Faculty members awarded CETL grants for innovative classroom projects

Photos of five faculty grant winners

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University faculty members have been awarded the second annual Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) grants.

Grant recipients are:

  • Dr. Erin Kaszynski, assistant professor of counselor education
  • Dr. Christian D. Pirlet, assistant professor of educational technology
  • The team of Drs. Wendy Wakefield, assistant professor of elementary education; Christina Cavallaro, assistant professor of education; and Lauren Pierce, assistant professor of educational psychology

These faculty members will use their $1,000 pedagogy grants for innovative classrooms projects.

Kaszynski will purchase access to simulation software to provide students with hands-on experience practicing their counseling skills with clients from diverse backgrounds and experiences, preparing students to better serve their clients after graduation.    

Pirlet will purchase coding and robotics equipment that will be used to train preservice teachers how to better teach their students 21st century skills in technology and computing.        

Wakefield, Cavallaro, and Pierce will purchase Breakout EDU kits to promote game-based learning across areas of science, literacy and psychology. Integrating these kits will challenge students to collaborate, engage background knowledge, utilize different learning modalities and apply course-related content while developing social-emotional skills. Ultimately, teacher candidates will gain a novel approach to engage their future K-12 students.

“CETL is excited to award these grants to instructors who are developing pedagogies that are high-impact, community-oriented and active,” said CETL Director Dr. Ben Harley. “Northern faculty are engaging and innovative teachers, and CETL is honored to support them in their work because, ultimately, it is the students who are benefitting.”

For more information about Northern’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, email cetl@northern.edu or visit NSU CETL.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $150 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.

Pictured, left to right: Kaszynski, Pirlet, Wakefield, Cavallaro, Pierce