Barrett faculty member Jacquelyn Scott Lynch given 2015 Centennial Professorship Award
Jacquelyn Scott Lynch, honors faculty fellow at Barrett, the Honors College, has received the 2015 Arizona State University Centennial Professorship Award given by the Associated Students of ASU.
The award recognizes engaged scholarship, emerging leadership, dedication to community service and demonstration of student-centered practices among junior faculty – including any tenured or non-tenured instructor, faculty associate, or assistant professor.
The award consists of a $5,000 cash prize to the faculty member and an additional $5,000 to be used for the benefit of students in classroom instruction and teaching innovation.
The innovation for which Lynch was awarded began several years ago when she noticed that students in her sections of the Human Event – Barrett’s signature course for honors students - could comprehend rhetorical concepts and discuss the how’s and why’s of roadmaps and counter-arguments, but floundered when applying those concepts in their essays.
She also found that often students assumed they should write to suit individual instructors’ tastes and didn’t necessarily see that the techniques instructors were teaching were aimed at building logical and valid arguments for wider audiences.
She set out to remedy the situation and developed a resource that gives Barrett’s 1500 first-year students online access to materials that clarify academic argument expectations and allow students to practice applying the rhetorical principals taught in the 75-80 sections of the Human Event per semester before employing them successfully in their essay assignments.
The project, called The Human Event Learning Project Modules (HELPM), which also helps Barrett’s diverse faculty convey shared writing standards with students, was implemented in fall 2014. In the short time the modules have been available, students who have used them have dubbed them “incredibly helpful.”
“I’ve been teaching the Human Event for 13 years, and I have never before seen such dramatic writing improvement as my current students are achieving with the help of the modules and the new in-class writing pedagogies they enable,” Lynch said. She added that she has met with Barrett Writing Center tutors to discuss ideas for further improving HELPM and producing enhanced student-oriented material for the project.
Lynch said she plans to use the award to fund the purchase of educational design software and to employ technology-adept, upper-division students to move the HELPM modules onto an interactive web-based platform that would allow students to move through the module’s interconnected content of presentations, quizzes, and student-made illustrative videos. In addition, she plans to create similar modules for students across ASU who are applying for nationally competed scholarships through the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarship Advisement, where she has served as an adviser.
“It’s a joy to be in the inspiring company of current and past Centennial Professors – especially Barrett Vice Dean Peggy Nelson and President’s Professor Ileana Orlich, who in 2001 were the first named Centennial Professors. It’s particularly meaningful to be recognized by ASU students, and I am deeply appreciative of ASASU,” Lynch said.