Professors work on long-term project to bring students together

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Staff Writer


Group projects.

It’s a common assignment technique used by professors, and the announcement of its implementation into the semester’s curriculum is often followed by at least a few groans. But if you think students are the only ones on campus working on IU required group projects, then you’d be dead wrong.

IU has begun to adopt a school-wide program called FACET, and this year IUSB has been charged with the task of creating their branch of the IU FACET team. In order to represent the diversity around the IUSB campus professors representing all areas of academia make up this group of eight.

FACET stands for ‘Facility Academy and Excellence in Teaching,’ and is designed to get professors active in creating new ways to bond students together to enhance their college experience. Their goal is to “help IUSB students become engaged active citizens within the school, and the community,” as the group’s PR leader Biochemistry professor Shahir Rizk puts it.

So what does this mean to students? Basically, professors want to find a way to get students more informed and enthused about activities and events on and off campus. “IUSB used to be a just be a commuter school, but now there are people living on campus,” said Rizk, “we have to start doing a better job of congregating resident students together.”

If you’ve ever attended an IUSB event you may have noticed that the attendance was well, sparse. There is a lack of communication between the student body and the clubs, departments and professors who put on school sponsored events, so far there has been no real solution on how to fix the problem.

This is what FACET wants to change. They want to create a singular hub where students are notified about an event, able to document their participation and then post about the experience. This is not only meant to bolster a sense of camaraderie at IUSB, but also to give students a tangible source listing all the trainings and activities they participated in as a student.

While this process might sound relatively simple it will actually take quite awhile to get the program up and running to a useable standard, possibly even as long as two years. So far, a platform used at IU Bloomington, which utilizes Titan Atlas, is the favored means of sharing this program. But professors must first spend time researching and listening to what students say they’d like to see from the FACET program.

This is where you, as a student, can help. Talk to fellow students or any of the professors participating in the program and give input on what you think would be a good way to bring students together. This is especially important to advocate inspiration and communication from graduating and senior students just starting their college career.

One of the first steps FACET will be taking to propel their project into action is video-casting graduating students giving advice or inspiration to new students. Testimonials from graduates showing there is ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’ to new students just starting their college experience. This will most likely take place at graduation, so please take the time to the pass on a little knowledge to classes to come.

Professors participating in this project include: Julia Gressick of Instructional Technology, Professor Diane Lemanski of Dental Education, Professor Yuri Obata of Communication Studies, Professor James Smith of Political Science, Professor Alison Stankrauff Library Archivist, Professor Shahir Rizk of Biochemistry, Professor Kyoko Takanashi of English and Professor Joshua Wells of Anthropology.

If you have any suggestions, questions or input on the FACET project you can email Professor Rizk at or talk to any of the professors previously mentioned.

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