Six faculty members received Adobe Faculty Fellows Grants for the Spring of 2020.
Grants were funded by Adobe and the Office of the Provost to enable recipients to incorporate Adobe Creative Cloud applications into a new assignment in their course curriculum.
Those awarded the grant are Dena Counts, assistant professor of communication, Dr. Theresa Naldoza, assistant professor of nursing and department chair, Dr. Marcia Straughn, assistant professor and dean of school of nursing, Dr. Kendra Jernigan, assistant professor of environmental science, Dr. Brent Reeves, associate professor of management science and computer science, and Dr. Kenneth Pybus, associate professor and chair of department of journalism and mass communications.
The Adobe Faculty Fellows occupy five different departments across campus. Amos Gutierrez, Adobe ambassador at ACU, said the grant is for faculty to foster creativity and digital skills within their courses, regardless of their field of study.
“Any department on campus can be a part of it, and we actually encourage that, particularly outside of art and design and journalism and mass communications,” Gutierrez said. “Those two fields are typically seen as the creative fields on campus, so a lot of people outside of those don’t see themselves as creative; but we are seeing that more and more employers are looking for employees who have soft skills like creativity, creative problem solving and communication. So along with the necessary information and knowledge that they need in their field, a more attractive candidate to employers has these other soft skills along with it.”
In the Department of Information Technology and Computing, Reeves plans to introduce Adobe XD into SITC 325: Web Application Development, making room for the teaching of design process.
In the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Jernigan plans to introduce Adobe Rush for the creation of a video project for AENV 420: Environmental Thought.
In the Department of Communication, Counts plans to introduce Adobe Illustrator and Adobe XD to create an app-like experience in COMM 430: Conflict Management.
In the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Pybus plans to introduce Adobe Illustrator and partner with the Maker Lab in order to create a poster project in JMC 342: Communication Design.
In the School of Nursing, Naldoza and Straughn plan to partner in introducing Adobe Illustrator or InDesign to transform an annotated bibliography assignment into the creation a digital poster in NURS 380: Research.
Straughn said through the assignment they hope their students would be able to take their posters and enter them into the Undergraduate Research Fair.
“We saw this grant opportunity come up and we thought, ‘Let’s take this annotated bibliography project and take it to a next step that would be something presentable, like generating a digital poster from it,’” Straughn said. “So that was really the thought of taking an existing assignment and thinking about ways to make it more applicable and expand it into a deeper experience.”
“[The nursing program is] pretty intense all the time,” Naldoza said. “So it’s all these heavy courses and now this introduces something different, just a creative outlet and a little less stress, but also while still learning about research.”
Faculty recipients and their students will be supported by the Innovation Foundry and the Learning Studio through the Spring semester. The Adobe Faculty Fellows will be mentored by the Fall 2019 Adobe Faculty Fellows consisting of Dr. Jim Carpenter, associate professor, program coordinator and chair of the department of agriculture and environmental sciences, Adam Hester, professor of the department of theatre, and Andres Saucedo, instructor of biology.
“What we hope is that we can foster and discover some best practices for teaching digital skills and creativity,” Gutierrez said. “And that maybe even our faculty can help faculty at other universities with that as well.”
At the conclusion of the semester, participating Adobe Faculty Fellows are required to create a video testimonial that discusses the projects successes and challenges, in order to share their ideas for future use. The Adams Center will host the Creative You event on April 15 and Adobe Faculty Fellows will have an opportunity to share their experiences with other faculty members.
This is the second semester of the grant. Faculty looking to apply for the Fall of 2020 grant can follow the link to the application, https://blogs.acu.edu/adobe/faculty/adobe-faculty-fellows/.