Professor speaking at the podium

First Year @ Furman Programming

The goals of the First Year @ Furman program are:

  • To support Furman’s newest colleagues via just-in-time professional development opportunities related to effective teaching and research, student learning, and designing/navigating your academic career. 
  • To create collegial, interdisciplinary networks for social support and future teaching, research, outreach, administrative, and service collaborations.

The First Year @ Furman program encompasses two central elements:

  1. First Year Discovery Series: A set of ten (5 per semester) formal learning opportunities to discover core aspects of our community, faculty roles and responsibilities, and professional support.
  2. Mentoring Circle Chats: 6 (3 per semester) informal collegial conversations during the academic year to build connections and share experiences.

First Year @ Furman Programming for Fall 2020

First Year Discovery Series 

When12:40- 1:25 pm on 5 dates per semester (listed below) 

Where: All events for fall 2020 will be virtual (meeting room here)

Description: All events are designed around conversation and may involve short review or introduction to information, active exploration of the ideas, and opportunities for questions and conversation. Often, a pre-session reading is provided. 

Wednesday, September 2nd – What is Liberal Education? 

Facilitated by Jenna Storey and Ben Storey

Seminar pre-reading document available here.

According to the AAC&U, liberal education is “an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest.” Given prominent national conversations about the value of liberal learning, we kick-off our discovery series with a conversation about how liberal learning is conceived at Furman and how we engage with and articulate that vision in the classroom and beyond.    

Monday, September 21st – Sticky Teaching Situations Panel 

With panelists Susan D’Amato, Buket Oztas, & Suzy Summers

What do you do when a classroom discussion gets out of hand, or a student makes a derogatory comment in an online discussion board? How do you navigate group assignments when course members have substantial personal conflict? How do you respond when a student becomes antagonistic during office hours? Panelists in this session will share their insight and experience navigating some of the more common sticky teaching situations you will likely encounter as a faculty member.   

Wednesday, October 14th – Supporting Academic Integrity 

Facilitated by Associated Academic Dean Kyle Longest

All first-year students are required to attend an academic integrity workshop. In this session, we will experience the case study portion of the workshop so we know what to expect of students and the issues they’ve considered in this training. We will save time to discuss some of the pressures our students are facing and how to better help them avoid integrity violations. 

Monday, November 2nd – Establishing a Scholarly Agenda and Identity Panel 

With panelists Paul Thomas, Shaniece Criss, & Michele Speitz

At an institution like Furman, one of the most critical tasks before you in your first year is to establish and craft your teaching practice. While teaching is an essential element of faculty identity, the scholarship we nurture and grow is also crucial. How do you build a scholarly identity and agenda that is integrated into your teaching, scholarship, and service at Furman? Panelists in this session will share how they focused their scholarship and developed a research identity and program in their first few years as a faculty member.  

Tuesday, December 1st – University Leadership Panel 

With panelists President Elizabeth Davis, Provost Ken Peterson, Dean of Faculty Jeremy Cass, & CDO Michael Jennings

Virtual Study Day – Event will take place from 3:30:4:45pm

As your first semester at Furman concludes, we invite you to join with University leaders for an informal panel conversation about their goals for the institution, important initiatives and challenges ahead, and reasons to celebrate our achievements as a community. Prior to this event, you will be invited to submit questions for our panelists.  

Mentor Circle Chats 

When: 5:30-6:30 pm on 3 dates per semester (listed below) 

Where: All events for fall 2020 will be virtual (meeting room here); TBD for spring 2020 

Description: Over your career, you will develop rich relationships with colleagues who will serve as mentors for your teaching, scholarship, and personal life. At Furman, instead of assigning each new faculty member one institutional mentor, we believe in a collective approach. Throughout your first year here, we invite you to participate in a series of mentor circle chats where First Year @ Furman faculty gather with a small group (often pairs) of rotating existing faculty mentors for informal conversations around loose themes (see below). As you participate in these chats, you’ll develop a rich set of colleagues from which we hope you will consult for support and comradery throughout your time at Furman. 

Thursday, August 27th – Academic Affairs, Programs, and Initiatives with Dean of Faculty Jeremy Cass 

As you settle into your new role at Furman, your first mentor circle chat will take place with someone who was sitting in your shoes when he first joined the Furman faculty of Modern Languages and Literature in 2004 – Dean of Faculty Jeremy Cass. Dean Cass is responsible for the management of Furman’s academic programs, for supporting faculty in their efforts to provide a transformational education for our students, and in the development and enrichment of faculty scholarly profiles. Join Dean Cass to discuss his vision for our academic programs as he answers your questions about the Furman faculty experience. 

Tuesday, October 27th – Campus, Community, and Culture: Furman’s Past, Present, and Future.

Facilitated by Courtney Tollison & Brandon Inabinet

Founded in 1826, Furman is the oldest private university in South Carolina. In the nearly two centuries since that time, much has changed within our learning institution and the Greenville community. How is our community influenced by our extensive history and what stories are we creating now that will guide us into the future? How has the culture of the University and our community changed over time? Where do you fit in the evolving narrative?   

Thursday, November 19th – Furman Curriculum & The Furman Advantage

Facilitated by Associate Provosts Beth Pontari and John Wheeler

As an institution steeped in the liberal arts tradition, much of our curricular and co-curricular programming is designed around intellectual curiosity and exploration, integrative and interdisciplinary exchanges, and profound experiential learning opportunities. What is the value of our unique curricular experience? Why is our curriculum structured and scaffolded as it is? How does the Furman Advantage distinguish us from other institutions? Most importantly, how can you contribute to our unique brand of learning and engagement?