Each of WilmU’s adjunct faculty members is distinctive. Here are seven, among many, who excel at developing pedagogy by synthesizing unique personal and professional experiences with curriculum.
WilmU’s adjunct faculty are more than passionate professionals driven by a love of teaching. “They’re crucial to the well-documented level of high academic standards at Wilmington University,” says Dr. Jim Wilson, WilmU’s vice president of academic affairs. “They are truly scholarly practitioners who have the academic background to teach their respective courses, as well as the knowledge and practical experience needed to create unique learning environments.”
The adjunct faculty is at the center of the university’s academic achievements and critical to student and academic success, says Dr. Bonnie Kirkpatrick, senior director of faculty development and support.
“The faculty has diverse experiences and achievements in their fields. As noted in our institutional values, we support innovation and actively seek faculty with real-world experiences who can provide students with education that’s focused on practical application.”
WilmU employs some of most ambitious, driven and accomplished academic instructors in the region — and beyond, given its array of online programs and courses. (About 250 adjuncts teach online.) Meet seven who bring unique, real-world experiences and perspectives into their classrooms.
Dr. Shawn Stevens
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
As the former director of community impact for United Way of Delaware, Dr. Shawn Stevens manages community initiatives that focus on education, financial capacity and health issues. He also oversees strategic investments and outcomes measurement of programs delivered through the United Way’s community partner organizations. He brings real-world skills into the classroom by engaging students in activities that marry theory to the delivery of human services.
“I have realigned the research course (AHS 6630) so students better identify and deliver evidence-based programs, understand how to measure success based on outcomes, and plan community programs with relevant tools like logic models,” says Stevens.
A WilmU adjunct since 2007, Stevens prefers to facilitate learning rather than simply teach, because doing so “puts the emphasis on empowering students to continue learning,” he says. He’s dedicated to sharing his experiences with students in classrooms settings, but he’s also served on numerous community education forums. Steves is now the vice president of lifelong learning at the Latin American Community Center.
College of Education
Lisa Lombardozzi works as an academic partnership specialist in the External Affairs department at WilmU, where she helps to establish and grow WilmU’s Early College program and builds partnerships with Delaware high school leaders. She’s been teaching at WilmU for a decade.
Lombardozzi, who spent 13 years as an elementary school teacher, manages to blend what she learns in her day job with her pedagogy. “As a part of the Early College program, I visit and interact with educational leaders,” she says. “I bring our conversations back to my classroom to give real-world perspectives. I also try to incorporate as many guest speakers into my lessons as well. This gives my students the opportunity to ask questions and interact with a variety of experts.”
Major changes have occurred in education in recent years. “If we at WilmU want to prepare teachers to be ‘first day ready’ in K-12 classrooms, it’s crucial that we prepare them for the challenges and expectations of a 21st-century classroom.”
College of Business
Linda Carney is president and CEO of Career Opportunity Development, Inc., an organization that employs 125 members dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities and disadvantages. She oversees an $8 million-plus budget.
Carney considers it a privilege to have an impact on the lives of students, whom she refers to as future leaders. “I bring real-world experience into the classroom by using knowledge gained throughout graduate and doctoral studies, as well as examples of situations I encounter throughout my day-to-day activities as a community leader,” she says. “We discuss real occurrences that I have experienced while serving on numerous boards and throughout my career. I believe sharing experiences with students is significant, since I have experienced firsthand the disconnect that often occurs between what is taught in schools and what actually occurs in the world. I’m also passionate about sharing my missteps — or as we refer to them, learning opportunities.”
Carney consider herself to be an authentic leader “who leads by example and doesn’t merely talk the talk, but walks the walk.”
Dale G. Jafari, RN, M.S.N., CRNP, FNP-BC
College of Health Professions
As a nurse practitioner at Shore Women’s Care in Easton, Md., Dale Jafari is dedicated to the prevention and wellness needs of girls and women. Her WilmU students are privy to an illustrious career that spans 30 years. “It offers me a wealth of information to integrate the information in the textbook with application to a clinical setting,” says Jafari.
She began her career as a full-time nurse in labor and delivery after earning her RN degree, then moved into ambulatory women’s health. She chose to complete her B.S.N. and master’s degrees when her children were between the ages of 5 and 15.
“Wilmington University was the place for me,” she says, “ I completed my M.S.N. as a family practice nurse practitioner. I think that passion is key to successful education. I am passionate about my work in women’s health, but equally passionate about the opportunity to mold these future healthcare providers into outstanding members of the healthcare team.”
College of Arts and Sciences
Robert Tietze is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor, outdoorsman, world traveler and teacher. He’s one-third of music trio called 3Ple, and is the founder and president of Community Program Designs, as well as president of the Wilmington Drama League. He’s served as resident poet for the Delaware Division of the Arts, and has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Tietze introduces students to the culturally rich world in which he exists. “I try to encourage students to explore their own creativity and expression,” says Tietze. “Besides providing a pathway for self-discovery, the arts are so critical in developing strong analytical and abstract thinking skills. In an attempt to bring my work in organizational development, structure and process into the classroom, we explore how ideas and systems evolve, expand and become institutionalized.”
An experienced Shakespearean actor, Tietze performed recently in the Arden Club’s production of “King Lear.” Two years ago, he established a small troupe of actors as a starting point to engage communities in Shakespeare, introducing The Bard to inner city youth.
Dr. Lucia Nemeth
In addition to teaching, Dr. Lucia Nemeth works part-time as an instructional designer for WilmU’s College of Health Professions, and, in that capacity, is responsible for the design, development and delivery of online courses. She also teaches the “Personalize Your Course Template” course, a five-week, self-paced training for instructors interested in learning advanced technologies to enhance their course templates.
Nemeth brings real-world experience into her virtual classrooms by making sure to include myriad resources, like current YouTube videos and relevant articles. “When I can, I also engage students in the Discussion Board with my past experiences in finance and nonprofit,” she says. “If there’s a major current event that week, I add it to the course and have students respond to it.”
College of Technology
Timothy Day started teaching for WilmU in 2012 while finishing his MFA in film and media arts at Temple University. When he’s not teaching, he’s running his company, Blackscreen Media, which provides video production, post production and web work. Day knows the business, and he excels at preparing students for the remarkably competitive world of video production.
“The industry is very team orientated and requires a lot of problem-solving skills,” Day says. “Every video shoot, project or edit is different. I hope to prepare students for the industry by having them work on projects that not only give them experience in learning aspects of equipment and software, but also by putting them in real-world situations.” WU
Want to Be an Adjunct?
Interested candidates can preview existing openings by visiting wilmu.edu/faculty/instructorpool.aspx. From there, select a college and review the openings by program. If you find an opening that matches your work and educational experience as specified in the posting, you can submit your application and résumé online. The system also allows candidates to forward openings to qualified colleagues or friends.
Once the application is received, WilmU’s Faculty Development and Support team will pre-qualify candidates and then forward résumés to program chairs. If a candidate is qualified, but there are no openings, he or she will become a member of the “bench” until an opening occurs.
Want to learn more about Wilmington University’s teaching expectations, faculty services, benefits or promotions before applying for a position? Visit the team at wilmu.edu/faculty/instructorpool.aspx.
(Special thanks to Dr. Sheila Sharbaugh for suggesting this story.)