UC Davis Health Faculty News Banner 

WINTER 2017-2018
Published quarterly by the Faculty Development and Diversity Program


  • Nurturing innovation in teaching - Interprofessional Teaching Scholars Program invites applicants
  • Creating a positive ‘learning climate’- a conversation with Colleen Sweeney
  • Profile of Khoban Kochai - New FDD operations manager brings public health experience
  • Teaching students how to learn is the most valuable lesson - by Joanna Arnold
  • New Faculty Welcome - A welcome to new faculty colleagues
  • Insight - #UCDYOL denotes ‘Year of Learning’- by Mark Servis and Gurmeet “Roy” Rai

Nurturing innovation in teaching

Interprofessional Teaching Scholars Program invites applicants

ITSP IconWhen Michael Schick, D.O., sought to diversify his teaching skills, he decided to apply to the Interprofessional Teaching Scholars Program (ITSP). Susan L. Adams, Ph.D., R.N., N.P., turned to ITSP to prepare her for interprofessional teaching. Both Schick and Adams composed part of the 2016–17 ITSP cohort of UC Davis Health faculty members.

The 12 participants in the current ITSP class likewise come from a variety of backgrounds but with a common interest in learning and advancing their careers. The 46 ITSP participants throughout the past four academic years have included faculty members from the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and the School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as volunteer clinical faculty members.

ITSP Program DirectorsITSP Co-Directors, Piri Ackerman-Barger and Craig Keenan

Call for applications

“Participants don’t necessarily have to be in clinical teaching. Faculty members working in preclinical or even nonclinical areas are eligible, as long as they are working with learners,” said ITSP co-director Craig Keenan, M.D. a professor of clinical internal medicine.

The educator training program was developed to help participants apply educational theory in health professions education, improve collaboration among disciplines, design innovative curricula, and develop and evaluate learner-centered approaches to teaching. The School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing collaboratively developed ITSP, in response to a needs assessment survey conducted among faculty members.

Both schools jointly fund the program, which is free of charge to participants and their departments. Each participant must secure departmental release time for a minimum of four hours per week, which includes a weekly three-hour seminar on Thursday afternoons and about an hour of homework. Participants also must complete a scholarly research project in education.

Although advanced-career faculty members who have an interest in refining skills are welcome, the ITSP curriculum is largely geared to early- and mid-career faculty members.

Preparation for leadership

“ITSP can be particularly beneficial to faculty members who wish to become a program director or a course director, or prepare for other leadership roles in education,” said Keenan, who has been co-director since the program was launched.

Piri Ackerman-Barger enrolled in the inaugural 2014–15 ITSP cohort in her quest to gain new insights about interprofessional education in the context of culturally competent healthcare. “ITSP flourishes with a wide variety of health professions disciplines represented in the group,” said Ackerman-Barger, an assistant clinical professor of nursing who now in her second year as co-director of ITSP.

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