Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (C-TEL)

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Email:, location: Morgan Hall 204, phone: 785.670.2835 (CTEL), hours: 9-3 Mon-Fri

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Sponsored Events and Speakers

Each year C-TEL designs, coordinates, and sponsors events that address university-wide issues, and are targeted at generating open dialogue among faculty and staff around the issues of teaching and learning.  Guest lecturers will include scholars in pedagogy and higher education.  Speakers will reflect on one of the central pillars that define C-TEL (High Impact Practices, Diversity, Technology, Assessment, Pedagogy, Co-curricular Learning).  

University-Wide Forums 2017-2018

Megan Phelps-Roper

Megan Phelps-Roper is a graduate of Washburn University and was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas. Civil dialogue with "enemies" online proved instrumental in her deradicalization, and she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise -- especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines. 

The Importance of Civil Dialogue in the Classroom

Monday, February 5, 4:00-5:15
Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Convocation Hall

This event will be for Washburn University Faculty and Staff. How do we provide space for civil discourse on a university campus? Ms. Phelps-Roper will share her insight into how civil dialogue has benefitted her and can benefit our students.

Learning from “Enemies”: Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

Monday, February 5, 7:00-8:30
Memorial Union Washburn A & B

This event will be for all Washburn students, employees, and the Topeka community. Ms. Phelps-Roper will share her story of being a member of the Westboro Baptist Church and then leaving to advocate for marginalized people she was once taught to hate.

Doris Wright Carroll, PhD.

Dr. Doris Wright Carroll is Associate Professor within the College of Education at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. She is recognized as an expert in multicultural competency in graduate distance education and academic advising. Her current research interests involve racial and gendered microaggressions in distance education communication. Dr. Carroll has published and presented in national and international venues, and she is a sought scholar on topics related to academic advising and student retention.

Dr. Carroll is a well-respected multicultural educator with more than 30 years of clinical practice, teaching, and professional service at four major research universities. A specialist in online instruction, Dr. Carroll has taught online for more than fifteen years and is a recognized leader in the area of multicultural online curriculum assessment and online instruction.

Dr. Carroll holds a BS in Psychology and MS in Education from Kansas State University and, in 1982, was awarded a PhD. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is a National Certified Counselor [NCC].

A native of Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Carroll resides in Kansas City, Missouri.

Lunch - Deconstructing Microaggressions in the Classroom

Wednesday, October 4, 12:00-1:30
Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Forum room

Creating an Inclusive Online Learning Environment

Wednesday, October 4, 3:00-4:00
Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Forum room

Forum and Sponsored Event Application

If you have a great idea for a speaker or other university-wide event please contact us to see how we may help make it happen.  A PDF of the University Wide Forum and Sponsored Events application is available on this web site.  For a MS Word version of this form, please, contact Joan Bayens ( in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.

2016-2017 Speakers

Dan Butin, PhD

Dan Sarofian-Butin, PhD, is a Full Professor in, and was Founding Dean of, the School of Education & Social Policy at Merrimack College. Dr. Sarofian-Butin is the author and editor of more than eighty academic publications, including eight books, several of which have been translated into three languages. He has been named by Education Week as one of the top 200 "Public Presence" Education Scholars four years in a row and blogs at the Huffington Post and InsideHigherEd.

The Engaged Campus: Key Models for Powerful Teaching, Learning and Research

Monday, January 30, 4:00-5:15
Memorial Union Washburn B

What does it mean to have an engaged campus? Is this just a type of teaching or a philosophical orientation? Does it privilege social justice or technical competence? What role can or should the local community play in all of this? This keynote talk will explores multiple avenues to foster dynamic and powerful modes of teaching, learning and research, as well as draw out the limits and possibilities of such engaged practice and scholarship. The chance to create the engaged university offers a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the role and relevance of higher education for students, faculty, and the community.

2015-2016 Speakers

Dr. John Zubizarreta

Inspiring Exceptional Teaching and Learning

The Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (C-TEL) and the University Honors Program are pleased to welcome Dr. John Zubizarreta, the Fink Visiting Professorship in Leadership.  Dr. Zubizarreta is a Professor of English and Director of Honors and Faculty Development at Columbia College in South Carolina.  A Carnegie Foundation/C.A.S.E Professor for South Carolina, he has also earned recognition for teaching and scholarly excellence from the American Association for High Education.  Dr. Zubazarreta's keynote address will include insights from his recent book Inspiring Exemplary Teaching and Learning: Perspectives on Teaching Academically Talented College Students (NCHC, 2008).  Dr. Zubizarreta's other books include: The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning (JosseyBass, 2009; Anker, 2004) expanded and revised for a second edition by Jossey-Bass (2009)

2014-2015 Speakers

The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever

Dr. Michael Wesch, Kansas State University

Watch the Video

Dubbed "the prophet of an education revolution" by the Kansas City Star and "the explainer" by Wired Magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society, culture and education.  After two years studying the effects of writing on a remote, indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society.

The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever acknowledges that new media and technology present us with an overwhelming bounty of tools for connection, creativity, collaboration, and knowledge creation – a true “Age of Whatever” where anything seems possible. But any enthusiasm about these remarkable possibilities is immediately tempered by that other “Age of Whatever” – an age in which people feel increasingly disconnected, disempowered, tuned out, and alienated.  Such problems are especially prevalent in education, where the Internet (which must be the most remarkable creativity and collaboration machine in the history of the world) often enters our classrooms as a distraction device. It is not enough to merely deliver information in traditional fashion to make our students “knowledgeable.” Nor is it enough to give them the skills to learn, making them “knowledge-able.” Knowledge and skills are necessary, but not sufficient. What is needed more than ever is to inspire our students to wonder, to nurture their appetite for curiosity, exploration, and contemplation, to help them attain an insatiable appetite to ask and pursue big, authentic, and relevant questions, so that they can harness and leverage the bounty of possibility all around us and rediscover the “end” or purpose of wonder, and stave off the historical end of wonder.

Michael Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.  He also has won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.