The Center for Teaching Excellence opened its doors in fall of 2011 with two visionary co-directors: Mathew Mitchell (Learning & Instruction) and Tracy Seeley (English). Mathew and Tracy aimed to create dynamic programs and online resources to serve the 1200+ full and part-time faculty at all USF campuses. Out of this idea that originated in a small office in Kalmanovitz Hall, soon grew CTE's first enthusiastically received events, sought-out by faculty across disciplines wishing to gather for presentations and discussions about what makes teaching great.
To sustain a lineup of compelling programming and to bring emergent pedagogy to campus, the team behind CTE rotates. Today, with the support of a steering committee comprised of representatives from each school and the library, two co-directors continue to develop programming that seeks to address current issues in teaching.
These types of programs include the Teaching Retreat, workshops on Canvas, FLCs (Faculty Learning Communities), the ever popular Summer Book Club, and several teaching cafes, which bring faculty together for an hour in the afternoon for a focused presentation and dialogue.
In 2012, Rhonda Magee (Law) served as interim co-director for the CTE. In 2014, Susan Prion (Nursing and Health Professions) served as an associate director. Rhonda and Susan periodically return to work with the CTE, leading presentations and workshops.
Keally McBride (Politics) served as co-director from 2014 to 2017 and with the help of a sub-committee created the first annual CTE Teaching Retreat. Jonathan Hunt (Rhetoric & Language) served as co-director from 2016 to 2018 and introduced faculty salons and reading circles into the pool of CTE programming, as well as research-based programming on classroom observation. Sarah Capitelli (Teacher Education) joined the CTE in the fall of 2017 and introduced a number of new programs for faculty at USF, including the grading retreat, the Seeley Faculty Development Seminar series, and the Telling the Stories of Our Teaching end-of-year celebration. Sarah also spearheaded CTE’s partnership with CRASE to present USF’s eight-part series of Faculty Panel Discussions on COVID-19.
Marilyn DeLaure (Communication Studies) joined the CTE in summer of 2020, and is currently co-directing the Center with Eugene Kim (Law), who joined in the spring of 2019.
In fall 2017, the CTE was renamed in memory of Tracy Seeley. We are grateful to remember Tracy in this way. The Tracy Seeley Center for Teaching Excellence takes its inspiration from a core principle of Ignatian Pedagogy, cura personalis (care of the whole person). Our programming and events are created and reconfigured each semester to meet the changing needs of faculty, with the understanding that teaching is a form of caring.
Our mission to celebrate, support, and help develop excellent teaching at all stages of a faculty member’s career emphasizes the centrality of community-minded learning in higher education.