Past News from the Center


Head Teaching Consultant and Writing Associate Ali Mathwig (History of Art and Architecture), who was recognizedby the 2017 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award. Given by AAC&U, this honor recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education; who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others; and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. Ali was recognized for her work with the Sheridan Center and for the Brown.  Read more.

Sheridan welcomes a new staff member:

Marc Lo, Assistant Director for Assessment and Evaluation


New Digital Teaching and Learning website

We are excited to announce the launch of a new, centralized website to support and feature digital teaching and learning at Brown. Visit the Digital Teaching and Learning site to learn more about the resources and support for projects and pedagogy available through the Sheridan Center, the School for Professional Studies, the University Library, and the Academic Technology group.

Sheridan Course Design Seminar (Certificate II) Spring 2017 registration opens Nov. 28th!

Participants in this semester-long Certificate program explore integrated course design principles and develop syllabi, sample assignments, and sample lesson plans for two college-level courses. Throughout the seminar, participants give and receive peer feedback and collaborate with colleagues from a variety of disciplines. Registration is open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have completed the Sheridan Teaching Seminar (Certificate I).
Registration window: November 28-December 12th; space is limited.
Program dates:
February 8, 20173:30-5:30 pm
March 1, 20173:30-5:30 pm
March 22, 20173:30-5:30 pm
April 19, 20173:30-5:30 pm
For more information, please see Certificate II on our website.

Sheridan welcomes a new staff member:

Sara Gramley, English Language Learning specialist
Sara is available for individual student appointments with graduate students regarding writing, speaking, or any other aspect of language learning. To contact her, email

New Sheridan Resources for English Language Learners (ELL)

To empower students whose first language is not English, a broad array of support is available on campus. A new website provides links to campus resources, including group workshops and individual appointments with ELL specialists:

Faculty and Teaching Assistants are encouraged to recommend ELL support to students who may be interested in enhancing any aspect of their English language or cross-cultural communication skills. For faculty and TAs who teach ELLs, Sheridan is offering a workshop on October 19 (Noon - 1:00 pm), "Classroom Strategies for Working with English Language Learners."

New Online Sheridan Resources on Digital Learning
*Updated resources on using clickers, wikis, Canvas and blogs in the classroom
*Sample syllabus policies on mobile devices in the classroom

Sheridan In the News

Integrating Values into Your CareerInside Higher Education 

Sheridan welcomes two new staff members:

Stacy Kastner, Associate Director of the Writing Center.  

Anne Kerkian,
 Assistant Director for English Language Learning

The Sheridan Center Has Moved!

The Sheridan Center has relocated!  We are located on the 7th floor of the Sci Li,  201 Thayer Street. 

The Sheridan Center Welcomes our new Director!!

We are pleased to share the news that Mary Wright, currently Director of Assessment and Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan, will join Brown as the Director of the Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. Her first day at Brown will be on July 18, 2016.

As the Sheridan Center director, Dr. Wright will provide strategic leadership to enhance the teaching community at Brown through the Sheridan Center's programs. This includes consulting with faculty and academic units on pedagogical and large-scale curricular transformation, supporting graduate students and postdoctoral scholars' professional development as teachers, and collaborating with other campus units on Brown's digital teaching opportunities. In addition, she will advance components of the University's strategic plan, Building on Distinction, by overseeing the establishment of a new Learning Commons. This initiative will bring together the Writing Center, English Language Learning programs and tutoring services in a new, purpose-built facility in Brown's Science Library, all under Sheridan's direction, and which will expand support for student learning in and faculty teaching about core student competencies such as writing, reading, research, data analysis, problem solving, and communication.

Dr. Wright brings to Brown significant experience in working across disciplines to advance professional development in pedagogy for faculty and for graduate students. While at the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, she worked with several large curricular change efforts (in STEM, learning analytics, engaged learning, and interprofessional education), consulted extensively with faculty around teaching and educational grants, and developed new programs for faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. Dr. Wright studied sociology at Princeton (B.A., summa cum laude), and received master's (higher education) and Ph.D. (sociology) degrees from the University of Michigan. She has published extensively on inclusive teaching, the scholarship of teaching and learning, cultures of teaching, and graduate student development. Dr. Wright is a leader in the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, the premier national organization in the field of educational development, where she is President-Elect.

We thank those who participated in the selection process, including Sheridan Center Advisory Board members, teaching consultants, faculty and graduate student liaisons, staff, and, especially, the members of search committee: Chris Dennis, Rosario Dispenza '16, Diego Focanti, Chris Keith, Joel Revill, Jane Sokolosky, Kathy Spoehr, and David Targan.

