Scholar Awards

"We are constantly curious about our teaching and our students' learning because we want to be better teachers"

Bishop-Clark & Dietz-Uhler, 2012, p. 4

The ETE Scholar Awards program provide a small award (up to $4000) to support a cohort of USU instructors (5-7 individuals) to engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The Scholar Award program not only provides funding for professional development and resources associated with a SoTL project, but it also provides support in the development, implementation, and dissemination process.

What is SoTL?

Simply stated, "SoTL aims to understand how student learning has been developed and to share that knowledge with other practitioners” (Bright, Eliahoo, & Pokorny, 2016, p. 215). Those who engage in SoTL are not only engaging in evidence-based scholarly teaching, but taken it a step further to evaluate teaching and student learning in the classroom in order to become better teachers and to contribute to the field. Felten (2013) shares the following principles as key to effective SoTL:

  • inquiry focused on student learning
  • grounded in context
  • methodologically sound
  • conducted in partnership with students
  • appropriately public

Want to learn more about SoTL? Take a deep-dive into SoTL with Drs. Peter Felten and Katie Linder by listening to episode 19 of the Research in Action podcast. In this episode they discuss Felten's five principles of good SoTL, they describe SoTL and its purpose, define Boyer's model, and discuss potential challenges of partnering with students on SoTL projects.

Scholar Award Program

Participants in the scholar program will be introduced to the fundamentals of SoTL through reading current literature and engaging in synchronous meeting discussion. Scholars will gain knowledge of, and experience in, the various stages of conducting a SoTL project including the initial articulation of a classroom-based research question, determination of the appropriate research methods to answer this question, ethical considerations that are relevant to conducting classroom research and submitting to IRB, considerations of potential outcomes of the proposed study, and sharing results. This program will be facilitated by Drs. Sylvia Read & and Travis Thurston.

Program Eligibility & Requirements

To apply for the Scholars program you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • current instructor at any USU campus
    • tenure track, non-tenure track, adjunct, or graduate student 
    • teaching a class at USU in academic year 2022-2023
  • engaged in improving teaching practice*
  • interested in conducting an inquiry project surrounding teaching and learning
  • committed to improving student learning and student success at USU

*Preference will be given to those enrolled in ETE10 

Participation in the Scholars program will involve the following requirements:

  • complete reading and assignments for group discussions
  • participate in montlhy meetings (fall and spring semester)
    • meetings will be determined by availability of participants and will be facilitated over Zoom
    • by the end of the academic year the goal will be to have data collected and be ready for analysis
  • present SoTL project at the annual ETE Conference
  • disseminate your results at one other conference or submit a journal article


Funding Award Requirements

Funding for participants in the ETE Scholar program can be used for the following:

  • professional development (books, course(s), or attend/present at a conference, etc) 
  • technology to be used in teaching your class(es)
  • funding graduate or undergraduate student(s) to collaborate on your SoTL project
  • transcribing, captioning, copyediting or other services associated with your project
  • other related spending associated with your SoTL project or disseminating results

Award funding from this program should not be used as a course buy out.

Three Steps to Get Started


Determine Eligibility

Review the eligibility requirements and the expectations for those who are enrolled in the program. This program takes commitment and a willingness to do the work of SoTL.


Apply for the Scholars Program

Applications will be reviewed and Scholars will be notified if they have been accepted to the program by June 1, 2022. A cohort of 5-7 instructors will be selected by the ETE Faculty Committee to participate. 

Application Questions

Application Review Rubric


Become an ETE Scholar

Scholars will meet synchronously with their cohort on a monthly basis to discuss content from the SoTL by Design course, and to plan and implement their SoTL project. We're looking forward to collaborating on a SoTL project.


Bishop-Clark, C., & Dietz-Uhler, B. (2012). Engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning: A guide to the process, and how to develop a project from start to finish. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Bright, J., Eliahoo, R., & Pokorny, H. (2016). Professional Development. In H. Pokorny & D. Warren (Eds.), Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education (pp. 206-226). Sage.

Felten, Peter. (2013). Principles of good practice in SoTL. Teachng & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121-125. Retrieved from

Sylvia Read

SoTL Faculty Fellow

Sylvia Read

SoTL Teaching Fellow

    The SoTL Faculty Fellow is a faculty member who displays expertise in writing and mentoring faculty peers. This position appointment is approved by the ETE Executive Committee. The position has a two-year term beginning in August with an option to renew.

    The role of the SoTL Faculty fellow is to provide leadership in the ETE Scholars program, providing insights on the SoTL process and supporting individual faculty members through the SoTL process from conceptualizing a project to disseminating results.


  • Chair the SoTL Subcommittee
  • Lead the review and acceptance of applications as part of the SoTL subcommittee
  • Coordinate with the professional staff in AIS to support a cohort of 8-10 faculty in a community of inquiry in the writing process
  • Review yearly the ETE Scholar program to identify points of improvement and suggest alterations to the Subcommittee

2020 ETE Scholars

  • Jocelyn Cuthbert - "My SOTL project was a curriculum assessment of the ADVS department's biotechnology emphasis, with a focus on aligning perspectives from students, faculty, alumni, and potential employers in industry."
  • Julia Gossard -"Through interviews with students, I am researching how high-impact learning practices like Reacting to the Past impacted honors students’ perceptions of their learning and their later civic engagement (such as voting, political advocacy, etc) outside of class."
  • Karin deJonge-Kannan -"I'm investigating whether students who complete my course ‘Language and Religion’ feel better prepared for interreligious conversations than they did at the beginning of the semester."
  • Lianne Wappett -"My SoTL research seeks to understand the results of detailed rubrics that reduce instructor feedback fatigue while providing clear and specific areas for student improvement."
  • Shawn Miller - "I'm examining the effects of an online homework system on student self-efficacy when interpreting and drawing molecules."
  • Timothy Chenette -"I came in having published about teaching in my discipline, but have found the discussions of methods and learning theories have immensely enriched and strengthened the things I already knew."
  • Sarah Tulane- "I am expanding on past research to gain more information on specific elements in a social science research methods course that assist students with finding more relevance in research."