“The Blog” as a living, breathing, evolving body of work

The featured image is of saucer magnolias blossoming in front of Burruss Hall. Like these blossoms that are finally coming into their season, we graduate students are future faculty and we are beginning to come into our own as well. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the role of a blog is to academia. In this graduate class, like many others across Tech’s campus, blogging is a requirement for the course. Professors point to the blog as a space for sharing ideas, for collaboration, for practicing writing, and for developing a digital presence–kind of like a next generation CV … Continue Reading →

Seeking Knowledge on Diversity & Inclusion

I’m taking a course this semester called Diversity for Global Society. It is part of the Virginia Tech Graduate School’s Transformative Graduate Education Initiative and this course is designed to introduce students to concepts in diversity, inclusion, and equity and how they relate to higher education–both here at Virginia Tech and from a global perspective. The environment in which a person grows up and the culture experienced therein results in many underlying assumptions, misconceptions, and biases that influence the way a person experiences the present. This background often influences a person’s experience of diversity, inclusion, race/racism, class, economy, and equity. In this class, … Continue Reading →

Time to Put a Bow on it

Since my arrival at Tech, I have experienced more learning and exposure to new ideas than perhaps I have in my entire education to date. I came here primarily for two reasons: the first, because I was interested the Landscape Architecture program because I could pursue an Architecture & Design Research PhD (1 of 5 offered in the U.S.) and second, because the Graduate School offered a Transformative Graduate Education Experience that was promised to  be unlike anything I had encountered before.  So far, I have not been disappointed. Over the past semester, I have tried to absorb as much as I … Continue Reading →

Being a Parent Means Multitasking is a Way of Life

My truth about multitasking is a story of dread and acceptance.  I experience dread because I often feel a resistance to sit down and work when I know that I am going to get distracted or pulled away from what I am working on. At the same time, I try and embrace radical acceptance because even though I think I would prefer an uninterrupted workflow, I know that’s just not going to happen, so I’d be better off just going with the flow.  There are parts of my day that I am able to handle without dividing my attention, and … Continue Reading →

Jigsaw-Zigsaw: An Adventure for Every GEDI

This week, we learned a different approach for teaching and learning in the classroom. This blog entry is the story of that experience. Two weeks ago at the end of class, each student was given a number which corresponded to a short reading assignment, and we were all told to return to class last week ready to go on our sections. With that, class was dismissed and we were all on our way. As we trickled back into the classroom last week, we were greeted at the door by our Teaching Assistant (TA) team, Jyotsana, Greg, & Amy who directed us to … Continue Reading →

Birthing a Thinking Mind

When I was a girl, I would often retreat to my favorite thinking place: a fallen, yet still-growing tree on the highest hill on my family’s land and there I would spend time until either my brother found me or until my parents would call me inside for supper. I recall liking this activity because I was alone with my thoughts and it game me time to reflect on the things that had happened to me during the day and I could spend some time wondering. Much of that wonder translated into the subjects I would pick to read about on … Continue Reading →

On Diversity & Inclusive Pedagogy, Academia could do better

In this post, I wanted to make a brief comment on diversity in general, discuss diversity in higher education, and then I have a few thoughts on diversity in professional offices. I’ll conclude by talking about inclusive pedagogy. It goes hand-in-hand with creating a community environment and appreciating the opportunity for innovative thinking. Image Credit: jlrsousa’s “Bonecas” I am a proponent of diversity. I believe it broadens our horizons and aids us in our personal development.   Katherine Phillips in “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter” makes some interesting and thought provoking statements on diversity and how it enriches our thinking environments and … Continue Reading →

Word of the week: mindfulness

Mindful learning. It’s such a powerful concept. As one of the last blog posts going up this week, I had the pleasure of reading the reflections of so many of my classmates before I composed this post. I have to say that was probably the best thing for me as I have been struggling with what mindful learning should/could look like for an educator in the design field. I enjoyed reading my classmate’s stories because I realized that we all have a shared experience of classrooms/learning environments that are not actually designed for student learning. Each story I read was different, some students … Continue Reading →

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks OR Reminding New Dogs Old Tricks are No Good: Striving for Quality in Higher Ed

I have a past that I once considered dark. I was embarrassed to admit to any new friends I made that I had once been a hardcore gamer. For about 3 years during my undergraduate years (a decade ago), mostly summers and over holiday breaks when I wasn’t working, I spent my time plugged into World of Warcraft (WoW)… not casually playing–grinding for resources, completing quests, raiding, and participating in team PvP combat. It was never dull! I had multiple top-level characters-my favorites were a human warlock and a Draenai priest, that I played with friends in real life and with friends … Continue Reading →

Inspired on the First Day

Inspired by people and enabled by technology. I believe we’re looking at a revolution in academic information sharing. A good research topic might be to trace the history of the Blog and describe its evolution as a platform for discourse. I had my first blog in 2002, when I was a high school student and the cool thing to do was create a space to talk about ourselves and life in general. Fast forward 15 years and blogging is making waves as a cutting edge tool for learning and engagement in the classroom. This year alone, I have had blogging requirements … Continue Reading →