Charity Bishop

Bishop stated that her main goals for the position were to establish an advisory board, begin strategic planning for CSL, and take inventory of existing programs. These goals are well underway. The now-established advisory board has held multiple meetings. Bishop explained that she has been working to conduct assessments and engage in campus-level conversations surrounding strategic planning.  

According to Bishop, her favorite part of the position is becoming more familiar with the programs and IEL staff. Some of these staff members have included the other interim leaders.  

“With engaged learning and high-impact practices being central to education and the strategic plan at IUPUI, it makes sense for us to find ways to work together and streamline efforts where we can,” Bishop said. “While all of us in these roles focus on different high-impact practices, we have similarities in what we offer to the IUPUI community.” 

Tom Stucky

In taking on the interim position, Stucky explained that his two main goals were to increase the scope of research that the CRL supports and to ensure that opportunities are available to more students, specifically underrepresented students.  

Stucky expressed that while these goals were longer-term, there are plans to begin discussions with student groups and classes on the research opportunities available. Not only does Stucky want to expand options and raise awareness, but he revealed that he and his team aim to rely more on student voices by having students present research opportunities to their peers.  

I think peer-to-peer conversation is more compelling to students,” Stucky said. “It’s one thing for someone who’s been around the university for a long time to say something versus having a peer say it.

Tom Stucky

Reflecting on his favorite aspects of his interim position thus far, Stucky referenced multiple research events and symposiums that he’s had the opportunity to attend.  

“Those research events are really gratifying for me. I’m so honored to be able to support that work because I see how transformative those experiences can be for students,” Stucky said. He continued, “Whether it opens new thoughts about majors, or gets them thinking about graduate school, or gives them the confidence to go out into a job setting and be successful, those experiences are really fantastic for students.” 

Debbie Oesch-Minor and Rachel Swinford

The main goals relayed by Oesch-Minor and Swinford were to document ePortfolio users at IUPUI and other IU campuses, offer support to users, and expand programming. Types of programming established in terms of expansion include funding conference visits and offering grants for faculty, hosting students in the ePortfolio Studio, and visiting classrooms to share the program with students and faculty.

“Because Rachel was a faculty fellow already with ePortfolio and we both have gotten ePortfolio grants, we sort of jumped in with the idea of building on what’s here but being very creative and not necessarily following in the exact same tracks,” Oesch-Minor said. “With more emphasis on supporting faculty through grants and meeting with them one-on-one, rather than doing programming and bringing in external speakers.”

The co-directors explained that the research ePortfolio usage in curriculums revealed a clear, positive impact on students and faculty.

“I view ePortfolio as an avenue for students to collect and reflect on the experiences they’ve had as a college student and see how they’re all interconnected,” Swinford said. “It’s a personal side for the student, that they’re able to see how these experiences are valuable and what they’re learning from them. From a faculty side, it deepens the learning, so it’s known as a high-impact practice in that part of an ePortfolio reflects on the experiences.”

These leaders joined to serve a year-long term in their interim roles, and now the group is nearing their ninth month of service. Meanwhile, the search for a permanent director of the Center for Service and Learning has just begun.

The Institute for Engaged Learning promotes and supports the equitable progression of undergraduate students.