We would also like to extend a special thank you to the staff of the Sheridan Center, who have worked unstintingly to support Brown faculty, graduate students, and postdocs in programs that inquire about, explore, and reflect upon teaching and learning as ongoing and collaborative processes.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wright to Brown.

Sharon Swartz, Interim Director
Maud S. Mandel, Dean of the College 

Welcome Sharon Swartz, our Interim Faculty Director!

Please join us in welcoming our interim faculty director, Professor Sharon Swartz of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Engineering. Sharon is a member of the Sheridan Center’s Advisory Board and we look forward to working closely with her as we continue serving the needs of Brown’s teaching and learning community.


2015-16 Re-envisioning Teaching and Learning at Brown

Each year, the Sheridan Center has a theme that informs our programming and creates links between our events and partners across campus. Our theme for 2015-16 is Re-envisioning Teaching and Learning at Brown. Join us at events throughout the year as we explore ways to re-envision different aspects of teaching and learning across disciplines, learning environments, and communities. 


Farewell to Sheridan Center Executive Director Kathy Takayama

Kathy Takayama will be assuming a new position as Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University at the end of August. Please join us for her farewell reception on Tuesday August 18th at the Faculty Club (3:30 - 5 pm).

Welcome Shawn Nordell, our new Associate Director of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Disciplines (STEM)!

At the Sheridan Center, Shawn works with faculty, post-docs, graduate, and undergraduate students in the STEM disciplines on pedagogical and professional development. She leads the Certificate I: Sheridan Teaching Seminar – Reflective Teaching, and Certificate III: The Professional Development Seminar for the STEM disciplines.  In addition, she works with the Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows and runs the New Teaching Assistant Orientation. 

2015-16 Head Teaching Consultants

The Sheridan Center’s 2015-16 Head Teaching Consultants are Alexandra Collins Mathwig, History of Art and Architecture, and Ryan Maloney, Neuroscience. Head Teaching Consultants work with the Director of the Certificate IV Program to co-facilitate training sessions, mentor peers, and facilitate communication and feedback between the Sheridan Center and the Teaching Consultant community.

Read more about Ali and Ryan.

2015-16 Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows

The Sheridan Center is pleased to announce our 2015-16 Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows:

Lisa Dicarlo, Sociology
Jennifer Franck, School of Engineering
Jennifer Lambe, History
Jeremy Mumford, History

The Sheridan Center’s Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows Program provides tenure-track assistant professors and lecturers with an opportunity to engage in professional development activities targeted toward early career faculty. Fellows have the opportunity to refine their teaching skills and learn to teach more efficiently, while engaging in these activities in a community of other scholars.

Registration is Now Open for Certificate Programs

Registration opens July 1st for the following Sheridan Center Teaching Certificate Programs:

Certificate I - Sheridan Teaching Seminar: Reflective Teaching  - Teaching practices, assessment strategies and communication skills based on how students learn.
Certificate II* - Course Design Seminar: Principles + Practice - Course design, teaching and assessment strategies applied to a model course (limited enrollment).
Certificate III* - Professional Development Seminar - Teaching portfolios, cover letters, CVs, presentation skills, and interview practice for the academic job market  (limited enrollment).
Certificate IV* - Teaching Consultant Program - Peer observation and feedback, leadership skills, and discussion facilitation (limited enrollment).

* Certificate I is a prerequisite for these programs.

New TA Orientation to Teaching at Brown

Tues, Sept 8, 9am-12pm
Sayles Hall

Register here by August 24th (note the program may fill before the registration deadline).

New Faculty Orientation to Teaching at Brown
Thurs, Sept 3, 9-11:30am
Pembroke Hall

Register here for the Fall 2015 New Faculty Orientation.

New Faculty Orientation Workshop: Teaching for the First Time
Thurs, Sept 3, 12:30-1:30pm
Sheridan Center

Lunch will be served. RSVP here to reserve a place at this workshop.

New Faculty Orientation Workshop: Interactive Classrooms
Tues, Sept 8, 2-3pm
Sheridan Center

RSVP here to reserve a place at this workshop.

“Flipping Your Course” Institute at the Sheridan Center

Tuesday July 21 – Thursday July 23
9 am – 3 pm each day (lunch provided)
Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning

This intensive three-day workshop introduces the key components of flipped course design and prepares instructors to flip their own courses. Through a combination of hands-on activities, presentation, and discussion, we will work through the essentials of flipping a course, from designing online and in-class materials to facilitating learning activities in the classroom.

To apply, please complete this form by May 15th. Due to space limitations, registration is limited to Brown faculty (any rank), postdoctoral scholars, and designated graduate teaching assistants. A small stipend is available for faculty participants.

More information about the Institute is available here. If you have any questions, please contact





Visit The Sheridan Center's New Laboratory for Educational Innovation Website!

The Sheridan Center's Laboratory for Educational Innovation fosters innovative approaches to enhancing teaching and learning at Brown through digital technologies and new media. Visit the Laboratory's new website to learn more about our work and to read about some of our recent projects.

Call for Applications- Certificate V: Principles and Practice in Reflective Mentorship

Applications are solicited from graduate students who will have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy prior to the start of the 2015-2016 academic year. All applicants must complete the online application form (linked here: ) and submit additional materials (in a single .pdf file) via email to by May 12, 2015 at 11:59pm.
Just as the activities involved in the two practice-based component tracks will differ, applications to these tracks will require different elements. Descriptions of the two tracks and specific criteria for selection are described in this document.

Congratulations to the recipients of the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning!

The Sheridan Center is pleased to announce the 2014 winners of the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning, Dr. Luba Dumenco (Depts of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School) & Dr. Stéphanie Ravillon (Dept of French Studies).  Read more about their outstanding Accomplishments.

Welcome Jessica Metzler, our new Associate Director of Humanities and Social Sciences!

At the Sheridan Center, Jessica will collaborate with faculty, graduate students, and postdocs in the Humanities and Social Sciences on teaching and professional development projects and workshops, including the Junior Faculty Roundtable and Orientation sessions for new faculty and graduate student instructors. She will also lead the Center’s Course Design Seminar (Certificate II) and Professional Development Seminar (Certificate III) in 2015-2016.
Read more about Jessica.

Former Teaching Consultant Cristina Serverius highlights Sheridan Center on Brown Global Voices


Help us grow the Sheridan Center Conversation Tree!

Prompted by our interest in sustaining conversations started in the Fall Semester around the Sheridan Center's annual theme of Communication, and inspired in particular by a campus-wide performance by the University of Michigan's CRLT Players, we've placed a Conversation Tree in the main entrance of the Center. The tree presents handwritten tags, initially collected from the audience at the CRLT Players' performance, that reflect on a range of issues and concerns that affect us as individuals and as members of the wider Brown community.These issues include student and faculty diversity, staff experiences, work-life balance, and educational climate. We invite all members of the Brown community to stop by the Center, to reflect on these tags, and to contribute their own tags to this ongoing conversation about topics that matter at Brown.

Brown forms Partnership with The Lincoln School for Girls to offer Introduction to Engineering

The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning is collaborating with the School of Engineering to design a hands-on, nine-week engineering course for high school girls.    Read more.

Deadline Reminder: December 31st

Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning.
Nominations should be submitted no later than December 31, 2104 to

The schedule for conversations following the Transformative Conversations@Brown campus-wide performance by the University of Michigan’s CRLT Players is now available. 

Please check here for the details of conversations being held across campus by various groups, centers, and offices. The conversations will focus on themes highlighted in the performance, including diversity in the classroom, time management, and anxiety.

A Campus-Wide Transformative Conversations Performance

(7 into 15) + 1 Performance

Presented by the University of Michigan's CRLT PlayersWednesday, November 19th, 2014, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Salomon 101

Come join us for a high-energy, performance that unveils the different ways we engage with and experience Brown. Through vivid sketches, re-visit your own experiences through the eyes of others and engage in transformative conversations. As a nationally renowned touring theatre company housed in the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning & Teaching, the Players use a variety of performance modes and facilitation strategies to spark dialogue, promote inclusivity, and effect positive change. Follow-up discussion sessions and forums will be scheduled across campus by various groups, centers and offices. Please RSVP if you would like to attend.

Welcome Jessica Brodsky '14, the new Digital and Online Learning Designer.  
At the Sheridan Center, Jessica works with faculty, students, and staff on digital and online projects to enrich teaching and learning at Brown. She is also part of an interdisciplinary research team studying visualizations in science education.

Sheridan Certificate V Mentorship Program participants selected.

The 2014-15 cohort for the Certificate V Mentorship Program have been selected.  Read about their projects here

New publication from the Sheridan Center:

A Metacognitive Approach to Mapping Collaborative Inquiry through E-Portfolios
For more information on e-portfolios for learning see the upcoming AAEEBL Annual E-portfolio Conference in Boston July 28 - 31. 

Grant boosts undergraduate STEM teaching

The Sheridan Center is co-leading a new $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to implement innovative, evidence-based transformations in introductory science classes to enhance STEM education at Brown.  Learn more.

2014 University Awards recipients 

The 2014 University Awards Ceremony was held on May 5 in Sayles Hall. The annual ceremony, a celebration of teaching and excellence at Brown, honored nearly 70 faculty and graduate students for their work in teaching, advising, mentorship, and research. Among the awards given were the Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning, and the Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship. The full list of award winners is available online.

