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Know someone who would be great in the spotlight? Nominate a colleague! Spotlight on Teaching is a new series hosted by the Faculty Senate Teaching & Learning Committee. Have questions? Contact Retchenda George Bettisworth.



Lisa Strecker

Lisa Strecker is a term assistant professor of Ethnobotany and Anthropology at the UAF Kuskokwim Campus and head of the UAF Ethnobotany Program. In addition to the majority of synchronously delivered online courses, Lisa teaches the program’s summer field courses. One of her favorite challenges is how to create a place-based, hands-on and experiential learning experience in an online learning environment.

Tyler Kirk

Tyler Kirk is an Assistant Professor of History and the Assistant Director of Arctic and Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He teaches an array of courses from the introductory Western Civilization to upper-division surveys of European history, to graduate seminars on Arctic and Northern Studies. His current research focuses on Gulag survivors in the Russian Far North. 

Yelena Mazour-Matusevich

Yelena Mazour-Matusevich has been a French professor at UAF since 1998 and in 2007 she received the Usibelli award for teaching. Since 2015, Yelena has been teaching at the History department as well, and in 2018 obtained a second doctorate in History.

Frank Boldt

Frank Boldt is extremely passionate about academics in general, the justice field particularly, and has a deep desire to help students become academically successful and reach their goals. His academic focus is on Justice Theories and Community Restorative Justice practices

Denise Thorsen

Denise Thorsen, the 2021 Usibelli Award winner in teaching, was in the inaugural teaching spotlight for February. Dr. Thorsen is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the director of Alaska Space Grant and Alaska NASA EPSCoR programs.

Kate Quick

Kate Quick, MFA, has fifteen years of experience teaching developmental and GER writing courses for UAF, most recently for UAF’s Community and Technical College. Kate’s expertise lies in non-fiction writing, and she has publications in state newspapers, the Huffington Post, and various literary journals.

Diane Wagner

Diane Wagner holds a joint appointment in the Biology & Wildlife Department and the Institute of Arctic Biology. She is an ecologist, with a special interest how insect herbivores affect plant growth and performance. Prof. Wagner teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in biology, and serves as chair of the Biology & Wildlife Department.

Wendy Martelle

Wendy Whitehead Martelle, PhD, is an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics and ESL with the English Department and Linguistics Program. Wendy teaches courses in applied linguistics, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Russian, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in face-to-face, hybrid, and synchronous/asynchronous distance settings.

2020 online course spotlights

Shortly after the COVID pandemic hit and UAF faculty had to move their courses online, the Instructional Design Team saw a need to highlight the amazing work that so many UAF faculty were already doing in their online Classrooms. Take a look at these 8 different courses from across the disciplinary spectrum. 

Teaching Resources at UAF

The resources available to faculty at UAF are rich and varied. If you have questions or suggestions for how these resources can be expanded or improved, please contact the Provost’s Representative for Pedagogy, Madara Mason

Weekly Teaching Tips

Each week, faculty and instructional designers publish valuable tips based on experience, exploration and expertise.


iTeachU is a great resource for modality-agnostic pedagogical approaches as well as research-based asynchronous delivery methods.

iTeach Online

iTeach Online is a self-paced course that offers foundational training in online course design. Through a series of 5 modules, faculty learn how to build a solid online course.

Accelerator Events

Many of the Accelerator partners host teaching-centric workshops on everything from face-to-face lecture skills to asynchronous online interactivity.

Community Seminars in Teaching & Learning

The UAF Design Team regularly hosts Community Seminars in Teaching & Learning that cover a wide range of pedagogical perspectives with interviews and discussions led by a wide variety of faculty from across campus. Below, you’ll find a number of recordings from these fascinating presentations by UAF Faculty. If you would like to lead a seminar, let us know! 

Archived Seminars

Featured Seminars

Giving Engaged, Constructive Feedback

January, 2021

Daryl Farmer (ENGL) leads a discussion on his methods for giving good feedback in writing workshops. The guide he shares is a great reminder for instructors looking to deepen their feedback and also a valuable tool for teaching students peer feedback skills.


Supporting Student Mental-Health

July 2020

This Community Seminar was hosted by Mat Wooller, Director of Alaska Stable Isotope Facility and founder of UAF’s The Well, Jen Peterson, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Mareca Guthrie, Curator of Fine Arts & Associate Professor of Art.

See more resources from this seminar. 

Discovery Based Group Learning

June, 2020

Gordon Williams, Professor of Mathematics, hosted a Community Seminar on “Discovery-Based Group Learning,” highlighting the techniques he has used in his UAF courses to keep students engaged in group projects. 

Review Gordon’s slides: Discovery-based Group Learning (PDF).