Fall Instructor Retreat

CETaL hosts the annual Fall Instructor Retreat, a free half-day event designed to jumpstart the school year by offering stimulating professional development and networking for ALL instructors (full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and graduate student instructors) on important topics in teaching and learning. Materials from recent retreats are posted on the CETaL website. The retreat took place at 11:30 AM-4:00 PM on Thursday, August 18, 2016 at the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center (with free lunch!).

  • Parallel Workshop #1:  Cultivating and Maintaining Civility in the Classroom

         Tasha Souza, Boise State University

How can one transform a tense classroom discussion or moment into a positive learning experience? We'll explore what can be done in advance to make a difficult discussion productive and practice effective strategies for handling hot moments that are unplanned. Further, we'll reflect upon what we can do with students to assess and build upon the experience.  (see pieces by Souza and others HERE; also, see RESOURCES).

​To view Souza's materials, please email Karla Ramirez (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to be added to the Blackboard shell CETaL_EVENTS_MATERIALS.

         Steve T. Varela, The University of Texas at El Paso

John Dewey noted, "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."  Students want a reason for learning content -- beyond earning credits and credentials -- to gain a deeper, real-world understanding of the subject.  We explore integrative and applied teaching and learning with technology, using project and problem-based assignments to create authentic, multi-disciplinary learning experiences with 21st-century skills.  This interactive workshop will give instructors ideas and resources for better aligning their teaching endeavors with UTEP’s 2016 Quality Enhancement Plan (engage.utep.edu).​


 Presenter Biographies



Tasha Souza is the Associate Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning and Professor of Communication at Boise State.  Most recently, she was the Faculty Associate for Inclusive Excellence for Humboldt State University and a Fulbright scholar at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. She is a consultant on communication and pedagogy and has published in the areas of difficult dialogues in the classroom, service-learning pedagogy, discussion-based teaching, multicultural education, instructional communication,   and intercultural conflict.





Steve Varela is an Associate Director/Faculty with Academic Technologies, where he specializes in curriculum and instructional course design and development for fully online, blended, and tech-enhanced courses. He is a former CETaL Fellow and winner of a UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.