Request for Course Development Proposals
Development of Experimental Teaching Modules

The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning is accepting proposals to develop experimental modules or new courses that pursue creative approaches to teaching and learning at Brown.  Proposals will be accepted beginning on April 1, 2014, and will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with John Melson to discuss their proposal prior to submission.  Learn more and apply.

Sheridan Center Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows win recognition
Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Thomas Serre has received a CAREER Award from the National Science FoundationJunior Faculty Teaching Fellow Monica Linden has been accepted to attend the NSF Biology Scholars Program, where she will join a community of faculty across the life sciences to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Congratulations to the Recipients of the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning! 

The Sheridan Center is pleased to announce the 2013 winners of the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning, Barbara Tannenbaum (TAPS) and Michael Paradiso (Neuroscience).  They are exemplary teachers, mentors and leaders, who have inspired and supported their colleagues and graduate students across Brown throughout their careers.  View photos from this years ceremony.

Brown University Coursera Course Re-Launch 

Professor Sue Alcock will be teaching her innovative massive open online course, Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets, for the second time beginning on February 24, 2014.  Developed with support from the Sheridan Center, last summer's successful first offereing attracted participants of all ages from more then 120 countries.  This new version of the course offers revised course materials and draws Brown students in Prof. Alcock's spring semester "Field Archaeology in the Ancient World" class into a global conversation about the study and practice of archaeology.

Sheridan Center's New Mentorship Program Helps Bring Renowned Women Composers/Performers in Experimental Computer Music to the Campus

Opensignal: a dynamic reconfiguring of women in computer music from MEME (Multimedia & Electronic Music Experiments) is supported by the Sheridan Center's Principles & Practice in Reflective Mentorship Program.  Through collaborative peer mentorship, the graduate and undergraduate students in the program have successfully created and produced a compilation of sound works.  For more information visit: Opensignal.

Congratulations to the Recipients of the Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence:

Arseny Khakhalin, Teaching Consultant.
Lauren Quattrochi, Teaching Consultant and Participant in the Center's new Mentorship program. 
Michelle Fogerson, Participant in the Center's new Mentorship program. 

First Cohort of the Sheridan Center's New Mentorship Program Selected

We are pleased to announce that the first cohort has been selected for Principles & Practice in Reflective Mentorship Program, a new Center program for graduate students in mentorship skills development.  In this program, the following teams and pairs of graduate and undergraduate students are pursuing scholarly development or examining research questions in a way that both gives the graduate students opportunities to practice critical mentorship skills and promotes undergraduate students' intellectual development.  Graduate student mentors also receive training in positive mentorship principles and practices.  Learn more about this program and the first cohort of participants.

Sheridan Teaching Consultants Win Best Poster Award

 Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences graduate students Neal Fox and Megan Reilly, who currently serve as Sheridan Teaching Consultants, were awarded Best Poster by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology for a poster they presented at the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology in October 2013.  Their poster was titled "Significantly Different: A meta-analysis of the gap between statistics students learn and statistics psychologists use."

Congratulations Neal and Megan!

Welcome to Kathryn Trenshaw, the new AAU Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sheridan Center

Kathryn has joined the Sheridan Center to support the Association of American Universities (AAU) grant initiative addressing mathematical competency among STEM students to prepare them to succeed in science courses and in research. The Center will support STEM departments (including Chemistry, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Neuroscience and Engineering) in curriculum development, graduate student pedagogical training, and the implementation of effective teaching practices. 
Kathryn earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education and M.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Her dissertation focused on improving students' affective outcomes in core engineering courses using student teams. She also has a personal research interest in the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students in STEM fields and hopes to promote LGBTQ supportive practices in higher education with her future work.

Brown Awarded AAU Stem Grant

The Association of American Universities has announced that Brown has been selected as one of eight universities to institutionalize evidence-based teaching in STEM fields.  The Sheridan Center will play a key role in this $500,000 project, which addresses mathematical competency among STEM concentrators to prepare students to succeed in interdisciplinary and research-based science courses.  The Center will support the implementation of effective teaching practices amongst several STEM departments across Brown and train graduate students.  Those departments include Chemistry, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Neuroscience and Engineering.

Sheridan Center Executive Director Elected to ISSOTL Presidency

Sheridan Center Executive Director Kathy Takayama has been elected to serve as the President of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL).  ISSOTL supports and disseminates scholarly work on teaching and learning across the disciplines and promotes collaboration of scholars in different countries and the application of the scholarship of teaching and learning across national boundaries.