Meet Kristen Carlson, MSUM’s new assistant professor of curriculum and instruction for the department of leadership and learning. She’ll teach in the masters of curriculum instruction program and the educational leadership doctoral program.
Q: What drew you to MSUM?
A: The campus culture and the people. I did my doctorate through the program I am teaching in. The faculty were overwhelmingly supportive, and I appreciated all of the individualized feedback. Before I started working here, I noticed that every time I have been on campus the climate was always super happy and bubbly. Everyone I would come across seemed to enjoy it and seemed like they wanted to be here, so I really admired that and wanted to be part of this community.
Q: What energizes you at work?
A: The students themselves are so motivated and as masters’ students they have a lot to juggle. Their motivation and determination makes them fun to work with. My students are very passionate, they ask great questions and I appreciate having the opportunity to connect with them. Getting to talk to them or about them gets me really excited and I often end up talking too much. Next year I will get to start advising those students, so I am looking forward to that,
Q: How do you prefer to start your workday?
A: With coffee! I also get to walk my kids to school in the morning so it’s great to get a good walk in before I start working.
Q: What is the most interesting thing you are working on right now?
A: I am collaborating with some faculty at another university, and we are working on increasing faculty belonging at universities. Faculty often are very focused on their students or their research, so they sort of keep their head down. Last year we did a study about how we can increase faculty belonging through a conference where they get to show up and choose what they want to talk about. That worked well to foster a sense of community amongst faculty so right now we are working on to upscale that and do a larger study.
Q: What is something you are learning right now and why is it important?
A: I am learning about grading for equity. It’s about understanding the process of grading and why we grade versus just assigning feedback. It’s allowing me to learn about ways to approach grading a little differently so that all learners can be supported.
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