Continuing its mission of developing the teaching and learning skills of its faculty, St. George’s University recently appointed Dr. Daniel Flynn as its new Director of Faculty Development. Dr. Flynn comes to SGU from Chapman University, Orange, California, where he served as the Assistant Director of Chapman’s Institute for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and brings with him over 13 years of teaching experience and a PhD in Educational Policy and Social Context.
In his new role, Dr. Flynn hopes to “support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in scholarship, teaching, and learning.” This includes providing campus-wide workshops, individual consultations, and the formation of a faculty advisory committee with representatives from each school in the near future.
“My goal is for the University to be recognized as an institute of higher learning that has all the attributes that are expected of a higher learning institution, with an established reputation for both strong student support and faculty support,” Dr. Flynn said.
Expanding on SGU’s previous model of faculty development, one of Dr. Flynn’s first priorities was to change the name of the “Let’s Talk Teaching” seminars to “Let’s Talk Teaching and Learning.”
“According to Tom Angelo and Patricia Cross from Classroom Assessment Techniques, teaching without learning is just talking,” stated Dr. Flynn. “Faculty development is far more than just voluntary participation in weekly topical discussions.”
Additionally, Dr. Flynn plans to develop a Faculty Scholars Program, where he would teach a class on pedagogy, highlighting the details of curricular design and instruction in order to cultivate a community of trained higher education researchers — on-site faculty and throughout the campus. “I hope to have a community of faculty developers rather than just an office of faculty development,” said Dr. Flynn.
Ultimately, Dr. Flynn’s vision for St. George’s also includes being recognized by the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD), which is devoted to improving teaching and learning in higher education; and ensuring that St. George’s University is viewed as an institution that’s focused on being on the cutting edge of faculty development as well as student development.
Originally a psychology major, Dr. Flynn obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, followed by a master’s degree in clinical social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles. However, it wasn’t until his second bachelor’s degree in 2009 and a successful career in teaching that he discovered his second career path.
Dr. Flynn’s doctoral training was, in his own words, “learning how to make people who are expert researchers, engineers, or MDs into teachers, that was my new mission in life, especially since it’s not a regular part of doctoral training to be taught how to lecture, teach, test or create curriculum.” He has been the recipient of numerous teaching research awards including; the Future of the Field Award, Civic and Community Engagement Program, UC Irvine, in 2014 and the Graduate and Professional Student Development (GPSD) Award, Professional Organizational Development (POD) Network, Seattle, Washington, in 2012. He has also been a member of POD, the Association for Institutional Research, and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning since 2011.
By Ray-Donna Peters