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 Award-winning SRU professor heads Excellence in Teaching Center 



June 17, 2009

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


Award-winning SRU professor heads Excellence in Teaching Center         


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Danette DiMarco, Slippery Rock University professor of English and recipient of the University's 2009 Presidents Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement, has been appointed coordinator of the University's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Education Technology.

           DiMarco takes over the post June 22 from center founder Kathleen Strickland, professor of English who has been named interim dean of SRU's College of Education following the retirement of Jay Hertzog.

           "I know the faculty will join me in congratulating Dr. DiMarco in her new role. The center has accomplished a number of important tasks, particularly in helping new faculty improve and expand their teaching techniques and in bringing innovations to their classrooms. I am confident Dr. DiMarco will provide new ideas, share her vast teaching talents and further advance the center's important mission," said William Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

              DiMarco received her Presidents Award for her work titled "Misfortune's Monsters/The Human�Race': Mina Loy's American Lineage and an Urban Poetry of Economic Deprivation." The work was published in 2006 in "Sagetrieb," the journal of the National Poetry Foundation. The journal's issue was devoted to the topic of women poets of the 1950s. 

           Her award nominations repeatedly citied her outstanding scholarship and talent as a teacher as well as the quality and depth of her research.

           "Of course I am excited to be taking over for Dr. Strickland," DiMarco said. "We are already looking at a new faculty teaching-learning series. We think it will be four or five, 30-minute sessions at which faculty leaders will talk with new faculty offering ideas that might be helpful in their teaching and in their scholarship work."

           DiMarco said ideas for general faculty workshops throughout the year are also being planned. The first, set for late September, will feature Sue Hannam, dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science, and Kimberly Forrest, professor of health and safety, discussing teaching methods for larger, interactive classes.

              DiMarco, who joined the SRU faculty in 1995, earned her undergraduate, master's and doctorate degrees at Duquesne University.

           SRU's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Technology was started in fall 2008. The University-backed center opened its new facility in Bailey Library with the start of spring classes. The facility offers Internet capabilities, a large conference table, a small group seating area, a laptop computer and a number of other resources, all designed to help faculty become better educators. 

           Brian Danielson, director of educational technology and design at SRU, and William Huber, Blackboard administrator for the University, assist in the center's operations.

           Across the board SRU focuses on teaching and the center gives faculty opportunities to work together on pedagogy and methodology. The center's principle mission is to foster enhancement of teaching excellence in all its forms by providing support and opportunities for professional development.

           The center's primary emphasis is through its Faculty Learning Community and its Educational Technology and Design operations. Both segments support faculty in their classroom teaching.

           More than a dozen "Teaching Circles" are already in use helping faculty share ideas. In addition, there are some two dozen faculty-to-faculty partnerships in various stages helping faculty through one-on-one relationships.

           The center's Educational Technology and Design branch assists faculty with technology use in the classroom and recently implemented a three-week, online certification program

           Additional information about the center is available at:


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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