Senior Teaching Specialist
Postsecondary Teaching & Learning
250D Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Dr S E
Monday and Wednesday: 11:30 - 12:30
and by appointment
Photo Credit: photo by Jeff Corney
M.A. Creative Writing and Literature, University of Cincinnati
B.A. English Literature, Wheaton College
PsTL1525W "First Year Inquiry: Multidisciplinary Ways of Knowing"
PsTL1368 “Literatures of the World – International Perspectives” (hybrid)
I have been teaching in the humanities for over fifteen years. As a writer, I bring my love of stories and my belief in the the need for vital communication to all of my courses. I am honored that the College of Education and Human Development recognized my work through the Distinguished Teaching Award in May of 2012.
I was awarded a leave from the college to design a writing intensive, multidisciplinary freshman seminar on the resource of water. "Water, Water, Everywhere? Investigating and Protecting Our Life Source.” In its fifth year, the seminar integrates field work, texts, film, and guest speakers from both the arts and the environmental sciences. Through support from the college I've incorporated the digital story assignment in the water seminar and developed a seminar website which features the students’ digital stories.
My collaboration with colleague Catherine Solheim (Family Social Sciences) has led me to the Mekong River in northern Thailand, where we interviewed community members about how their cultural traditions and ways of living are being impacted by development and climate change. For more information, please view our digital story, "Mekong Mosaic." http://www.cehd.umn.edu/research/international/asia.html.
The over-arching goal of my teaching and learning is to foster the role of the humanities in helping people envision more just and sustainable ways of living. I collaborate with artists, scientists, and community members to provide students with models of how people are using their academic knowledge as well as their creative passions in order to help us move toward more interdependent, environmentally sustainable societies. A recent example is partnering with The New York Times to bring in Pulitzer prize winning photographer Ozier Muhammad to present his slides from his coverage of Haiti after the earthquake. For news article.
Helping students understand the diverse cultures that shape the humanities is an essential component of my teaching. I am fortunate to work at a university with a diverse population; these rich cultural traditions are vital to helping us move toward more mutually beneficial ways of living. Through funding from the University, I have traveled to New Zealand and Thailand to research sustainability initiatives by community members and the government, and I bring these experiences to life in the classroom through images and lectures.
My teaching has been transformed by my research and implementation of Innovative uses of digital media. When incorporated thoughtfully, the use of technology increases student engagement, fosters diversity, and facilitates different ways of learning.
I give public readings related to my essay collection, World Gone Beautiful, and am a guest writer in elementary schools. For a podcast of my U of M reading: http://podcast.bookstores.umn.edu/buturian.m4a
Selected Grants and Awards
CEHD Distinguished Teaching Award, May 2012.
CEHD P&A Professional Development Award, “The Mekong Initiative” University of Minnesota, February 2012.
Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort Program 2011-2012, Global Programs & Strategy (GPS) Alliance, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Instructional Development Services, and the Office of Information Technology, University of Minnesota, November 2011.
CEHD U-Lead Program Recipient, with Catherine Solheim (FSS), College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, September 2011.
International Travel Grant - “The Mekong Initiative” - Global Programs and Strategy Alliance – University of Minnesota, April 2011.
International Engagement Grant -“The Mekong Initiative” - College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, January 2011.
Writing Fellowship - Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve - University of Minnesota, December 2010.
Academic Technology Project Grant- Academic Technology Services, CEHD, December 2011, August 2010, 2008, 2007.
eChapter, "The River in the Classroom: Digital Storytelling that Fosters Community, Deepens Engagement, and Cultivates Global Awareness." Cultivating Change in the Academy: 50+ Stories from the Digital Frontlines at the University of Minnesota in 2012.
Review, "In the Land of Ashes: Rachel Cusk." Books & Culture, Carol Stream, Illinois, Sept/Oct 2012. http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2012/sepoct/in-ashes.html
Essay with Images, The Gazing House: Research at the Reserve, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, East Bethel, University of Minnesota, October 2011.
Essay with Images, Secret Knowledge: Cedar Bog Lake, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, East Bethel, University of Minnesota, July 2011.
Essay, The Use of Images in Engaging Students in Creative and Critical Media Literacy, Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota, April 22, 2011.
World Gone Beautiful: Life Along the Rum River. Cathedral Hill Press 2008.
Shouts and Whispers: Twenty-One Writers Speak about Their Writing and Their Faith. Edited by Jennifer L. Holberg. Eerdmans 2007. Buturian's interview with Kathleen Norris.
“Digital Media: Giving Voice to Students and Fostering Global Learning” With Catherine Solheim (FSoS), 28th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning, University of Wisconsin, Madison, August, 2012.
"Digital Storytelling as Global Development Learner Tool“ With Catherine Solheim (FSS), Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference, Global Programs Strategy Alliance, University of Minnesota, March 2012.
“The Mekong Initiative: Using Digital Stories to Connect Communities through Water” With Catherine Solheim (FSS), College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, December 10, 2011.
“Digital Storytelling and Internationalizing Teaching and Learning” With Cristina Lopez (OIT), Global Programs and Strategy Alliance and Learning Abroad Center, University of Minnesota, November 4, 20112
"Integrating Digital Media into Teaching and Learning: Best Practices and the Benefits of Collaboration," Presented with Scott Spicer, Smart Learning Commons, Office of Instructional Technology, June 2010.
“Creating a Culturally Inclusive Classroom – From Pedagogy to Practice,” Co-facilitator Ilene Alexandar - Center for Teaching and Learning, Co-sponsored by College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and College of Biological Sciences Curriculum Revision Guidelines Task Force, January 2010.
“Water for Peace: An Iraqi-US Partnership,” College of Education and Human Development, Office of International Programs, Muslim Peacemakers Team, Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, September 2009.
“Enhancing Pedagogy and Featuring Student Voices through Images and Technology,” Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, May 2008.