Fall 2018 Faculty Owl Days

Monday, September 24
Tuesday, September 25

As we strive to improve our teaching, our small campus affords us the opportunity to learn from colleagues within and without our departments.

Observing our peers, as they teach, has the capacity to both strengthen our faculty community and challenge our beliefs on how space, technology and presentation impact effective learning. 

The following faculty invite you to observe their work, in an incredibly broad array of spaces, styles and languages. No need to RSVP. 

The conversations sparked by our participation in one another's courses will be celebrated at a reception on Friday, September 28 at Valhalla. All faculty are welcome.

Michael Gustin,  Chair of the CTE Faculty Fellows
Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

* Please open Rice's campus map to locate each building.
All building numbers are listed in brackets below.

Tuesday, September 25 Schedule

Monday, September 24 Schedule

Tuesday 9:25AM - 10:40AM

Jeffrey Fleisher
ANTH 205 Introduction to Archaeology
Herring Hall 129  [41]

Class size: Fewer than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Collaborative/Group Work, Project-based

This is a course where I introduce students to archaeology and try to get them to think like an archaeologist through projects, exercises, and hands on experiences.

Jason Hafner
PHYS 125 General Physics (with Lab)
Herzstein Hall AMP  [4]

Class size: More than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture

PHYS 125 is an introduction to a broad set of topics in mechanics primarily for bioscience and premedical students.  In lecture we introduce and illustrate fundamental physics concepts and show how they can be used to solve problems.  We employ several methods to keep students engaged in this large, 75 minute lecture, including the opportunity to text in questions, audience response, and the coveted 5 minute break!


Tuesday 10:50AM - 12:05PM

Nonya Grenader
FWIS 117 Art In Place and Places for Art
Anderson Hall 230  [10]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion, Tours: using the works of art and architecture as source material to be observed and interpreted.

Houston is the home of many influential works of art and architecture from the past century. During this seminar, students look closely at a curated selection of original works, installations, and buildings to understand the context and ideas behind the emergence of modern and contemporary art and design. These artifacts and edifices are the primary sources for observation and analysis using both words and images. On Owl Day, we will be visiting works of art on Rice Campus (comfortable shoes encouraged).

Robin Paige
SOCI 306 Sociology of Gender
Rayzor Hall 123  [25]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Collaborative/Group Work, Project-based

This course is based on a constructivist pedagogy and culturally-responsive teaching methods. Students are working in small groups to develop an open access reader/workbook for future sections of the course.

Tuesday 1:00PM - 2:15PM

Sayuri Shimizu
HIST 387 U.S. in the World: 1750-1900
Rayzor Hall 106  [25]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion

An examination of the United States' engagement with the world around it from the revolutionary through early national periods. The class on September 25 will most likely cover the Luisiana Purchase.

Tuesday 1:00PM - 3:50PM

Shih-Shan Huang
HART 371 / ASIA 371 / MDEM 373 Chinese Painting
Herring Hall 126  [41]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Discussion

Focus on training students ability to analyze visual materials. Use multi-mediated teaching tools to study details of Chinese paintings.

Tuesday 2:30PM - 5:00PM

Clark Haptonstall
SMGT 362 Sport Marketing
Moody Center for the Arts 237  [77]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion

In this class, we will be discussing the concept of "promotion." There will be a lecture but also some exercises and videos to engage the students. In addition, three students will be making a presentation.


Tuesday 4:00PM - 5:15PM

Laura Richardson
FWIS 192 The Roaring Twenties
Rayzor Hall 204  [25]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Discussion

“The Roaring 20s” is an interdisciplinary investigation into the literature, music, history, visual art, dance, and politics of America’s craziest decade.


Tuesday 6:00PM - 7:15PM

Ali Al-Maqtari
ARAB 141 First Year Arabic I
Rayzor Hall 123  [25]

Class size: Fewer than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Collaborative/Group Work

It is hands on class. Student participate in group activities, interact with the teacher in the target language.


Tuesday 7:00PM - 7:50PM

Kevin Kirby
LEAD 330 Leadership in Higher Education
Humanities Building 119  [49]

Guest speaker: President Leebron

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture

Higher education is a challenging environment for leaders - when transformative changes are desired, the process of leadership offers the only possibility for change that is viewed as legitimate. This course uses a case study approach to understand leadership through the lenses of strategic choice, governance, organizational change, culture and values, leader transitions, and crisis.





















Monday 8:00AM - 8:50AM

Lesa Tran Lu
CHEM 121 General Chemistry I
Brockman Hall 101  [72]

Class size: More than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Collaborative/Group Work, Student-Centered Active Learning at Rice (SCALAR) method

CHEM 121 provides an introduction of chemical phenomena emphasizing problems and methods in Chemistry using a form of inquiry-based learning known as the Student-Centered Active Learning at Rice (SCALAR) method. A mix of TA-guided small group activities and instructor-led Socratic class discussion encourages students to construct fundamental chemical concepts on their own using experimental observations and data analysis before applying their knowledge. This method provides an environment for all students, whether silent or vocal, to actively participate in their learning experience in a large classroom setting.


