Employees Engage in Student-Focused Professional Development and Innovation

Courtney Santillan showing off Innovation in Action trophy
March 11, 2022

College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) annual faculty professional development events welcomed Dr. J. Luke Wood as this year’s keynote speaker Friday, March 4. Dr. Wood, Vice President of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University, and Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), presented “Underserved Students in Community Colleges: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities” to faculty and staff via Zoom. The interactive workshop discussed societal and institutional factors that influence belonging, welcomeness to engage, and success for underserved students within community colleges.

“I felt Dr. Wood’s presentation gave my colleagues and me a framework and critical vocabulary to have important conversations and take actual steps in creating a culture of inclusivity at CWI,” said English Professor, Andrea Ascuena.

View Dr. Wood’s Presentation

Beyond the keynote, faculty also participated in the 2022 Innovation in Action contest which celebrated the contributions faculty make toward retention through sharing of their best practices.

2022 Innovation in Action Winners

  • Individual Connections:  Annie Estvold, Social Work faculty, for “Extra Credit Encounters”
  • Classroom Connections: Elisa Lowenstein, Software Development faculty, for “Team Learning”
  • College Connections: Michal Yadlin, Honors Program Coordinator, for “Understanding our Students”
  • Teaching Strategies: Sara Palmer, Psychology faculty, for “Weekly To-do”

View the 2022 Innovation in Action Submissions

Congratulations to the School of Social Sciences and Public Affairs (SSPA) for winning the school-wide Innovation in Action trophy!

“While I’m excited to see the trophy return to SSPA for the third year in a row, all of the submissions demonstrated creative ways our faculty care for and encourage students,” said SSPA Dean, Courtney Santillan.

Thank you to all for a great week of learning!