Happy New Year and welcome to the RCTLE January 2021 Newsletter! In our first issue of the year, you will find updates, professional development opportunities, tech and teaching tips, and much more. 

Current Offerings:

Annual Recurrent Training

This January, all faculty are invited to participate in RefreshER, an annual required professional development course. Each year, ERAU implements many updates and changes to policy, procedure, and practice. RefreshER provides an opportunity to explore each of these updates while identifying practices to improve your teaching. All faculty will be automatically enrolled in RefreshER in mid-January. Current faculty are expected to complete RefreshER by the end of February to remain current ERAU-W faculty. Please plan to spend one hour on this important professional development requirement. Look for an email invitation and RefreshER in your Canvas course listing.

January Special Session: Making Research Accessible for Students

Wednesday, January 13th @ 8 AM ET and 6 PM ET

Vince Romero
(Photo: Vince Romero)

Join us for our first Special Session of 2021. Dr. Vince Romero will explore some of the outstanding resources available to students and faculty in the Hunt Library as well as some of the strategies he uses to engage students in research.   

In addition to serving as an Adjunct Assistant professor for the past 14 years, Dr. Romero is the current Information Systems and Marketing Manager at Ark Contracting Services, a local construction company specializing in heavy civil engineering projects. Before his civilian career, Dr. Romero was an Instructor Flight Engineer on C-130’s. During his 20-year career in the military, he accumulated over 4000 hrs. of flight time and almost 1000 hours of instructor time. Dr. Romero holds a Ph.D. in General Psychology with a specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Dr. Romero also holds two Master’s Degrees, one from Eastern Kentucky University in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management, and his second from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Aeronautical Science with a specialization in Aviation Safety.  

Throughout his career, Dr. Romero has developed strategies to make research more accessible and meaningful. Currently, he shares these methods with his students. Dr. Romero will describe the use of peer-reviewed resources and academic journals and how faculty can support students through this process in his presentation. He will also provide a brief tutorial on Ref Works and how this valuable resource can be used by faculty and students.  

When: Wednesday, January 13th @ 8 AM and 6 PM ET.
Register: rctle@erau.edu.
Attend: Join via EagleVision Zoom through the
Faculty Resources site in Canvas. Choose Eaglevision Zoom from the Course Navigation, then select the Join button.

The College of Business Series

Multiple dates

All ERAU faculty are invited to attend the upcoming seminar series. Topics include Pedagogy During A Pandemic, The Paradox of Globalization, and The Classroom from a Learner Perspective.

More details at: Events

Transforming the Teaching and Learning Environment Virtual Conference

February 1 through February 12th

Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment Logo
(Image: Northeastern State University)

Your RCTLE Team is happy to announce that we are once again offering a virtual pass to the Transforming the Teaching and Learning Environment Conference held February 1 through February 12th. This conference offers more than 60 sessions. Do not miss out on this professional development opportunity. Please contact RCTLE for access.  

OLC Accelerate

Did you miss the virtual OLC Accelerate Conference? Never fear. We’ve got you covered. The recorded sessions are available for an entire year. Contact RCTLE for access. 

Podcast: The RCTLE Team Leads Talk 3 Teaching Strategies to Bring into the New Year

Microphone and computer
(Photo: Magda Ehlers, Pexels)


As we leave the uncertainty of 2020 behind, it is our goal to help instructors enter the New Year with a toolkit of teaching strategies certain to make students feel connected to their education amid isolation. In our first episode of the New Year, we sit down with the RCTLE Team Leads Codie Seier, Heather Rozar-Bergmann, and Kelsey Coates to discuss ways in which faculty can better personalize the instruction in the online learning environment. We hope our discussion about the use of multiple feedback tools, the use of audio and video within Canvas, and different feedback opportunities challenges you to commit to a new teaching strategy in the New Year!

Tip Clip: Creating Videos to Enhance the Student Experience

Tip clip
(Source: RCTLE)

While the world shifts rapidly to asynchronous models of education, creating a personalized learning environment that helps students feel connected and engaged is critically important. Instructor created videos are effective in engaging students. In fact, the use of videos in online education is integral for student engagement, and most importantly, instructor-created videos add a personalized touch that enhances the community feel of a face-to-face classroom. Instructor created videos:

  • Increase students’ overall satisfaction with online courses.
  • Increase student engagement in discussions.
  • Promote a greater personal connection with the instructor.

Learn ways to create and use videos in your own course.


Teaching Tip: Adaptive Instruction

2020 reminded us change is the only constant. Universities across the nation switched from synchronous to asynchronous models of learning amid the rapid spread of COVID-19. While ERAU-Worldwide already had a robust online infrastructure and an established online learning culture, our faculty and students experienced a great change. Making online instruction as engaging as face-to-face became an important focus. How do we encourage students to continue seeing the value of education during a global crisis? We must enter 2021 with a proactive mindset and anticipate the challenges that may come our way. For a list of specific, actionable ways to enter 2021 proactively, read “Embracing Change Without Breaking Stride: Seven Strategies to be an Adaptive Instructor,” by Jessica Evans of Faculty Focus.

conference call on Macbook
(Photo: Chris Montgomery, Unsplash)

For Your Information

Information from previous newsletters is housed on our RCTLE resource website. Visit our searchable site to find resources to enhance your teaching. If you are unable to find what you’re looking for, we are happy to consult with you.

