Teaching has always been at the heart of Connecticut College’s mission. Professors at the College have consistently endeavored to foster deep, broad, flexible, and imaginative student learning.
Recognizing the importance of a sustained and systematic approach to pedagogy, and responding to the growth of the exciting new literature on teaching and learning, the College established the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) in 1997, supported by a small grant from the President’s discretionary fund.
The aim of the Center for Teaching & Learning at Connecticut College is to advocate quality teaching on campus, facilitate the exchange of ideas about teaching and learning among faculty, offer resources for faculty, serve as a bridge between individual faculty members and information resources and technology, and create an informal source of support for faculty teaching.
In 2008, Joy Shechtman Mankoff, a 1956 graduate of Connecticut College, gave a gift to endow the Center. The endowment will support the various activities of the newly named Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning, including programming that facilitates the exchange of ideas about teaching and learning, a teaching seminar for incoming faculty and discussions about teaching and diversity.
Here, the Center's history from its founding to present day:
A resolution is passed at a Connecticut College faculty meeting to form a “Teaching Resource Center” (TRC). The Center is established with a small grant from the College president’s discretionary fund. Eugene Gallagher, Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies, is named Founding Director.
- The TRC holds its first seminar for incoming faculty, renamed the “Johnson Seminar” in 1999 after a grant is received from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation.
- Assistant Professor of English Theresa Ammirati conducts a seminar for “continuing” faculty. The seminar is supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
The TRC is renamed “The Center for Teaching & Learning.” Rosemary Park Professor of Religious studies Eugene Gallagher assumes the newly created position of Faculty Fellow and Michael Reder becomes CTL Director.
An advisory board of faculty and academic administrators is formed. The CTL receives a second grant from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation to continue programming and to temporarily fund a faculty chair for teaching, as the College seeks permanent endowment for the chair. The chair is awarded to Professor of Chemistry Marc Zimmer.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Barbara Zaccheo Kohn '72 endows the Barbara Zaccheo Kohn '72 Professorship for a faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching. Programming increases, including grants to departments or groups for initiatives to improve teaching and learning on campus and a regular series of lunchtime discussions of teaching called “Talking Teaching.” These discussions are, in part, coordinated by faculty volunteers, including Associate Professor of Slavic Studies Andrea Lanoux and Associate Professor of Philosophy Derek Turner. The CTL continues to receive support from various donors, among them the Gibney Trust.
In honor of its 50th reunion, the Class of 1957 endows the Johnson Seminar, renamed the “Class of ’57 Teaching Seminar for Incoming Faculty.”
- Joy Shechtman Mankoff '56 endows the Center with a $1 million gift, and the Center officially becomes the Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning.
- Associate Professor of Government MaryAnne Borelli assumes leadership of the “Talking Teaching” discussion series. Two new Faculty Fellows, Dayton Professor of Art History Abigail Van Slyck and Associate Professor of Theater Leah Lowe, are added to the CTL leadership roster.