Faculty Flash Talks

The Faculty Flash Talks emerged from our faculty’s desire to recognize and encourage scholarly work. Flash talks are one-hour gatherings in which several faculty, ideally with full divisional representation, share their current research in five-minute “flash” presentations, followed by ten minutes of questions from colleagues. Recognizing colleagues’ busy schedules, the presentations are intentionally brief, involve minimal preparation, and do not require slides or handouts.

Two or three flash talks are held every semester, with one fall session dedicated to faculty going up for tenure and one spring session is devoted to faculty going up for promotion. At times, Wheaton’s May Fellows program has sponsored a set of faculty-student flash talks spotlighting collaborative research.

Flash talks are an opportunity for faculty to get to know one another as scholars and creative artists in a fun and relaxed environment with refreshments provided. Attendees and participants regularly praise these talks as one of their favorite events that leaves them impressed by their colleagues and grateful to be part of the community.

For more information, write to wnrn@wheatoncollege.edu.

Faculty Success Summit

The Faculty Success Summit (FSS) is a full-day devoted to faculty scholarship, creative work and development held during Wheaton’s May Workshop Week (the week following graduation).

Began in 2018, the FSS helps faculty mark the academic year’s end and set goals for a productive summer, while simultaneously recognizing the exhaustion felt by faculty in May. Accordingly, each day is filled with high-impact activities requiring minimal participant preparation, and faculty are encouraged to prioritize their own needs, interests, and schedules by attending only the sessions they choose.

The first Faculty Success Summit (May 2018) opened with a plenary session in which faculty participants employed clickers to share their attitudes about research, scholarly community, and more. Having framed the day, faculty then attended concurrent sessions organized thematically around strategies for research and creative work (productivity, long-distance collaborations, funding, and collaborative research with students), faculty in various affinity groups (creative arts, underrepresented faculty, women in STEM), and faculty in different career stages. The day ended with a summer goal setting and a cocktail hour.

The second FSS in May 2019 offered a full day of informal plenary sessions: strategies for productivity and balance; mentoring and community; working across disciplines; and dealing with struggles, obstacles and criticism.

The Faculty Success Summit went on hiatus during the COVID pandemic, but will return in May 2023 for a robust day-long workshop.

For more information, write to wnrn@wheatoncollege.edu.

Writing Groups

Faculty writing groups consist of three to five faculty members who regularly share and discuss one another’s writing. They are a well-known means of providing accountability, constructive feedback, and camaraderie. Since writing groups at Wheaton are necessarily interdisciplinary, they offer participants new and outside perspectives on our often discipline-specific work and encourage accessible writing. In addition to the benefits they provide to participants’ scholarship, they are also an excellent way to learn more about the institution and naturally form peer-peer and mentor-mentee relationships.

While many faculty writing groups form organically, the faculty involved in WNRN have helped many Wheaton professors  to form writing groups Surveys for interested participants are sent via email once or twice per year. Outside of those specific surveys, those interested in forming a writing group should reach out to wnrn@wheatoncollege.edu for assistance in creating a group.

Writing Sprints

Hoping to make a final push (or even a first push) on a project during a break? Seeking a bit more motivation in your work? Wishing to reconnect with colleagues about scholarship? WNRN writing sprints are a great way to schedule and follow-through on research commitments while enjoying some camaraderie.

Our writing sprints are concentrated co-writing sessions held three or four times per year during breaks from teaching: January Jumpstart, March Mania, May Motivation, August Aspiration, and December Dedication. Each sprint lasts three full consecutive days with four 80-minute writing blocks per day (twelve 80-minute writing blocks total). As with all co-writing at WNRN, participants need not participate the entire time, but rather join as often as they would like for as long as desired, arriving early or late.

Morning and afternoon snacks are provided, and lunch is either provided or arranged as a pot-luck. The daily schedule is:

8:30–9 a.m. – Welcome, chit-chat, settling in, goal-sharing

9–10:20 a.m. – Writing session I

10:20–10:40 a.m. – Optional break I

10:40 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – Writing session II

12–1 p.m. –  Lunch

1–2:20 p.m. – Writing session III

2:20–2:40 p.m. – Optional break II

2:40–4 p.m. – Writing session IV

4–4:30 p.m. – Wrap up, sharing, happy hour

WNRN Writing Sprints are usually advertised via email at least two weeks prior to the sprint. For more information on them, please email wnrn@wheatoncollege.edu