Michael Palmer, Associate Professor and Assistant Director, joined the Teaching Resource Center in the Fall of 2003. He presents interactive workshops locally and nationally, regularly consults with faculty, graduate student instructors, departments, and administrative units about teaching and learning matters, and designs and administers professional development programs, such as the TRC's graduate student professional development program, Tomorrow's Professor Today, and the Center's Course Design Institute. In addition to his work at the TRC, Michael works closely with a local company designing and implementing experiential learning programs for corporate and academic clients.
Michael's pedagogical interests include course design, active learning, collaborative learning, teaching large enrollment courses, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He teaches a highly interdisciplinary course on infinity and a large-enrollment, inquiry-based laboratory course for first-year chemistry students.
Born and raised in Wyoming, Michael obtained his B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. There he won both the University of Wyoming Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Sara Jane Rhoads Award for Outstanding Research for the Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry. Upon completing his graduate studies, Michael accepted a postdoctoral research position in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. Michael's research focused on environmentally and industrially important catalytic processes, from the desulfurization of petroleum feedstocks and the conversion of natural gas to liquid fuels to the selective oxidation of aromatic compounds. Published accounts of his research can be found in Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Physical Chemistry
B, and Organometallics.
Recent Workshops on Teaching:
- the other side of the box: fostering creativity in—and out of—the college classroom, University of Virginia, January 2010
- Engaging Students, Engaging Minds, University of Texas-Arlington, October 2009.
- Beyond Grades: Improving Learning and Teaching with Authentic Assessment, University of North Carolina-Asheville, September 2009.
- Sailing in a Sea of Students: Effectively Navigating Large Enrollment Classes, University of Wyoming, May 2009.
- Teaching with Teaching Assistants: A Conversation, Boise State University, April 2009.
- Course Design Institute, University of Virginia, May 2008.
- The ‘Science’ of Questioning: Promoting Critical Thinking with Purposeful Questions, FBI National Academy, April 2008.
- Collaborative Learning: Helping Students Learn How to Learn, University of North Carolina-Asheville, March 2008.
- Active Learning: Tips & Strategies to Promote Significant Learning, University of Virginia, 2006-present.
Selected Conference Presentations:
- Disciplinary thinking: Studying the ability of first-year chemistry students to think scientifically, American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 17-20, 2008, Philadelphia, PA.
- Tomorrow’s Professor Today: Developing a Flexible Faculty Preparation Program, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning National Forum, June 15-17, 2008, Madison, WI (with Deandra Little and Neda Cvijetic).
- With Mindful Purpose: Coaching as a Strategy for Teaching Consultations, National Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education Annual Conference, October 25-28, 2007, Pittsburg, PA (with Deandra Little).
Publications on Teaching:
Recent Courses Taught: