W&M Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation announces ’21 – 22 Teaching Excellence Fellows

W&M Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation announces ‘21 – 22 Teaching Excellence Fellows

by Amber Donnelly |  July 9, 2021

Joan Gavaler

Joan Gavaler

Professor of Dance

Leslie Cochrane

Leslie Cochrane

Senior Lecturer of English and Linguistics

The Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation (STLI) recently selected Joan Gavaler and Leslie Cochrane as the Teaching Excellence Fellows for the upcoming 2021 – 2022 academic year.

Gavaler and Cochrane will serve as the second cohort of STLI fellows since the program’s inception. By focusing on strategic priorities for the university related to teaching and learning, the fellows will develop learning opportunities and programming for instructors across the university in collaboration with the STLI team.

“I began working with STLI this past year when the three Dance Program faculty were transitioning our teaching and research and helping our students transition their research into a digital realm,” said Gavaler. “The philosophy, energy, and creativity emanating from STLI made me think these might be ‘my people’ and I wanted to do more with this group.”

Gavaler will focus on performance pedagogy and facilitate discussions about the derivation of pedagogy from artistic practice influences and how to support student learning across all disciplines. Gavaler hopes to develop a short course in cross-disciplinary collaboration with both faculty and students.

During Cochrane’s fellowship, she will concentrate on accessibility and universal design for learning in alignment with William & Mary’s values of belonging, flourishing, and respect.

“I have been passionate about universal design since I began teaching, both because I am committed to inclusion for students with disabilities and because I have found that its principles enhance learning for everyone,” said Cochrane.

Both fellows bring passion and experience to their areas of focus with the goal of connecting with faculty from across the university to enhance the student experience. Serving as an extension of the studio, Gavaler and Cochrane will contribute to catalyzing community and collaboration across the university and beyond.

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s New President’s grant that supports institutional priorities identified by President Katherine Rowe, the STLI Fellowship program launched in 2020 at the height of the pandemic to position instructors as pedagogical leaders and collaborators across the university. 

For more information about the program, visit stli.wm.edu/fellowshipprogram.