Friday, October 17, 2014

UIS professor learns by teaching in India, creating photo essays in Missouri

University of Illinois Springfield Associate Communication Professor Kathy Petitte Jamison has spent the past few months teaching and learning from Illinois to Missouri and across the Atlantic Ocean.

Jamison served as a guest lecturer at Vellore Institute of Technology in Vellore, India this past summer. She taught professional and research writing to doctoral students and faculty, at times speaking to lecture halls holding 600 participants, all eager for insight into good writing skills in English.

“The students were very kind and eager to learn American English and American culture,” said Jamison. “The food was also wonderful, as were the people. It was an amazing place.”

“As a professor teaching a few of the writing courses in Communication, it’s always good to work with English as a Second Language (ESL) students to understand our language from different angles and perspectives. I’ve taught many ESL courses and workshops over the years and I find it always teaches me something new about my own language and how to teach it to others.”

Jamison was also chosen to participate, along with 43 professional photographers from the U.S. and 13 other countries, in a workshop offered by the University of Missouri-Columbia photojournalism school.

The Missouri Photo Workshop has documented small town and rural life in Missouri towns for 66 years. The group was sent to Platte City, Missouri to find a photo story to follow for a week. Jamison chose to highlight the town’s social gathering place called The Pool Hall. 

See her photo documentary here.

Jamison’s experience abroad and in the photography workshop are part of her UIS sabbatical.

Sabbaticals have been documented as important in higher education because they serve to promote professional development by providing opportunities for reflection, artistic creation, research, innovation in teaching and professional exploration. Harvard University was the first to develop a sabbatical program in 1880.

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