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CASTLE's New Year's Resolutions 


CASTLE's New Year's Resolutions

January 9, 2017

We’re in a reflective mood as we enter 2017 at the Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE) at Drexel University, Philadelphia, and so it should be for a center at the heart of a multicultural university promoting higher education learning outcomes and advancement.

We thought long and hard about what sustains us. What we can do, and must do, and in fact do each day, is roll up our sleeves and get to work to reaffirm our mission to support the improvement of STEM education at all levels within higher education at Drexel University. 

This year, we’ll collaborate with our various partners to write and deliver more grants, expand our circle with other universities for cross-partner collaborations. This will mirror what we achieved with our First Annual Bridging UTeach and Engineering event in November 2016, and expand upon our internal Drexel network, in that we’ll continue such efforts as hosting HHMI Pedagogical Happy Hours. We’ll also invite movers and shakers who are transformers in the world of STEM education to engage with our CASTLE affiliates through the CASTLE Seminar Series.

We’re a new center and in the rush of activities it’s sometimes important to stop, pause, and reflect on what we’ve accomplished in our first year, and to set goals going forward. We brought an excellent staff on board, whom I’ve introduced before but encourage you to reacquaint yourselves with as you’ll be hearing from them frequently in the next year. We’re also growing; our newest staff addition is Paul Lazrow, MBA, who will serve as academic advisor and be responsible for ongoing program growth, quality, and improvement for the DragonsTeach STEM Teacher Education program, and as Program Manager for the M.S. in Mathematics Teaching and Learning program for the School of Education.

At our core, we at CASTLE are resolute in our mission to always support the best learning outcomes for students at Drexel, to strive to learn the most effective teaching pedagogies, ourselves, to continuously improve our programs and initiatives, and most importantly, in all of our endeavors, to be always be curious and to question outcomes; to never cease asking: “Why?” 

Throughout this process, we are obliged to our donors, our faculty, our staff, our community—and most of all our students, to continue to debate, to reflect, to discuss, and to probe STEM teaching methodologies, STEM research, and learning practices. We will search for the best ideas, we will celebrate the diversity of our experiences, and we will continue on a lifelong pursuit of learning and wisdom. And we will never be satisfied with the status quo. 

Here’s to a Healthy and Happy New Year!

-Adam Fontecchio
Director, CASTLE