College of Arts and Sciences
Dean's Office

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2140
Fax: (248) 370-4280

Faculty Resources

Writing to Learn

The Writing-to-Learn Wiki

Over the spring and summer of 2011 Lori Ostergaard (Writing & Rhetoric), Andrea Kozak (Psychology), Mark Rigstad (Philosophy), Graham Cassano (Sociology) and Robby Stewart (CAS) collaborated to prepare what is now known as the Writing-to-Learn Wiki. This wiki summarizes their discussions as they explored impact of a number of high-impact educational practicesthat have been suggested to assist academic institutions in their efforts to foster student success in higher education. This wiki addresses issues such as

  • how to develop your students' critical thinking abilities through classroom exercises
  • a variety of suggestions of ways to prevent plagiarism by students in your class
  • a detailed discussion of the value of creating a high quality peer review process in your class
  • numerous suggestions of low-risk, scaffolded and scenario writing projects that remain instructor friendly
  • suggestions for giving students constructive feedback on their writing without increasing your workload

To access this wiki, please go to

New Course Proposal Guidelines

Example 1: Objectives

Example 2: Attendance Policy

Example 3: Participation Grades

Example 4: Scales

Engagement Award

Beginning in Fall 2011, the College of Arts and Sciences launched an annual award recognizing two faculty members for excellence in engagement.  The concept of engagement for the purpose of this award arises from the report of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges entitled “Renewing the Covenant: Learning, Discovery, and Engagement in a New Age and Different World.”

In this new covenant, engagement incorporates and enlarges the notion of “service” that has been a traditional part of the work of a university professor.  The larger concept of engagement is needed because so much of the professional life of a university professor cuts across the boundaries of research, teaching, service, classroom, outreach, library, laboratory, and community.  Although the university makes awards recognizing research and teaching, there has been relatively little recognition of excellence in engagement and the College of Arts and Sciences looks to fill that void with this annual award.
 The two faculty members below were honored with this award at the October 2012 College Assembly meeting.

The following text appeared on their formal citations:

Professor Dan Clark (Department of History)

In grateful recognition of his engagement with students through his support of the Oakland chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), the national History honor society, for the past decade; for the leadership he has shared with these students resulting in this chapter being honored as the “Best Chapter in the Nation” for a university of our size; for his willingness to accompany students to various PAT regional conferences and to host this conference on our campus; for his scholarship activities that combined academic expertise with a commitment to create community partnerships through which oral histories of those who were active in the Polish resistance in World War II might be collected; for his guidance, technical expertise and encouragement that assisted Adam Hobart, an Oakland undergraduate history major, to gain recognition for writing papers worthy of the Nels Andrew Cleven Prize for the best PAT paper for two years running; and for his tireless efforts in mentoring graduate students, many who then teach in high schools in the communities surrounding Oakland University.

Professor Darrell Schmidt (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

In grateful recognition of his engagement with students through his support of the Tutoring Center via personal, on-site extra office hours each week; for his guidance and development of student tutors; for his twenty year involvement as an (unsung) heroic “back grader” with the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition which focuses on Michigan’s talented high school students; for his coaching of Oakland University students on the Putnam Exam Team as they prepare for the prestigious national undergraduate competition; for his participation in the national evaluation of the calculus AP exam; for his leadership in reform of calculus and other mathematics classes to include “real world” applications and “team work” via engaging group projects; and for his quiet modeling of an exemplary faculty life to his colleagues across the university.

Previous Faculty Engagement Award Winners

  • [2011] Professor Richard Stamps - Sociology and Anthropology 
  • [2011] Professor Jerry Grossman - Mathematics and Statistics

View the complete call for nominations that was sent to CAS faculty.

New Faculty Profiles