I just got back from the AAC&U Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at Vanderbilt University. While I learned a great deal about HIPs, and about what it means to make meaningful interventions in student learning at the institutional level, I also learned a cool tool: Cmap. A wide variety of uses for teaching and scholarship were immediately apparent, but I also got a good idea from, Tim Eatman, the faculty member who taught the tool to my team: using it to visualize a promotion portfolio.
One of my challenges as I’m preparing to apply for full professor this fall is making sense of the range of post-tenure activities in which I’ve participated over the last six or so years. I pursued these avenues in a way that felt very intentional to me, but I’m not sure that will be visible to my P & T committees. There’s a mix of traditional scholarship and online interventions, teaching experiments and campus service, public engagement in the arts and culture sector throughout the Philadelphia region…where’s the narrative? What’s the guiding principle to the work I’ve been doing?
So, over the next few months as I’m putting together my application, I’ll also be creating a Cmap, which I’ll include in my documents and publish here once it’s done. My focus question will be: How does an academic in literature and the humanities shape a career committed to literary study, public engagement, student success, and institutional health? Mapping the nodes and connections I’ve built over time will show — I hope — how these elements can be integrated and a case for their value as a whole can be made.