Faculty: The Next Generation

By Edo Steinberg

Some people enjoy teaching. Ph.D. candidate Kristin Lindsley is one of them. It is fitting, then, that she won Indiana University’s prestigious Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship. The fellowship will take her to Butler University in Indianapolis next year, where she will teach two classes each semester while completing her dissertation.

The fellowship is awarded every year by Indiana University’s Graduate School. Its main goal is to help train IU graduate students who are interested in teaching-focused careers. Kristin describes it as giving students the opportunity to be faculty members with training wheels. At Butler, she will be treated as a faculty member for all intents and purposes, but will also be assigned a faculty mentor. “The mentor will help me through the process of designing and teaching my own classes, going on the job market and navigating the politics and social aspects of being a faculty member,” Kristin explains.

Kristin knew of other people, including in our own department, who were awarded the fellowship in previous years and had very good experiences. “I knew this would be the ideal year to take advantage of the fellowship. I was done with courses, I had started my dissertation but not really gotten anywhere near finishing it, and next year would probably be my last year before going out on the job market,” she says.

During her first semester, Kristin will teach Butler’s College of Communication’ introductory media literacy class, which is more or less equivalent to our T205: Intro to Media and Society, but also includes issues relevant to interpersonal communication and communication disorders. She will have ten students in the classroom. She will also teach a more advanced class about intercultural communication, where she will teach only five students. She does not yet know what she will teach in the spring semester, but it might be a class about gaming.

Other than Butler University, Kristin also interviewed at IUPUI in Indianapolis and IPFW in Fort Wayne during the fellowship application process. All three institutions asked for her to be assigned to them, and the IU fellowship office decided to assign Kristin to Butler. “I would have been excited to go to any of them,” she says. “They all seem like great campuses but have different strengths that would have been really good for me.”

For Kristin, Butler’s main attraction is its focus on undergraduate education. “It is the type of school where I want to have a future career,” she says. “It’s a liberal arts college. I don’t really want to have grad students. I want to work with undergrads.” She likes a place that values teaching at least as much as it values research.

The Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship is a great opportunity for students seeking to get more teaching experience. It also helps to have it on your CV when going out on the academic job market.

Good luck at Butler University, Kristin!

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