Podcasts

Research that Reaches Out Podcast

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Check out the Research That Reaches Out podcast for stories from Mercer University faculty and staff about working with students to address real-world problems by integrating research and service.

RTRO_Episode1_GraphicEpisode 1: Reframing Ethics with Dr. Charlotte Thomas

After 26 years of teaching a philosophy intro course, Dr. Charlotte Thomas at Mercer University threw out the thought experiments and partnered with The Daybreak Center, a Project of St. Vincent DePaul, to ground her students' theoretical work in community-engaged projects. She talks about adapting her classroom-based service-learning project for an online format for a summer class and in response to the Covid-19 mid-semester shift to online learning.

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RTRO_Episode2Episode 2: Engaging Student Voters with Lauren Shinholster

Lauren Shinholster is leading the charge in college student voter engagement at Mercer. After earning multiple awards for the university in regional and national college voting competitions, she shares her strategies for successfully engaging student voters and adjusting for elections in the midst of Covid-19.

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RTRO_Episode3_GraphicEpisode 3: Usability Research with Dr. Pam Estes Brewer 

In her usability class at Mercer University, Dr. Pam Estes Brewer’s students’ research findings have informed the designs of dozens of websites and apps for partners like the Department of Homeland Security and the Georgia PINES Library System. Hear how Dr. Brewer manages the demands of project-based learning in her classroom and how she turned the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity for students to develop new professional skills - adjusting to environmental changes without sacrificing project outcomes. 

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RTRO_Episode4_GraphicEpisode 4: Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers with Dr. Laura Moody

In Summer 2019, Dr. Laura Moody from Mercer University’s Department of Industrial Engineering/Industrial Management took on two full-time undergraduate research assistants on a project to collect data from senior citizens on the amount of strength required to push buttons on everyday household items. Dr. Moody discusses the process of training and supervising undergraduate service-research students, the value they bring to the research process, and the role of undergraduate research experiences in developing students’ academic and professional skill sets.

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RTRO_Episode5_GraphicEpisode 5: Public Access Theatre with Professor Frani Rollins

After a successful foray into public access theatre with Shakespeare in the Park, Mercer University's Theatre Department decided to continue providing free, public access to the arts by producing a public access theatre production of Pinocchio for children and families. Hear from Professor Frani Rollins from Mercer’s Theatre Department about the process of producing public access theatre, the importance of making the arts available to children, and how Mercer’s theatre students’ learning was positively impacted in the process.

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RTRO_Episode6_GraphicEpisode 6: Improving Tutor Training with Dr. Vicki Luther

Every year, Mercer University deploys as many as 350-400 tutors into area schools and nonprofit partners to support reading and math education in K-5 classrooms. In Summer 2019, Dr. Vicki Luther embarked on a research project with two undergraduate teacher candidates to evaluate Mercer’s work-study and service-learning tutoring program and develop accessible resources to support Mercer students as they provide literacy tutoring to children in grade K-3 in Macon-Bibb County. Hear from Dr. Luther about what her education research looks like when working with undergraduate students, key findings and responses to tutor training needs, and her strategies for transitioning in new research assistants to continue the project.

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RTRO_Episode7_GraphicEpisode 7: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Part 1/5
The Why Behind Inclusive Teaching with Dr. Laura Simon and Dr. Vicki Luther

In part one of this five-part series on inclusive teaching practices, Dr. Laura Simon, assistant professor of sociology in Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Vicki Luther, associate professor in Mercer’s Tift College of Education, discuss the importance of inclusive teaching practices in creating welcoming environments that foster student engagement with the course material.

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RTRO_Episode8_GraphicEpisode 8: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Part 2/5
Addressing Cultural Events in the Classroom with Dr. Laura Simon and Dr. Vicki Luther

In this second installment of the five-part series on inclusive teaching practices, Dr. Simon and Dr. Luther from Mercer University explain the importance of acknowledging major cultural events that may impact students’ sense of well-being, such as the nationwide protests against police brutality in response to the police-perpetrated murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Simon and Dr. Luther emphasize the difference between acknowledging difficulties and leading discussion about injustice with students and recommend ways faculty can assess their own readiness to address these topics with students without causing harm.

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RTRO_Episode9_GraphicEpisode 9: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Part 3/5
Low Stress, High Impact Strategies with Dr. Laura Simon and Dr. Vicki Luther

In this third installment of the five-part series on inclusive teaching practices, Dr. Simon and Dr. Luther from Mercer University outline the seven forms of bias and provide recommendations for inclusive teaching practices that faculty can adopt in their classrooms. These strategies are accessible to faculty who have limited flexibility in content or preparation time and can still yield high impact on student engagement with the course.

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RTRO_Episode10_GraphicEpisode 10: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Part 4/5
Digging Deeper into Inclusive Practices with Dr. Laura Simon and Dr. Vicki Luther

In part four of the five-part series on inclusive teaching practices, Dr. Simon and Dr. Luther from Mercer University issue a challenge to faculty to engage in critical reflection and self-assessment about unconscious bias in their courses and offer examples of strategies faculty can use in a variety of disciplines, including STEM classes, to expand inclusion in their courses.

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RTRO_Episode11_GraphicEpisode 11: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Part 5/5
Fostering an Inclusive Mindset with Dr. Laura Simon and Dr. Vicki Luther

In this final installment in the five-part series on inclusive teaching practices, Dr. Simon and Dr. Luther from Mercer University encourage faculty to acknowledge the key insights that students have into their teaching practices and, despite the difficulty of accepting critical feedback, remain open to considering alternative perspectives as they develop their courses.

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Can't listen? Click here to read the transcript.