Annual award encourages risk taking

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The Berglund Center for Internet Studies is consistently looking for new ways to integrate technology and the Internet into the learning environment. One way of encouraging staff and faculty to do the same is their annual giving of the Berglund Center’s Faculty Fellowship Award.

The center first began awarding the fellowship in the 2001-2002 school year to acknowledge projects that found a way to “incorporate a lot of different technologies that had not been put into one bucket yet,” said Berglund’s Project Coordinator Theresa Floyd. All projects that receive the fellowship are expected to be relevant to the Internet and give faculty a “new way of looking at things,” Floyd added.

When first applying for the fellowship, applicants must submit a two to three page paper including several statements such as the importance of their proposed project, how the project will be carried out, how it will service the candidate’s academic area of expertise, a description of necessary equipment and how it will be provided and a bibliography displaying information on the current state of their field.

Perhaps one of the more important pieces of the application process occurs after the winner has completed their project. They are expected to present their project and its findings publicly. In addition, whatever is publicly presented is also submitted to the Berglund Center for Internet Studies so that it can be printed in their online journal, Interface.

The research and final thoughts that Berglund is currently looking forward to hearing are of this year’s fellowship recipient, English Professor Brent Johnson. The project Johnson proposed will include team-teaching a class of both American and English students in England. Like previous and future winners, the funding awarded to Johnson’s department will go toward hiring a new faculty member to temporarily fill his absence in the courses he would normally teach at Pacific during that time. Currently the funding amounts to $3,500.

According to Floyd, Johnson was given the award this year not only because his idea was “very innovative,” but also because he satisfied one of the most important criteria of a fellowship winner, being “willing to take a risk.”


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