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Bonzi appointed to new position dedicated to instructional quality in SU School of Information Studies
Margaret Costello Spillett
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Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) associate professor Susan Bonzi has been named to the new position of director of instructional quality in the school. She assumes her new responsibilities July 1.
Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy created this position to ensure that the iSchool offers the highest quality of instruction to its students and to help prepare Ph.D. students for their future roles as professors.
“Our faculty members currently receive great ratings from our students,” Liddy says. “We’re hoping to build on that strong foundation and create a process by which all of our instructors — full-time faculty, adjuncts and Ph.D. students — can continually hone their skills and find the support they need to deliver the best instruction possible.”
The iSchool will now have a faculty member dedicated to working with Ph.D. students, adjuncts, junior faculty members and all interested instructors on enhancing instructional quality and serving as a resource and sounding board for their teaching concerns.
In her new role, Bonzi will be responsible for developing a coaching program of skilled teaching for all instructors in the iSchool. She will focus her efforts on problem-based learning practices and will oversee course design and learning assessment. Bonzi will work with student teams who will provide feedback to improve learning. She will also continue to teach.
“Susan brought some great ideas back from her sabbatical work studying other iSchools’ undergraduate programs this spring,” Liddy says. “I am eager to have her share what she discovered, and her expertise in this area is in sync with my goal of improving instructional quality across every offering in the school.”
One of Bonzi’s first initiatives is establishing a shadowing system for Ph.D. students to sit in on classes, observe faculty members in action, and write a report on their teaching methods and students’ responses to the various portions of the class.
“I hope to develop initiatives that will help alleviate some of the problems that newer instructors encounter, as well as create environments for us all to share our best practices and worst problems,” Bonzi says. She hopes to help new instructors overcome such challenges as pacing a class, creating interesting assignments, offering constructive grading, handling difficult students, and reading the students to see if they understand the material.
Bonzi says she’s learned a lot during her 25 years as a faculty member and looks forward to sharing that wisdom with others. “This role is a pleasant surprise to me,” she says. “I’m excited to begin work on this because it’s something I’m passionate about.”
Assistant Dean for Technology Dave Molta has been named director of the B.S. in information management and technology program — a position in which Bonzi has ably served for 15 years.
Bonzi holds a B.S. degree in English education and an M.A. degree in library science from Northern Illinois University, an M.A.T. in English from Rockford College, and a Ph.D. in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.