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SoTL Leadership Team


The SoTL Leadership Team’s primary purpose is to actively collaborate with the Faculty Center in guiding, supporting, and promoting SoTL on all Georgia Southern University’s campuses.

Member Responsibilities

  • Serve in advisory capacity to the Faculty Center to guide and support existing aspects of SoTL initiatives, implement new aspects, and provide feedback about SoTL activities as needed.
  • Review and evaluate proposals submitted for the SoTL Fellowship, the SoTL Award, as well as any other SoTL related submission to Faculty Center in need of review.
  • Serve as mentor to Georgia Southern SoTL fellows and SoTL FLC participants as needed
  • Actively promote SoTL on campus by
    • facilitating or co-facilitating SoTL focused workshops for campus, college,  and departments as needed
    • distributing information on SoTL opportunities to colleagues in your college
    • serving as a SoTL resource to colleagues

SoTL Leadership Team Members

Delena GatchDelena Bell Gatch (Physics, COSM): Since joining the faculty at Georgia Southern University in 2001, Dr. Gatch has developed a strong interest in Physics education research. Some of her recent ventures include evaluating the implementation of studio physics courses and developing inquiry based laboratories for physics instruction. Since 2014, Dr. Gatch serves as the Editor in Chief of the International Journal on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Janet BuelowJanet Buelow (Health Sciences and Kinesiology, WCHP): Dr. Buelow has a PhD in public health administration and has been teaching since 1994 in three universities. She has received several national and international grants providing students learning opportunities in Southeast Georgia, in Europe, and in Japan. Dr. Buelow teaches in the health administration undergraduate and graduate programs. She is recognized for her ability to provide opportunities for students to extensively apply their learning to meaningful problems within the community and healthcare organizations. Her research focuses on the impact of interprofessional collaboration, as well as the influence of service-learning projects on students.
Rami HaddadRami Haddad (Electrical Engineering, CEC):
Jackie HeeYoung KimJackie HeeYoung Kim (Elementary and Special Education, COE): Dr. Kim is an associate professor at Georgia Southern University in Savannah, GA, where she has taught face-to-face and online classes, particularly childhood education courses, for the past 10 years. Before joining Armstrong State University in 2007, she taught technology integration courses for preservice teachers at State University of New York Cortland for two years. She has authored many articles related to the professional development of teachers and online distance education and has presented papers at many national and international professional meetings. Currently, Dr. Kim has been contributing to publications related to the transformation of K-12 classrooms with digital technology, professional development for technology integration into differentiated math instruction, and the like.
Shainaz LandgeShainaz Landge (Chemistry, COSM): Dr. Landge’s interest in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) flourished due to its interdisciplinary and diverse nature. Her current research projects include implementing an elaborate visual analogy, assessing the analogy vs non-analogy groups and creating various interactive and effective pedagogical techniques to deliver the information.
Jody LangdonJody Langdon (Health Sciences and Kinesiology, WCHP): Dr. Langdon's research in SoTL involves the investigation of the utility and effectiveness of the Flipped Classroom Model in college classrooms. She also has conducted research on autonomy supportive teaching among graduate teaching assistants, sport coaches, and physical education teachers.
Trent MaurerTrent W. Maurer (School of Human Ecology, CBSS): Dr. Maurer’s focus on SoTL is both disciplinary and interdisciplinary. His recent SoTL projects have focused on authorship credit in collaborative student-faculty SoTL scholarship, methods for teaching about prejudice and discrimination, and “state of SoTL” pieces in his discipline of Family Science. He also chairs the ISSOTL Advancing Undergraduate Research Interest Group and serves on the ISSOTL Advocacy and Outreach Committee, in addition to serving as a reviewer on the editorial board of numerous disciplinary and interdisciplinary SoTL journals.
Jessica OrvisJessica Orvis (Department of Chemistry, COSM): Jessica Orvis is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of Principles of Chemistry courses. Her interests in chemistry education research include the role of autonomy in student motivation, assessment of student intervention efforts such as supplemental instruction, and the development of technology in teaching and learning.
Diane BotnaruDiana Sturges Botnaru (Health Sciences and Kinesiology, WCHP): Dr. Sturges has participated in numerous SoTL projects that aimed at better understanding her students and improving student learning. Many projects were collaborative in nature and examined faculty/student differences in perceptions of disruptive classroom behaviors and faculty/student differences in perceptions of post-exam classroom attendance. She also initiated multiple projects in her own classroom and investigated students’ perceptions of class difficulty in Anatomy & Physiology and the effectiveness of a classroom role-play activity in teaching protein synthesis in large Anatomy & Physiology lecture courses. Dr. Sturges has produced numerous peer-reviewed pieces of scholarship in SoTL. Dr. Sturges has assumed multiple leadership roles in SoTL, both on the GS campus and in the SoTL community. She has served as chair of the SoTL Leadership Team and the SoTL Commons Annual Conference since 2013. The Board of Regents recognized Dr. Sturges’ contributions to the field of SoTL with the prestigious Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (2014).
McKinley ThomasMcKinley Thomas (Health Sciences and Kinesiology, WCHP): Dr. Thomas is a faculty member in the Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree program. He earned his Ed.D. from the University of Tennessee and has worked in higher education for the past 25 years. In 2012 he was named a USG Governor’s Teaching Fellow. He understands the importance of scholarship as the instrument that guides teaching and learning and has paid special attention to the theoretical underpinning of pedagogical approaches in addition to authentic assessments of classroom methods. Dr. Thomas’ most current SoTL activity relates to the efficacy of a newly developed assignment required for HSCG 4134 Health and Sexuality where students are asked to reflect upon how various forms of media inform our sexual self-concept, beliefs and values, and communication skills. He has numerous publications/presentations exploring the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Last updated: 8/1/2022