TBD: Think By Design; How do we move from what is. . . to what could be?

Presented on: Tuesday, August 11th at 12:00 PM CDT

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Perhaps now, more than ever before, the time has come to rethink the default settings that guide our daily practices and routines. Through an examination of Design Thinking as a mindset and process, we’ll aspire to make small, but test-driven, innovative changes to the “business as usual” mentality in our professional worlds. About the Presenter: As an Associate Teaching Professor for MU’s College of Education, I teach teachers! In other words, I am in the business of connecting heads to hearts. Each day, I challenge College of Education majors, our country’s future educators, to re-think the “default settings” that too often characterize our schools. Instead, we rely on design-inspired leadership, a student-centered mindset, to solve the grand challenges facing K-12 learners. For example, as future teachers, how will they connect with students whose lives are characterized by adverse childhood experiences and trauma? What is their plan to amplify student wellbeing, including mental and social wellbeing? After all, healthier students are better learners. Research demonstrates that future teachers must be prepared to address what’s not on the lesson plan. And that’s where the work of connecting heads and hearts begins: my scholarship and teaching seek to understand the complexities and demands inherent to the teaching profession. In acknowledging these opportunities for growth, let’s rely on design, not by chance, to prepare our next generation of bold, committed, and capable K-12 teachers. Now in my eleventh year as a Mizzou faculty member, I also serve as the Director of Elementary Education, our College’s largest undergraduate program. A three-time Mizzou graduate (B.S. ’03, M.Ed ’04, and PhD ’08), I dedicate my time outside of the classroom to service and leadership roles including Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Chair, where I am proud to support the “Mizzou Made” vision for Mizzou’s student-athletes. In 2018, Columbia Business Times recognized me as one of Columbia’s most watched “20 Under 40” professionals. As the recipient of the William T. Kemper Teaching Excellence Fellowship, the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award, the Maxine Christopher Shutz Award and Lecture for Distinguished Teaching, seven-time Mizzou '39 Mentor, QEBH honor tap, five-time recipient of the College of Education’s Instructor of the Year award, recipient of the Bess Schooling Professorship in Education, and the inaugural recipient of the College of Education’s Commitment to Diversity Award, I am committed to integrating MU’s Core Values into everything I do on and off campus. Yet, the title of which I am most proud is that of Mizzou alumna. MIZ!