CONNECT Conference

What is CONNECT?

In 1993, Lee Shulman argued against “pedagogical solitude,” suggesting that for teaching to be most effective, we must “go public” more. We need more conversation about teaching, more opportunity to share what we do to promote student learning, and more venues in which this can happen. 

To provide such a forum, the Bruce K. Nelson Faculty Development Center is proud to host the CONNECT Teaching Conference. The CONNECT Conference serves as an opportunity for educators to come together to learn about and reflect on effective and innovative teaching practices, and begin to develop ideas about how to integrate new practices into their own classrooms. Programs presented and conversations started at the CONNECT Conference are additionally important for developing teaching practices that encourage student-faculty collaboration and partnerships, which the FDC is increasingly committed to supporting. Please join us to take part in these exciting discussions and to share ideas about teaching and learning.

The CONNECT Conference begins on Thursday afternoon, February 9, with a keynote address by Dr. Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education at Bryn Mawr College and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges (see below for more details).  The learning continues on Friday, February 10, with a day of panels, presentations, and opportunities to learn from and CONNECT with each other.

CONNECT 2023: Call for Proposals

The second day of the 2023 CONNECT Conference, Friday, February 10, will feature sessions from EMU faculty, lecturers, and staff on a wide range of teaching and learning topics. We are especially interested in evidence-based work on teaching and learning, particularly as it can help others to enhance their practice. We seek proposals that highlight effective practice in different modalities of teaching, and those that highlight technological innovations in higher education. Proposals are also welcome on ways faculty can advance the causes of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in their teaching, on ways they can support student wellness in and out of the classroom, and on strengthening opportunities for student-faculty partnerships.  If you are interested in a teaching-related topic and believe you have something to say, we are interested in your proposal!

Proposals are due by 4:00pm on Tuesday, January 17th.

Each proposal may include up to four presenters. Please submit information about all presenters in a single application, and be prepared to include bios and photos for each presenter in the application.

Application for CONNECT 2023 Proposal

CONNECT 2023 Keynote Address: Teaching and Learning Together: Principles and Possibilities

Speaker: Alison Cook-Sather

When: Thursday, February 9, 2023, at 5:00 PM

Where: 300 Halle Library


Alison Cook-Sather


In this talk, Dr. Alison Cook-Sather will present a definition and underlying principles of pedagogical partnership, review arguments in the scholarly arena for the potential of partnership work, and provide examples of some of the most common outcomes of pedagogical partnerships as articulated in student and faculty participants’ words. She will then highlight faculty work at Eastern Michigan University that embodies partnership principles, and she will invite all participants to explore ideas for (further) developing pedagogical partnership work at Eastern Michigan University.


Alison Cook-Sather is Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education at Bryn Mawr College and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Alison has developed internationally recognized programs that position students and teachers as pedagogical partners, published over 100 articles and book chapters, and spoken or consulted on partnership work at over 80 institutions in 13 countries. Author or co-author of eight books, including Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education (2019), Promoting Equity and Justice through Pedagogical Partnership (2021), and Co-Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning: Structuring Student Voice into Higher Education (2022), she is founding editor of Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education and founding co-editor of International Journal for Students as Partners. Learn more about Alison’s work at

  • 2022 CONNECT

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    CONNECT 2022 Resources

    Keynote Speech of Connnect 2022: Trauma-Informed Education & Bearing Witness to Challenges and Resilience 

    Speaker: Dr. Mays Imad


    In The Book of Joy, the Dalai Lama invites us to develop our “mental immunity,” the skills we need, individually and collectively, to help ourselves and our communities guard against chronic stress so we may continue to learn and thrive. A key to developing such pivotal skills is understanding how our brains perceive and react to “triggers.”  In this interactive session, we began by considering the neuroscience of traumatic stress, especially as it relates to work-related traumatic experiences. We then considered the research behind the burnout epidemic and why this global phenomenon is something we must, as educators and leaders, not take lightly. Finally, we examined the notion of healing, at the individual and community levels, and what key ingredients are needed for us to move forward in a meaningful, elevating, and sustainable way. This session offered a combination of theory and practice. 


    Mays Imad received her undergraduate training from the University of Michigan–Dearborn where she studied philosophy. She received her doctoral degree in Cellular & Clinical Neurobiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. She then completed a National Institute of Health-Funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona in the Department of Neuroscience. She joined the department of life & physical sciences at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona as an adjunct faculty member in 2009 and later as a full-time faculty member in 2013. During her tenure at Pima, she taught Physiology, Pathophysiology, Genetics, Biotechnology, and Biomedical ethics. She also founded Pima’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC).  

    Mays is a Gardner Institute Fellow and an AAC&U Senior Fellow within the Office of Undergraduate STEM Education. Dr. Imad’s research focuses on stress, self-awareness, advocacy, and classroom community, and how these impact student learning and success. Through her teaching and research she seeks to provide her students with transformative opportunities that are grounded in the aesthetics of learning, truth-seeking, justice, and self-realization. 

    Outside of the classroom, Dr. Imad works with faculty members across disciplines at her own institution and across the country to promote inclusive, equitable, and contextual education–all rooted in the latest research on the neurobiology of learning. A nationally-recognized expert on trauma-informed teaching and learning, she passionately advocates for institutions to make mental health a top priority and to systematically support the education of the whole student.

    View Mays's recent publications

    Follow Mays on Twitter

    View a recording of the keynote speech here. 

    View Dr. Imad's keynote slides here.

  • 2021 CONNECT Mini Conference

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