Welcome to this Special Issue of The Mind’s Eye: Pedagogies: What We Share. I’m grateful for the thoughtful and generous essays that resulted from inviting colleagues to share their teaching and learning stories. I thank my colleagues present and past who contributed to The Mind’s Eye for this issue: our contributing writers; the current Editorial Board; the past Editorial Board and past Managing Editor Melanie Mowinski who asked me to serve as Guest Editor; the MCLA administration; and of course, Victoria Papa, Managing Editor of The Mind’s Eye, who expertly guided this issue to fruition. As the issue’s Guest Editor, I admire my colleagues’ essays as engaging and inspiring contributions to the conversation about what and why and how we teach, and I am happy to add my own small contribution.
All six of the essays included here are from members of the MCLA community who demonstrate an intentional commitment to the teaching and learning roles at the heart of what we do. Tony Gengarelly, MCLA Professor Emeritus of Fine and Performing Arts, and a former Managing Editor of The Mind’s Eye, shares the history of his development of The Jessica Park Project. The essay is a testament to Park herself and to all aspects of collaborative, experiential learning. The piece includes poster design by the late and much-missed Leon Peters, himself a past member of The Mind’s Eye Editorial Board and influential contributor to the publication’s design history. A more recent MCLA faculty colleague, Hannah Noel, contributes an autoethnography focused on her experiences with pedagogy and mentorship in the field of Latinx Studies. Dan Shustack takes us to the Everglades and South Florida with his Environmental Studies students, as he melds the anecdotal with the instructive in ways that illuminate the philosophy as well as the processes and practicalities of creating and sustaining integrated experiential learning through courses incorporating on-site travel. Anthony Daly shares his process of revising a staple course in the History curriculum in ways that reflect the concerns of teaching and learning today. Susan Edgerton and I contribute pieces foregrounding the power of the sabbatical experience to renew our teaching practices. Susan writes from the perspective of beginning her project on the education of emotional responses with a preliminary survey of her project. My essay is retrospective, reflecting on my 2016 sabbatical and its importance to my ongoing work with students.
For me, the reflective mode will continue into 2019, as I enter the last semester of a teaching career that includes over 20 years at MCLA. So, this welcome is also one of my farewell gestures to the MCLA community that I have cherished for so long. Thank you.
Contributors to the Issue:
Anthony Daly, Professor of History, Department of History, Political Science, and Public Policy, MCLA
Rosanne Denhard, Professor of English, English/Communications Department, MCLA
Susan Edgerton, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, MCLA
Tony Gengarelly, Emeritus Professor of Fine and Performing Arts, MCLA
Hannah Noel, Assistant Professor of Multi-Ethnic Studies & Digital Humanities, English/Communications Department, MCLA
Dan Shustack, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, MCLA