Monday 9:00AM - 9:50AM

Michael Domeracki
RELI 304 Jesus and the Gospels
Humanities Building 226  [49]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Discussion

For many, this is the first exposure to the study of religion rather than its practice. In that light, there is a challenging, yet supportive, dynamic to the content, especially as we are working through biblical materials. Furthermore, the students are typically not versed well in textual analysis and critical reading, so the class discussion relies on a very close reading of the material and argumentation based on the primary sources that often serves to otherwise the text.

Monday 10:00AM - 10:50AM

Simon Fischer-Baum
PSYC 308 Memory
Anderson Biological Lab 123  [22]

Class size: Fewer than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion

Memory has been a human fascination for as long as we have been able to reflect on how we experience the world. My course focuses on research that applies scientific methods to the study of memory, with the goal of understanding how studying memory in the lab - from neuroscience to educational psychology - is qualitatively different from exploring memory in other disciplines. In this way, the course asks students to critically reflect on the benefits (and potential limitations) of taking a controlled, scientific approach to making sense of the world around us and our experiences in it.

Alma Moon Novotny
BIOC 372 Immunology
Anderson Biological Lab 131  [22]

Class size: More than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture

Class is designed to prepare premeds, prevent anxiety and encourage social interaction. The class is flipped, so while I do some lecturing, during class we practice answering questions and have other fun stuff going on.

Robert Werth
SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology
Sewall Hall 301  [39]

Class size: More than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture

This is a large 150 person lecture class for introduction to sociology.


Monday 11:00AM - 11:50AM

Brian Gibson
KINE 421 Advanced Topics In Exercise Physiology and Preventative Medicine
Hanszen College 207  [6]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion

This course is intended to provide a opportunity for Kinesiology students to read review and research articles that influenced the direction of the discipline. It is also intended to expose students to more advanced topics that influence health, medicine, and human performance. On a regular basis, students will discuss and debate methods, findings, and conclusions of authors, as well as the application of purported principles.

Carissa Zimmerman
PSYC 203 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
Sewall Hall 309  [39]

Class size: More than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion

On the one hand, PSYC203 is a core class that is required for all psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience majors majors; to that end, my goal is that students will gain a foundation-level knowledge which will enable them to pursue upper division classes in the field.  However, this course also satisfies a distribution requirement, which means that it should give students from all backgrounds a broad understanding of the field of cognitive psychology, even if this is the only psychology class that they have taken or will take. I hope that when students leave this class, they will be aware of and understand the cognitive psychology phenomena (e.g. memory, decision making, attention) that they encounter in their day-to-day lives.

Monday 1:00PM - 3:50PM

Genevera Allen
STAT 415 / STAT 515 Data Science Consulting
Rayzor Hall 113  [25]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Collaborative/Group Work, Project-based, Experiential Learning

Students in this course will advise clients in a data science consulting clinic, learn best practices in consulting, and gain exposure to a variety of real data science problems.

Monday 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Sara Polo
POLI 371 Civil Wars
Anderson Biological Lab 123  [22]

Class size: Fewer than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Discussion, Collaborative/Group Work

Civil wars are by far the most common form of armed conflict in the contemporary world. These conflicts are notable for their intensity and their duration and, as a result, the issue of civil conflict has become a grave concern for policy makers and political scientists alike. Through a mix of lectures, instructor-led class discussions, and small group activities, students have an opportunity to investigate and answer a set of substantive questions on civil wars, including their causes, the dynamics and logic of violence during civil war, and strategies for effective conflict management and resolution.


Monday 2:30PM - 3:45PM

Alex Butler
BUSI 343 Financial Management
McNair Hall 314  [57]

Class size: Fewer than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture, Project-based

Finance is about valuation: how much is a stock, a company, a new product line, or a choice worth in present-day dollars.  Learning how to quantify this bottom-line value is multi-faceted.  This class meeting will mix some lecture with students working through hypothetical valuation tasks that emphasize relevant vs irrelevant cash flows and how they inform business investment choices.


Monday 4:00PM - 5:15PM

James DeNicco
ECON 100 Principles of Economics
Keck Hall 100  [8]

Class size: More than 50
Pedagogical strategies: Lecture

Econ 100 is an engaging and relevant introduction to the world of economics. The goal of the class is to give students a better understanding of how individuals make choices in a world of scarcity and how economic policy can affect societal well being. I aim to make the classroom an energetic and friendly place where students feel comfortable enough to relax, speak their minds and even have a little fun learning the material.

Paula Sanders
FWIS 125 Your Arabian Nights
Humanities Building 328  [49]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Discussion, Collaborative/Group Work, Writing intensive

We work together in Your Arabian Nights to think about the formation of cultural traditions. Students use the readings and draw on their own experiences to develop insight into their own views of culture, cultural authenticity, and the role of cultural traditions in society and in their own lives.

Monday 5:00PM - 7:50PM

Ian Schimmel
ENGL 301 Intro to Fiction Writing
Wiess College 146  [51]

Monday 6:00PM - 8:50PM

Lisa Lapinski
ARTS 165 Beginning Sculpture
Sewall Hall 254  [39]

Class size: Fewer than 20
Pedagogical strategies: Discussion, Project-based

In Beginning Sculpture, students are asked to work on self-directed projects from day one. The most successful students are highly independent, self-sufficient, and self-motivated. I feel it is most important to work with each student as an individual, helping them to find his or her own voice, concerns and place to speak, ask questions and make art.