Andrew Hanna, assistant professor of practice in management and entrepreneurship, and Uchechukwu Jarrett, associate professor of practice in economics, will advance classroom experiences for business students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln this year as Seacrest Teaching Fellows. Made possible by the support of Rhonda and the late James Seacrest, the fellows program cultivates teaching excellence in the College of Business and beyond.
“As new generations of students and new technologies emerge, we must adapt how we teach so our students graduate ready to lead the future of business. These fellows are leading the way in our efforts as a college to provide the best instruction we can. They incorporate something new into their classes and collect data to test if these changes are helping their students,” said Sam Allgood, faculty director of the Teaching and Learning Center and Edwin J. Faulkner Professor of Economics.
Hanna and Jarrett, who both previously received the college's Excellence in Teaching Award, submitted applications describing how participation in the program would support their growth as a professor. They also provided a statement of their teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae and a description of a teaching innovation, project or other instructional-related research question they plan to address in the program.
Jarrett plans to build upon his time last serving as a Seacrest Teaching Fellow. One of his plans includes running multiple scenarios on an economics assignment to provide insight into students' confidence levels and how they develop a growth mindset.
"One of the challenges in education is getting students to think adaptively about how to apply what is taught in class to real-world problems. I wanted to utilize the Seacrest Teaching Fellowship to augment the regular curriculum by designing a variety of assignments aimed at engendering these critical thinking skills, enabling students to solve business problems, not just in class but in the future. The fellowship allows me to go beyond just implementation, but affords me the opportunity to research the most effective way to accomplish this goal, finetuning the process for optimal results," he said.
Hanna uses his ability to connect and engage students — even in larger classrooms — by creating a class culture where students can feel comfortable being themselves. His fellowship enables him to further innovate his teaching to advance student outcomes.
"I believe that education is not just about disseminating knowledge; it's about igniting the flames of curiosity and fostering a genuine passion for learning. This fellowship presents a unique opportunity for me to delve deeper into the art of teaching, try some new creative things I’ve been beating around in my head and sculpt the classroom into a space where ideas collide and students really flourish," said Hanna. "The Seacrest Teaching Fellowship allows an avenue for transformative learning that not only equips our students for the challenges of the future but also shapes them into compassionate, agile thinkers capable of reshaping the world for the future they have in mind."
The fellows also engage in activities to support teaching in the college by reporting back to faculty what they find and sharing best practices. They also help expand the impact of the Teaching and Learning Center through peer support.
“A defining feature of the Seacrest Fellows program is that the research findings often have the ability to be generalized across multiple disciplines. For example, if a fellow notices positive learning outcomes in their accounting course as a result of their Seacrest intervention, it is likely that an instructor from another field of study could make the same changes in their course to benefit a new group of students. As the Seacrest Teaching Fellows continue to research and share their findings, faculty in the college and across the country can benefit from their work,” said Kasey Linde, director of teaching, learning and accreditation.
2024-25 Seacrest Teaching Fellow applications are due June 15.
Published: August 31, 2023