Did you know you can also find Canvas Updates on the RCTLE Resource Website? One notable update to Canvas includes a change to the gradebook. For more information, view the Canvas Release Notes: December 2020.


Under VECTOR’s teaching pillar, we invite you to attend our Fall 2020 Sound Bytes workshops. Sound Bytes are brief, 30-minute workshops aimed at providing sound pedagogical strategies all faculty can use, regardless of discipline, to improve teaching and learning in the area of communication. In January, Ann Marie Ade, Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Humanities and Communication, will present a heuristic for writing assessment and feedback. View our Sound Bytes calendar with Zoom meeting on the VECTOR website.

VECTOR’s teaching and research support programming is archived in our VECTOR Faculty Resources site in Canvas. Contact Alex Rister, Interim VECTOR Director, at ristera@erau.edu to gain access to this Canvas site.

VECTOR’s student support pillar, the Virtual Communication Lab, offers classroom visits for instructors teaching in Eaglevision Zoom. Request a 10-minute “Introduction to the VCL” or a 30-60 minute in-class workshop on a communication-focused topic by contacting Meghan Velez, VECTOR Assistant Director, at dykemam@erau.edu.

Student Dashboard

The Student Dashboard provides insights and context about the student. It displays a simplified overview of the student’s academic degree program and their progress as well as their specific campus and advisor. This can be accessed in your Canvas course from People or Grades (Gradebook) through the Student Context Card.

The Student Dashboard insight can be useful in the following ways:

  • Preterm:  learn more about the students in your classroom, to include background (i.e., Status, Degree Plan) and academic progress (i.e., GPA, Time in ERAU/Program, Take Rate).
  • Term Start:  engage your students in conversations about their academic progress, successes, and/or obstacles.
  • Throughout the Term: consult Student Dashboard for students that are at-risk to assist and/or to identify additional academic resources (i.e., Campus, Advisor).

In summary, the tool can be useful to engage students in conversations about their progress, identify ways we can assist the student, and to build relationships with our students!

Faculty Spotlight

Meghan Atwood

Meghan Atwood
(Photo: Meghan Atwood)

Hometown: Haleiwa, Hawaii.
Position: Humanities Instructor.
Location: Arlington, Virginia.
Time at ERAU: 5 years.
Favorite job aspect: Learning from my students (and working from home in my PJs!).
Favorite teaching strategy/best practice: Helping students to make connections between the course material and issues in the real-world or their own life.
Most interesting work experience: I worked on a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court when I was a securities litigation lawyer.
Favorite quote: “Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.” Immanuel Kant.
Favorite hobby: Listening to podcasts.
Fun fact: I was a swimmer at the University of Hawai’i.
Favorite music: 80s hits.
Favorite food: Dark chocolate.
Other information: I am a Navy spouse and have lived in nine different duty stations.

Melissa Morris

Melissa Morris
(Photo: ERAU)

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan.
Position: Assistant Professor.
Location: College of Aeronautics, Department of Engineering and Technology.
Time at ERAU: 11 months.
Favorite job aspect: The people. Everyone from the administration to the students are amazing.
Favorite teaching strategy/best practice: Relating to the students and giving them plenty of room to interact and be themselves. Making everything interactive by allowing students to put the knowledge into the context of their interests or lives.
Most interesting work experience: Finding that students came to the class as a means for normalcy and support when the COVID lockdowns began. I never knew before that a class could be an anchor of normalcy.
Favorite quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
Favorite hobby: Fiber arts (spinning and knitting yarn).
Fun fact: I’ve lived abroad for several years. Nearly three years in Israel.
Favorite music: Hard Rock.
Favorite food: Chocolate.
Other information: I greatly appreciate the whole ERAU community. I know I’ve had some challenging experiences before, but even among the good ones – ERAU is the best!

Louis Carfagno

Louis Carfagno
(Photo: Louis Carfagno)

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA.
Position: Adjunct Faculty: WW The College of Business.
Location: Houston, Texas.
Time at ERAU: 10 years.
Favorite job aspect: I take great pride in ensuring our students have the tools necessary to succeed.
Favorite teaching strategy/best practice: To provide students with continuous feedback.
Most interesting work experience: Space Suit Engineer in charge of the Space Walking crew (Steve Robinson & (Soichi Noguchi who is presently part of Crew-1 aboard the International Space Station) for STS-114 which was launched 2 years post-Columbia Accident. This crew was responsible for performing spacewalks to ensure they could repair the leading wing edge of the Space Shuttle Discovery if they encountered an ice strike on launch.
Favorite quote: To always be aware that suddenly and unexpectedly we may find ourselves in a role where our performance has ultimate consequences.
Favorite hobby: Flying and RVing (camping in a Class A motorhome).
Fun fact: I provided crew life support equipment for the SR-71/U2 aircraft missions around the world.
Favorite music: Jazz.
Favorite food: Italian.
Other information: I provided technical support for the movies Armageddon, Space Cowboys, and Space Station 3D (narrated by Tom Cruise). I performed spacesuit fit checks for Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Donald Sutherland, and Tom Cruise.


The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.

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