Project Team

NMU's Active Learning Catalysts Project team consists of Principal Investigators Jill Leonard (Professor of Biology) and J.D. Phillips (Professor and Department Head of Math & Computer Science); Matt Smock (Director of Instructional Design and Technology); and Catalyst faculty from six STEM disciplines:

  • Thomas Getman (Chemistry)
  • Alec Lindsay (Biology)
  • Robert Legg (Geography)
  • Michael Martin (Engineering Technology)
  • William Tireman (Physics)
  • Quinghong Zhang (Math & Computer Science)

Jackie Bird (Biology), who retired in 2011, was instrumental in planning and acquiring NSF funding for the project.

Outside Evaluator

Diane Ebert-May (Michigan State University, Department of Plant Biology) serves as an outside evaluator for the project. Dr. Ebert-May provides advice and feedback for the project, particularly in the area of assessment.

Additional Faculty

Additional NMU faculty who teach courses in the active learning classroom are not formal members of the project team, but contribute to the project by gathering and providing data about equipment usage and student . These faculty primarily come from STEM disciplines, which receive scheduling preference. Through the summer 2012 semester, faculty teaching courses in athletic training, education, criminal justice, and psychology have also utilized the classroom and contributed data.

Miscellaneous Support (Funding, Building, Training, Troubleshooting, Etc.)

The list of those who have supported, and continue to support, the Catalysts Project is long and diverse. As mentioned elsewhere, the project is supported by an NSF TUES grant. The Grants and Research office provided extensive support throughout the grant application process. Thet grant only covers specific aspects of the project; NMU administrators who recognized the potential value of the project committed the funds necessary for room renovation and other costs not covered by the grant. NMU's Engineering and Planning area dedicated many hours to planning and construction of the active learning classroom. The Purchasing area provided valuable assistance with pulling together bid packages for the room's furnishings and equipment.

Electronics maintence engineer Andrew Beaulieu designed and installed the room's complex electronics and makes repairs as needed. His supervisor, Eric Smith, gave his blessing to Andrew spending the majority of his time for several weeks on the project, and even helped fish cable himself at one point. Instructional Design and Technology staff members Tom Gillespie, Scott Smith, and Bryant Varney, provide training and assistance to faculty.

The point here, besides acknowledging the work of NMU colleagues, is that a project of this scope requires commitments and contributions from a broad base of faculty, staff, and administration, not just the relatively small number of people who make up the core project team.

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project team photo

From left, posing in the active learning classroom: Phillips, Legg, Tireman, Getman, Leonard, Zhang.
Inset: Lindsay, Martin.

project team photo

Outside evaluator Diane Ebert-May (standing) leads a workshop for NMU faculty in September 2011.

project team photo

Electronics technician Andrew Beaulieu assembling equipment in the active learning classroom.

Contact the Project Team