Woodward Hall 423-D
Woodward Hall 423-D
Personal website: http://www.cs.uncc.edu/~dcassidy/
Degree Institution: Pace University
Quite some time ago I began a career that has followed an interesting path. This has been a path complete with the typical twists, turns, and stop-gaps of a career-minded, professional woman balancing competing goals of child rearing and professional accomplishment. I arrived at this point in my life having achieved considerable experience, self-confidence, and renewed energy. My children are now grown and it is time to resume the full-time pursuit of my personal professional goals. The first of these goals is to complete my formal education.
My life’s work, my passion, is education. As an educator seeking to foster learning among the newest generation of learners and the ever-increasing number of non-traditional learners in institutions of higher education, my focus is on providing the highest quality teaching and on the development of the highest quality programs. I do this by attending to sound principles of pedagogy (or andragogy the science of teaching adults) while recognizing and addressing diverse learning styles. I am cognizant of the needs and experiences of my nontraditional students and I openly embrace the contributions they bring to my classroom. As an instructional leader I readily embrace technology, not merely for the sake of technology, but through the employment of this tool to facilitate learning. My second goal is to strengthen my leadership role in higher education, shaping the design and delivery methods of 21st century teaching.
I am a forward thinker. Having taught in a variety of educational settings from pre-school to corporate education, I have had many opportunities to bring about change through innovation. An early example was the establishment of the charter membership of the American Technology Honor Society in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas in 1997. Another early example was my work at IBM in White Plains, New York (1983-1985) where I was involved in the development of technology training classes and manuals to assist non-technical employees in the use of emerging technologies. This was the introduction of desktop workstations in individual offices. Getting employees to accept and use this new technology was not an easy feat. It required tremendous patience and salesmanship together with a cleverly subtle approach to teaching. A third example would be my leadership role in the Diversity Institute in Information Technology (DITI) here at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In this role I work with teachers helping them to learn to use technology in their classroom for instruction and administrative purposes. These efforts are bridging the technology gap and fostering a sense of accomplishment for all, not just the traditional, tech-savvy male.
Prior to moving to Charlotte, I developed and conducted professional development training sessions in technology for teachers throughout the state of Connecticut. This work presented another opportunity to bring teachers up to speed with respect to teaching techniques and methods. One more example of innovation would be the creation and deployment of two new computer summer camps for middle school students at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. These were the first camps of this kind offered in the summer camps program and have been met with overwhelming success and popularity.
The face of higher education is changing with more and more courses being offered online or as a combination of online and face-to-face (f2f) delivery. This brings me to my third goal, to be instrumental in guiding, implementing, and managing this change. I am currently employed full-time as Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department within the College of Information Technology at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I have developed and taught several undergraduate courses for the College and have assisted in the revision and updating of key courses and curriculum plans. I am in the process of developing two new courses for 2006 release. I initiated the College’s eLearning efforts designing and delivering the first online course for the College in 2004 and another course the following year. I now serve as chair of the Computer Science department’s eLearning Committee. My commitment to higher education is sincere. I feel my contributions to leadership in education have been and will continue to be timely, reflective, and long-lasting. They will positively serve today’s learners and tomorrows leaders.