Center for Scholarship and Teaching Hosts Grand Opening

March 8, 2024 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

cst ribbon cutting

Elmhurst University’s Center for Scholarship and Teaching (CST) held a grand opening on Friday, March 1, to dedicate its first brick-and mortar home.

President Troy D. VanAken, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean Pribbenow, Associate Dean of the Faculty Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin and CST Director Nick Behm were among the faculty, administrators and staff on hand to cut the ribbon and celebrate the new space in the A.C. Buehler Library.

“It’s my greatest hope that this space be a place of community, reflection, engagement and learning,” Pribbenow said. Referring to author and educator Parker Palmer, Pribbenow noted that “great teaching and learning requires that we gather around the ‘grace of great things’ for ourselves and our students. This new space represents just one of our commitments to the importance of community in education, of gathering together to learn and grow as teachers and learners.”

The Center for Scholarship and Teaching supports professional development opportunities for Elmhurst faculty, fostering their efforts to improve teaching and learning, and to conduct scholarship in ways that will encourage students to develop their own thirst for learning throughout their lives.

Lawler-Sagarin recognized faculty members Earl Swallow and Helga Noice for laying the foundation for the CST. Swallow, a beloved physics professor who died in 2017, was the founding director of the Center and had always hoped that that Center would have its own space, Lawler-Sagarin said. His wife, Bonnie Boerger, attended the grand opening. Noice, a professor emeritus of psychology who died in 2022, was instrumental in forming the Faculty Research Forum and was a champion of student research.

Although the Center was founded in 2008, the well-appointed room on the library’s lower level culminates years of group effort—and “relentless nagging,” Behm joked—to establish a physical space where faculty can collaborate and attend seminars, workshops and other activities.

Behm said faculty have long been enthusiastic users of the Center’s resources, noting that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 185 full- and part-time faculty have completed 270 CST courses, a level of participation that “directors of other centers only dream of.”

The new space will not only expand what the CST can offer, Behm said, but also could position it as a regional destination for faculty development.

“All of that unequivocally demonstrates our collective passion for teaching, our mission to be lifelong learners, and our investment in facilitating rewarding learning experiences for students,” he said.


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