Registration for Winter Academy is Now Open!

cute deer against snowy background. Winter Academy, Dec 13-16, 2021.

W&L is committed to supporting faculty members with all levels of experience in reaching their full potential as educators, scholars, and mentors.

Winter Academy offers learning opportunities for all staff and faculty to enhance their teaching, scholarship, and service in a collaborative and thought-provoking environment.

Whether you’re seeking new ways to better support students, deepen your familiarity with University resources, or take your scholarship to the next level, there’s a session for everyone. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

Sign up now at Please note that registration for all catered sessions will close FIVE (5) business days before the session so that we can provide an accurate headcount to Dining Services. Kindly register for sessions as soon as you know you are able to attend. Thank you!

Want to Present at Winter Academy? Let us know before November 5th!

We are accepting session proposals for Winter Academy, which will be Monday, December 13 through Thursday, December 16.

If you would like to offer a session, please complete the form below. We will do our best to honor requests in the order in which they are submitted.

Questions? Contact Julie Knudson (, x8125) or Helen MacDermott (, x4561). Thank you!

You’re Invited!

Take it to Harte - Join us on Wednesday from 10-11 am for light refreshments

The Harte Center is hosting an informal gathering at the southern end of the Harte Center, every Wednesday from 10-11:00 a.m., through the end of Winter Term.

Feel free to stop by, grab a cup of coffee or tea and some nibbles and hang out and chat. Nothing fancy, just a chance to take a little break in the middle of the week, gather with colleagues and students, and get to know the Harte Center. 

3 Ways to Find Awe and Fight the Mid-Semester Slump

green, yellow-green, yellow, orange, red, and dark red maple leaves overlapping each other against wood background

When mid-semester hits, we often find ourselves searching for ways to calm our anxieties and refresh our energies. One potentially powerful intervention is to cultivate our experiences of awe.

University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross defines awe as “the wonder we feel when we encounter something powerful that we can’t easily explain.” Often the things that bring us awe have an element of vastness and complexity: Think of a starry night sky, an act of great kindness, or the beauty of something small and intricate. These moments of marvel give us more than just goosebumps; they help us tap into something larger than ourselves and, in the process, lower our heart rate under stress by silencing our mental chatter and worries. They can also increase our desire to connect with and help others.

Here are three ways to cultivate this sense of awe in your everyday life. Next time you’re feeling unmotivated or uninspired, we hope you’ll block off some time to try one.

1. Step away from your work and go on a short “awe walk”

A simple and powerful way to experience awe is to (if possible) step away from your computer or pause between classes and take an “awe walk.” Take 20 minutes to wander and be curious, observing the everyday beauty around you—even if in a familiar place such as your yard or neighborhood. Try to notice places and things you may typically rush past—a bee flitting from flower to flower, for example.

Even better, take an awe walk in a natural landscape. Research shows that walks in nature, compared to urban environments, have a greater positive effect on our mood and well-being. Nature is an immersive experience of growth and resilience; it can be a powerful source of wonder. Nature’s rhythms remind us that we are a part of the natural world, and we too are enduring.

2. Create an “awe playlist” of inspirational works

If you can’t step away, take advantage of the wonders at your fingertips on the web. Several studies have shown that videos can stimulate awe. Perhaps you’re inspired by documentaries such as Free Solo, Planet Earth, or My Octopus Teacher. Maybe Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” makes you tingle. The harmony and complexity of music or recorded live performances can also elevate and inspire awe.

Create your own personalized “awe playlist” of videos or music, and when you’re feeling stuck, spend a few minutes being drawn into what you’re seeing and hearing. Invite moments of awe by asking the simple question, “What’s beautiful here?”

3. Seek out positive stories about the human spirit

You can also tune into news outlets that spread good news—particularly acts of kindness, generosity, and perseverance. Keep a file of stories about the goodness, benevolence, and decency of the human race. Tap into it when you are feeling overwhelmed or depleted and want to be elevated. A simple story of one person making a difference can inspire you.

We spend much of our time as educators making our voices heard. It can feel counterintuitive to engage in something that may stimulate feelings of smallness. But doing so through a positive experience of awe can, in the end, bring us that sense of grounding we’re searching for, along with energy, inspiration, and resilience.

Read the full article by David P. Fessell and Karen Reivich.

Departmental Initiatives in DE&I #2: Creating Gateways for Greater Inclusion at All Levels of Our Institution

This session brings to the table ideas about steps your departments can take to create success in our programs for both students and faculty.

Please join us on Thursday, October 7th at 12:15 pm in Hillel 101 for a conversation about ideas⁠—some fully formed, others still in a nascent stage⁠—developed in Art and Art History, Computer Science, and Chemistry.

Creating Gateways for Greater Inclusion at All Levels of Our Institution

Results from the first week of classes “pulse” survey

Earlier this week, Academic Technologies and the Harte Center created an Poll Everywhere survey about how the first week of classes is going

Here are the results (as of Thursday afternoon):

student responses to "how are you feeling about the first week of classes?"

student answers to "how would you summarize your first week experience?"

student responses to "what can we do to better support you?"

