Center for Teaching Excellence



We recognize that you have poured a great deal of time, energy, and creativity into your teaching this semester. We have borne witness to your excellent teaching across all modalities, and we want to provide avenues to share your contributions. The surveys of the last two months have provided constructive feedback that reflects everything from excitement to frustration, all stemming from a place of dedication to your students and your expertise as faculty. Many of your comments highlighted the creative ways you are adapting to the SMUFlex and Virtual modalities. Thank you. 


As a response to your feedback, we are excited to announce a call for applications for Partner-Up Grants of $2,000 for full-time faculty to participate in faculty-led learning pods focused on priority areas that emerged as topics from the faculty surveys. Each pod will serve as a nexus for faculty to enhance their own pedagogical knowledge while sharing with colleagues. Each pod will consolidate their learning to share information out with other faculty in late January and throughout the spring semester. 



Each pod of 4-8 faculty will be formed around the following priority areas (or faculty can propose an idea for a pod):

  • Content creation (e.g., pre-recording lectures and/or interactive materials)
  • Student engagement techniques (e.g., leading discussions across both modalities, discussion protocols for Zoom, using breakout rooms)
  • Feedback strategies (e.g., creating and/or modifying new assignments; communication loops)
  • Design your own (You do not have to find partners. We’ll work to match up ideas and faculty.)
  • Assessment options to ensure academic integrity




The goal of Partner Up Grants is multi-fold: support faculty helping one another with pedagogy; disseminate ideas more broadly across the academic year; and make more visible the ways that you have been navigating this year. Each pod will determine the best dissemination strategy for their ideas that can range from generating resources for the SMU Keep Teaching site, conducting workshops with CTE, developing short videos, or making presentations at department meetings. Every pod will have ongoing assistance from CTE/OIT/Libraries.




Funding priorities include the following and are open to all full-time faculty:

  • Representation across a wide range of pedagogical approaches (from discussion-based to lecture-driven; from creative exploration to objective exam learning)
  • Faculty drawn across a variety of disciplines from all Schools and Colleges
  • Focus on all teaching modalities  



We have created a simple online application that makes it easy for faculty to apply. The link provided took faculty to the application that asked for a 250-word description of the area in which you are most interested and a 100-word description of ideas for disseminating what teams learn: 


Applications closed on Monday, November 30th

Recipients were announced on Friday, December 4th


If you have questions or want to discuss your idea, please contact CTE via email at



Congratulations to the 2020 Award Winners


Full Name School
Amy Richardson Simmons
Ann Batenburg Simmons
Francesca Jones Simmons
Monnie McGee Dedman
Stephanie Langin-Hooper Meadows
Alexandra Pavlakis Simmons
Kiersten Ferguson Simmons
Meredith Richards Simmons
Sondra Barringer Simmons
Bruce Levy Dedman
Stephanie Amsel Dedman
Alice Kendrick Meadows
Andrea Laurent-Simpson Dedman
Chris Logan Dedman
Maryann R. Cairns Dedman
Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna Dedman
Kristina Nielsen Meadows
Lauren Smart Meadows
Stephen Grollman Dedman
Andrew Quicksall Lyle
Crista DeLuzio Dedman
Liljana Elverskog Dedman
Robert Hunt Perkins
Steven Lindquist Dedman
Amber Bemak Meadows
Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly Meadows
Wendy Wilson Cox
Daniel Moss Dedman
Emma Annette Wilson Dedman
LaShonda L. Eaddy Meadows
Rob Rouse Simmons
Daniele Forlino Dedman
Gizem Arslan Dedman
Gwendoline Aaron Dedman
James Batchelor Dedman
Kathy Jean Hayes Dedman
Samantha Pergadia Dedman
Susana Adoboe Dedman
Leanne Ketterlin Geller Simmons
Marcela Giraldo Dedman
Mark Kerins Meadows
Shira Lander Dedman
Susanne Scholz Perkins
Jessica Burnham Meadows
Kristen Polster Dedman
LaiYee Leong Dedman
Mukunthan Santhanakrishnan Cox
Russell Hugh McConnell Dedman
Alexis McCrossen Dedman
Brandon Mastromartino Simmons
Jacqueline Fellows Meadows
Leticia Trevino McDoniel Dedman
Beth Newman Dedman
Helen Reynolds Dedman
Jill DeTemple Dedman
Paola Buckley Dedman
 Emily Sharma Dedman 
 Richard Treat Dedman