Three faculty members will study teaching methods, share work across institutions

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.  –  The University of North Carolina System has announced the 2023 Faculty Fellows, who will spend one year researching teaching methods and best practices. The fellows are Jennifer Dalton from Appalachian State University, Nigel Pierce from North Carolina Central University and Jeff Lawson from Western Carolina University.

Founded in 2016, the UNC Faculty Fellowship Program engages faculty in issues related to academic affairs, offering mentorship and learning opportunities and promoting the effectiveness of the System and its constituent institutions. The fellowship also provides experience navigating state and national challenges in public higher education.

The work of the 2023 Faculty Fellows will focus on how the pandemic accelerated shifts in teaching and learning practices, particularly the digital transformation of higher education within the context of culture, workforce and technology.

“We are so grateful to be able to share the expertise of these three outstanding faculty members,” said David English, acting senior vice president for academic affairs. “Student learning and degree attainment have always been a high priority for faculty and staff across our System. These fellows will focus on finding and disseminating best practices from in-person and online classrooms across institutions and areas of instruction. I look forward to working with this talented group.”

Dalton joined the App State faculty in 2010 and is an associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. Earlier in her career, Dalton worked as a private practitioner in Greensboro, helping preschool children overcome communication disorders.

Pierce has served on the faculty at NCCU since 2014, and currently works as an associate professor in the School of Education and Special Education Adapted Curriculum Program, and as a program advisor for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to joining NCCU, Pierce served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

Lawson joined WCU in 2005 and has served in multiple faculty and administrative roles over 17 years, including as interim associate vice chancellor for student success. He currently serves as a professor of mathematics and computer science. Before coming to WCU, Lawson was on the faculty at Trinity University, where he taught mathematics.

The 2023 Faculty Fellows will collaborate closely, reviewing literature around culturally relevant and open teaching methods. They also will connect with other faculty around the System, documenting and sharing best practices. The System Office hopes to present these findings during academic conferences in 2023 and 2024.

About the University of North Carolina System

The UNC System enrolls more than 244,000 students at 17 campuses, including North Carolina’s 16 public universities and the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the country, with more than $1.8 billion in research expenditures and universities that serve every region of the state. Affiliate organizations include UNC Health and PBS North Carolina with its 12-station broadcast network.