Power of Maroon: Leadership Spotlight
Stephen Haggerty, Assistant Director TRiO Student Support Services
Stephen Haggerty, assistant director for TRiO Student Support Services, is featured in this ongoing series designed to allow EKU leaders and others in prominent positions to discuss their roles as well as campus issues. Haggerty holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal and public communication from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University and a master’s degree in communication studies (with emphases in interpersonal and instructional communication) from Marshall University. He has also completed doctoral coursework in interpersonal and instructional communication at the University of Kentucky. A NOVA professional since August 2005, Haggerty worked with the EKU Department of Communication from 1998 to 2004.
You’ve been an instructor for the QEP First Year Course since its inception. How has this experience shaped you as professional?
The Teaching the Foundations for Learning (GSD 101) three credit-hour course has so many connected benefits for me professionally. First, I believe it has made me a better teacher…focusing on how I deliver clear, accurate, significant lectures. I use the concepts every day I teach. Second, I believe it has given me an opportunity to meet fantastic, creative teachers of each new cohort of GSD 101 instructors. EKU should know we have some awesome teachers working with our incoming students! Finally, I believe it has impacted my role as Assistant Director of a TRiO Student Support Services project (NOVA) in that I am able to share my knowledge of critical and creative thinking at conferences, training seminars, and with my EKU family. This information helps my fellow TRiO and EKU colleagues impact their learners in powerful and fundamental ways! GSD 101 is an important course that increases my own critical and creative thinking skills (which transfer to my daily life) and helps me become a more educated and effective professional and advocate for Eastern Kentucky University and NOVA.
How has teaching GSD 101 impacted your students?
There is no doubt in my mind that this course has fundamentally impacted my students by helping them see how thinking things through can assist them in being successful in college and in life. We teach the basic Orientation concepts, but we do it through the funnel of critical and creative thinking, and we challenge the student to communicate this knowledge in an appropriate and effective manner. My students use what they learn in my class in other classes, in their jobs, with their families, and in their lives. Talk about transferability and durability! Teaching GSD 101 has increased my critical and creative thinking skills, and has made me a more powerful force in the lives of my learners. In turn, the NOVA Program participants are learning how to become the person others want to follow and that makes me proud of our NOVA Stars. GSD 101 helps our NOVAs shine even brighter.
You are also serving as a QE Coach for the campus. What has that experience been like?
Being a Quality Enhancement Coach for EKU has been an awesome opportunity and experience. I have had the honor of serving alongside incredible minds at this University – creative people…faculty and professional staff who have astounded me with their intellect, humility and ability to teach others how to be critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively. QEP Director Kate Williams has been instrumental in the development of QE Coaches. I appreciate her leadership and vision. I am proud to be known as a QE Coach. It has been one of the highlights of my professional journey. And Mary Wilson (a QE Coach) even gave me a whistle!
How you are impacting student learning as a QE Coach?
For the first two years serving as a QE Coach, I worked with other coaches to create and implement training workshops and seminars for faculty. We trained faculty on the Paul and Elder Model of Critical Thinking as well as the SEEI Model of thinking things through (State, Elaborate, Exemplify, and Illustrate). These trainings gave faculty the tools they needed to teach these concepts to their own students. As a professional staff member, I also saw the incredible work my colleagues did with students on a daily basis, impacting them in fundamental and powerful ways. I thought, “We need to do this with staff, too,” so Kate and I decided my role would shift to assisting non-faculty professionals with learning the models and how to apply them to their interactions with students. After several training workshops and brown-bag sessions, Kate and I moved my coaching responsibility to where I am right now.
I have a dream QE Coaching role right now: I am facilitating a year and a half long professional learning community for 9 non-faculty professionals (called the Co-Curricular Learning Community). Dr. John Harley (Biology professor and Teaching & Learning Center Fellow) is my co-facilitator, and our CCLC participants are developing critical and creative thinking projects to implement in the Fall 2011 semester. I wish I had the space here to tell about each one of the CCLC team, but since I don’t, here is our team: Shawn Apostel, Markus Cross, Loni Crowe, Wanju Huang, Sharon Lee, Lisa Moore, Leslie Valley, Brandon Williams, and Ron Yoder. Working with these nine colleagues and John is an honor. Keep an eye out for some kind of formal event during the Fall 2011 semester where these nine incredible EKU colleagues will present their projects and how they impact student learning every day! Here’s the awesome part: I am impacting others who are impacting others!