Students, if you’re reading this, please know that faculty and staff are committed to your academic growth. We want you to be excited about learning, know that we care about you as a person, and that W&L offers many avenues of support to help you pursue your goals and dreams. We’re here for you! Be on the look out for a new poll soon!

Instructors, polling is a great active learning technique that you can employ to engage students in thinking about course content, as well as assess their opinions, knowledge, and/or skills in real-time and with low- or no-stakes. 

Interested in a Poll Everywhere account? Want to talk about how to use polling in the classroom?

Contact the ITS Information Desk at, call 540.458.4357 (HELP), or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library.

Quick Guide for Students: How to Request a Space in 25Live

You need a quiet place to study and you spot an empty room. Nobody’s inside and you don’t see anyone stuff in there either. Best of all, there’s a door, so you can CLOSE it and get a little privacy.  Score!

You march in, plop your backpack onto the ground, take off your mask, and kick off your sneakers. Ten minutes later, your laptop is open, notebooks scattered all over, and you’re swiping through TikTok when the door suddenly opens. The intruder says, “Uh, sorry, but, I’ve reserved this room …” as you spring to your feet. 

Ugh! Time to vacate!

In case you didn’t know, 25Live is the official web-based tool for scheduling University events and assigning rooms to them, including academic classes.

All W&L faculty, staff, and students have access to 25Live. Using the latest version of Firefox, Chrome, or Edge, log in with your W&L credentials at 1), then click on the 25Live “tile” OR 2)

Here’s a quick video (<6 minutes) about how to log in and request a space! 

It’s IDEAL and STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to submit your request with as much advance notice as possible and to allow 24-48 hours for space approvers to approve (or deny) your request

That said, we totally understand that you might need a room ASAP.

If that’s the case, you’ll want to request an auto-approved space. These spaces are automatically reserved, if available at the desired time and date. You do not have to wait for approval.

All Auto-Approved Spaces (must log in with W&L credentials to view)

Quick List of Auto-Approved Spaces 

Click on the URL to see additional details about the space.

Other great study spaces that do require approval

If you need help or have questions about 25Live, contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email, or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library.


Departmental Initiatives in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a central tenant of W&L’s strategic plan.

The University has invested greatly in this effort, including creating a dedicated physical space for a Center for DE&I, allocating $10M in additional funding from the endowment to accelerate this work, and creating programming. W&L’s commitment to DE&I extends to all facets of the University including student life, academics, admissions, employee hiring, faculty recruitment and retention, and Institutional history.

The Harte Center and Academic Technologies are teaming up to host a luncheon series: Departmental Initiatives in DE&I.

If our institutional efforts toward diversity, inclusion, and equity are to be truly impactful, we need to find ways to share effective practices with each other. This series, highlighting departmental and programmatic DEI initiatives, is designed to create conversations about what all of us–every department, every program, every individual–can do to ensure that every student who arrives on our campus has the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential. 

The luncheon series begins at the end of the month, highlighting the work of the Geology department.


Geology: Unlearning Racism in Geo Sciences (URGE) - September 16, 2021 at 12:15 pm in Leyburn 119

A Million Thank You’s for Making Fall Academy a Smashing Success!

the words "thank you" in a variety of colors, wiggling around Many, many thanks to all who took the time to present and thank you to all who made time to attend.

Extra special thanks to both Dining Services and Facilities for tirelessly creating and setting up sumptuous meals and snacks for all the attendees and presenters – we are deeply grateful for your many contributions. Thank you so much!

If you haven’t already completed evaluations for the sessions you’ve attended, *please* take a few minutes to do so at We value your input, both positive and negative, to help us refine and improve our future offerings. 

Also, don’t forget to bring your completed Bingo cards to the ITS Information Desk to claim your swag (while supplies last)!

Though Fall Academy is over, the learning and dialogue continues. The Harte Center and Academic Technologies is excited to partner with you to help amplify your teaching practice. Come visit us on Level 1 of Leyburn Library. We are here for you!

P.S. Mark your calendars for Winter Academy, which will take place between Monday, December 13, through Thursday, December 16, 2021.

P.P.S.S. If you have a suggestion for a Winter Academy session you’d like to offer or to have offered, email Julie Knudson or Helen MacDermott.

How to Add a Faculty Member to a Canvas Course from a Past Term

 It’s definitely possible to add another instructor to a Canvas course that has concluded IF you know this trick:

  1. Go to Settings in the Course Navigation of the past term Canvas course.
  2. In the Course Details tab, change the Participation: dropdown from “Term” to “Course”.
  3. Type tomorrow’s date (or any date in the future) as the End date.
  4. Scroll down and click the “Update Course Details” button on the right.
  5. Go to People in the Course Navigation.
  6. Click on the “+ People” button on the right.
  7. Add the email address of the faculty member you want to add. Choose “Teacher” in the Role dropdown.
  8. Go back to Settings in the Course Navigation.
  9. Change the Participation: dropdown back to “Term”.
  10. Scroll down and click the “Update Course Details” button on the right.
  11. Tah-dah! You did it! Pat yourself on the back.

Need help? Have questions? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email, or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library.