experience and their research agendas and intellectual interests. The letter, which should not exceed two pages, should include a description of the applicant’s teaching competencies broadly defined as well as a one-paragraph description of a course the applicant proposes to teach at Wheaton. Applicants may propose courses that meet curricular needs identified by Wheaton College departments/programs.

In addition, all applicants must furnish to the Graduate School evidence of the endorsement of their Director of Graduate Study. This may be in the form of a brief email from the DGS to Associate Dean Vanessa Ryan; it need not be a full recommendation. 

Rising sixth-year students must also submit a Dissertation Completion Proposal (DCP) to their program by the last Friday in January. Be sure to reference interest in this program.

Selection Process
The Graduate School, with assistance from the Sheridan Center, reviews candidates and forwards general recommendations to Wheaton. Based on its curricular needs, Wheaton then asks a select group of candidates to submit complete syllabi for their proposed courses and come to campus for interviews. Once selected, each Faculty Fellow is assigned a Wheaton mentor and begins the process of refining his or her syllabus to ensure that it promotes student learning in a liberal arts environment.

Expectations 
It is an honor to serve as a Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellow. Each Faculty Fellow teaches one course and participates fully in the intellectual life of the college community. Faculty Fellows attend department and faculty meetings (as non-voting participants), take part in relevant monthly teaching and learning workshops, and share their ongoing research with Wheaton colleagues through presentations at the Faculty Luncheon Series.

Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows are assigned a faculty mentor from their home department at Wheaton. Upon selection and before the semester starts, Faculty Fellows meet with their mentors to review the syllabus and assignments and to establish a schedule for regular meetings throughout the term. The mentors serve as sounding boards about the progress of the Fellows' courses, observe their classes and make recommendations, and help acculturate them to the four-year college environment.

To assess their teaching, Faculty Fellows use Wheaton's standard course evaluation form at the end of the semester and are observed and given feedback by the department chair or colleague. At the end of each term, Faculty Fellows meet individually with their Wheaton mentors or department chairs to assess their development and performance. All Fellows are required to submit a summary report about their experience in the program to the Graduate School and Sheridan Center at Brown and to Wheaton College.

Contacts: Gail Sahar, Wheaton College; and Vanessa Ryan, Graduate School