April 2023

LEAPS Explores Inclusive Teaching and Learning

April 17, 2023    |  

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Leaders in Education: Academy of Presidential Scholars (LEAPS) initiative held its inaugural symposium April 11 at the SMC Campus Center, featuring a keynote presentation by Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD, MA, the University’s chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer and vice president.

In her hourlong address, titled “The Pedagogy of Belonging and Competency-Based Education: Challenging and Changing the Landscape of Graduate and Professional Education,” Forbes Berthoud discussed her academic background; the impact of the social, political, and economic climate on teaching and learning; research on emerging trends and important considerations for impactful and inclusive education; how educators must be poised to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and diverse environment; and more.

Bruce Jarrell with Outstanding Educational Scholarship/Publication award winner Karen Gordes

Bruce Jarrell with Outstanding Educational Scholarship/Publication award winner Karen Gordes

“In our current time, we are faced with increasing inflation and economic hardships for many populations,” Forbes Berthoud told the audience of 80 faculty and staff members from around the University. “Their outcomes continue to lag in terms of physical, medical, environmental, psychological, economic, and educational access and success. And we continue to experience political and societal unrest and divisions related to our current moment.

“The teaching and learning environment needs to be concerned with the conditions, experiences, hopes, and challenges of students’ lives — how they learn; their health and well-being; their rights, responsibilities, and privileges; their access to and barriers to education, health care, and legal representation; their access to safe neighborhoods; and their experiences in their neighborhoods. The disparities that still exist in technology, medical access, social services, and other areas all need to be included in the teaching and learning experiences.”

Forbes Berthoud, who also is a professor at the University of Maryland Graduate School, discussed the four tiers of competency-based education — cognitive, functional, personal, and social — and an Association of American Medical Colleges report that focuses on the competencies physicians need to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also highlighted the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s Framing the Future initiative, which promotes “equitable, quality education in public health for achieving health equity and well-being for everyone, everywhere.”

“The pedagogy of belonging is thinking not only from the instructor or the education-centered perspective, but it is thinking about who our students are, what they need, their challenges, and their experiences,” Forbes Berthoud said. “I would like to invite you to use your diverse lived experiences, where appropriate, to shape the learning experience, and to increase connections and relatability of the course content, so that students can feel a greater investment in their education and your connection with them.”

(Watch the keynote address, see more photos, and learn more about the symposium at this link.)

The symposium’s theme was “Fostering Inclusive Teaching and Learning Environments.” In addition to the keynote presentation, the event featured opening remarks from UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, and LEAPS co-chair Donna Parker, MD, FACP, professor and senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), who thanked Jarrell for his leadership and vision in creating LEAPS, which launched in 2022.

“His hope was to recognize and advance the achievements of educators in each UMB school and develop their skills and knowledge as educational thought leaders and scholars, thus helping UMB and its schools strengthen existing educational programs, develop novel educational methods, and advance educational innovation and scholarship,” Parker said. “That’s quite a lot for us to accomplish with LEAPS, but we are up to the challenge.”

After the event, Parker said, “Our LEAPS executive team was very pleased with the turnout for the inaugural symposium and with the high level of engagement of the participants. The sense of community was strong, and we will be creating more opportunities for educators across UMB to collaborate, expand their skills, and support one another.”

Cara Felter, PT, DPT, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at UMSOM, enjoyed the collaborative atmosphere.

“As educational researchers, it is important to build community and collaborations to further our work,” she said. “The LEAPS Symposium did exactly that by putting educational research front and center and bringing interested individuals together from across UMB. Events like this are incredibly valuable as they provide opportunities to share educational innovation during the event, but there are also ripple effects into the future, as new ideas and partnerships are formed.”

Tiffany Buckley, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, advanced practice psychiatric pharmacist at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), was impressed, too.

“The energy at the LEAPS Symposium was welcoming, inviting, and inspirational,” Buckley said. “I enjoyed gathering with educators who were eager to examine educational problems and suggest evidence-based innovative solutions. The educational seminars were phenomenal and interactive. I left the symposium empowered and armed with tools including how to help foster inclusion in the classroom with trauma-informed pedagogy and help encourage students to write scientifically while expressing their individuality.”

The symposium also included the announcement of LEAPS’ inaugural Distinguished Educator Awards and Instructional Innovation Seed Grants and eight breakout sessions.

The Distinguished Educator Award winners:

  • Outstanding Preceptor: Recognizing a preceptor at UMB who exceeds expectations in precepting students, elevating the standards of teaching and mentorship of UMB trainees, and providing exceptional service to their profession: Glenn Canares, DDS, MSD, University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD)
  • Outstanding Mentor: Recognizing a faculty member at UMB for their role in supporting, encouraging, and promoting a positive and inclusive scholarly and teaching environment, and for contributing to the professional and personal development of graduate and professional students: Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, UMSOP
  • Outstanding Educational Scholarship/Publication: Recognizing scholarly contributions to education that have led to a publication (book, book chapter, or peer-reviewed journal article) that contributes to the literature and/or practice of graduate and professional education: Karen Gordes, PhD, DSc, PT, Graduate School

The Instructional Innovation Seed Grant recipients:

  • Shani Fleming, MSHS, MPS, PA-C, Graduate School: “Cultivating an Anti-Racist Ethos Through a Social Justice Syllabus Design Tool Framework (CARES)”; $2,500.
  • Matthew Grant, MD, UMSOM: “Integration of Reproductive Justice Education to Improve Pediatric Resident Comfort and Knowledge in Delivering Sexual Health Counseling to LGBTQ+ Adolescents”; $2,500.
  • Paul Yi, MD, UMSOM: “Using Eye Gaze Tracking to Measure Chest X-Ray Interpretation Skills of Medical Students and to Provide Actionable Suggestions for Improvement”; $5,000.

The morning breakout sessions:

  • “Best Practices for Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment”: Isabel Rambob, DDS, UMSOD
  • “Centering Equity in Global Learning Design”: Amy Ramirez, MA, Office of International Services, UMB, and Carlos Faerron Guzmán, MD, MSc, Graduate School
  • “Fostering Inclusion Through Trauma-Informed Pedagogy”: Karen Gordes, PhD, DSc, PT; Erin Hagar, MA, MFA; Violet Kulo, EdD, MS, MA; and J. Bondy, DHEd, MHS, PA-C, Graduate School
  • “Unlocking Student Success: Keys to Making Education Accessible for Today’s Student”: Heather Moore, MA, and Deborah Levi, MA, LCSW-C, Office of Educational Support and Disability Services, UMB

The afternoon breakout sessions:

  • “Code D: Responding to Discrimination at the Clinical Bedside”: Rebecca Carter, MD; Matthew Grant, MD; Paula Newton, MD; and Erin Guidice, MD, UMSOM; Sybil Pentsil, MD, MPH, LifeBridge Health; and Allison Pressimone, MD, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • “How to Support Our Students’ Writing Process Through Anti-Racist and Equity-Driven Assessment and Teaching of Writing”: Isabell May, PhD, UMB Writing Center
  • “Inclusive Socialization in Professional Identity Formation”: Fotini Anagnostopoulos-King, DMD, UMSOD, and Kate Noonan, PhD, MSEd, UMSOP
  • “Lessons Learned from Lumen Circle Fellowship: Cultivating an Environment of Belonging”: Jenny Owens, ScD, MS, and Shani Fleming, MSHS, MPS, PA-C, Graduate School