Catching Up with the Chadwick Fellows

Each year, two fellowships are offered through the Patricia W. Chadwick Fund for Professional Development. The permanently endowed fund, establEach year, two fellowships are offered through the Patricia W. Chadwick Fund for Professional Development. The permanently endowed fund, established in 2010 by alumna Patricia W. Chadwick (MET’75), provides annual grants to one faculty and one staff member who exemplify a high level of service and commitment to MET and its students.

This past fall, Chadwick Fellowships were awarded to Rachel Black, assistant professor and coordinator of MET’s Gastronomy program, and Nancy Ahern, assistant director of MET’s Center for Professional Education (CPE).

Black used her funds to attend the Urban Agriculture Summit in Toronto. The annual conference gathers educators, planners, social housing advocates, and government agencies, to discuss the latest trends in urban architecture. The trip also led to an article about guerrilla gardening in CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures.

Nancy Ahern participated in a blended learning program at the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning, sponsored by Penn State and The Sloan Consortium. In keeping abreast of current trends in technology, Ahern is able to share new educational techniques, technologies, and media with CPE faculty, mentoring them in the art of online instruction.

Black and Ahern follow inaugural fellows Enrique Silva, assistant professor of city planning and urban affairs, and Robert Haley (MET’13), senior media producer for the office of Distance Education. View images documenting Silva’s post-earthquake visit to Haiti and watch Haley’s Chadwick-funded “Day in the Life” profiles of BU online students on MET’s YouTube channel.

In May, Dean Zlateva announced the 2013–2014 recipients of the Chadwick Fellowship: Assistant Professor or Arts Administration Richard Maloney (MET’00) and Gastronomy Program Coordinator Barbara Rotger (MET’11).

“I congratulate both new recipients, and look forward to hearing about how they—and we—benefit from Patricia Chadwick’s endowment,” says Dean Zlateva. “Along with the work that has been done over the past two years by previous recipients, these projects continue to justify Patricia’s confidence in us and the worthiness of investing in our faculty and staff.”

Metropolitan caught up with Rachel Black and Nancy Ahern for a Q&A:

  1. Rachel Black, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Gastronomy

    Rachel Black
    Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Gastronomy

  2. Nancy Ahern, Assistant Director of the Center for Professional Education

    Nancy Ahern
    Assistant Director of the Center for Professional Education

Rachel Black

Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Gastronomy

How was the Chadwick Fellowship of value to you?

The Chadwick Fellowship gave me a number of opportunities that I would not have otherwise been able to access. Yes, it was of great value to me.

What was your proposal, and why?

My proposal related to my research on urban agriculture. More specifically, it focused on development of the curriculum for a course that I teach on urban agriculture. As part of this, I attended an Urban Agriculture Summit in Toronto, Canada. This allowed me to learn about some of the most cutting-edge initiatives in urban agriculture in North America. I was able to tour gardens, hear about projects, and make new contacts. Given food insecurity and food access issues in North America, urban agriculture is a really important topic—and this is why I chose to focus my proposal on the ways in which people grow food in cities. I think that urban agriculture can heighten awareness about food production and nutrition.

Can you give a quick report on your outcomes, at this point?

After the urban agriculture summit, I expanded the curriculum of my course to include new topics such as vertical farming, urban agriculture initiatives by charitable organizations, and more material on school garden programs. My trip to this conference also contributed to an article that I wrote about guerrilla gardening, which will appear in the next volume of CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures.

Would you recommend that other faculty apply for the Fellowship?

I strongly recommend that other Metropolitan College faculty apply for this fellowship, particularly those looking to move forward with research projects and curriculum development. The Chadwick Fellowship gave me a unique opportunity to grow personally and professionally.

Nancy Ahern

Assistant Director of the Center for Professional Education

How was the Chadwick Fellowship of value to you?

I benefited greatly from being a recipient of the Chadwick Fellowship. It is an endorsement from the College that underscores the importance of professional development.

What was your proposal, and why?

As assistant director of the Center for Professional Education, my responsibilities include curriculum design and development for online courses. This is a rapidly evolving field and I was seeking a way to connect with others in a similar situation, to examine the new trends in this field, and to improve my leadership skills. My proposal was to attend the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) held annually at Penn State, co-sponsored by the Sloan Consortium. This hybrid program brings together 40 professionals responsible for online higher education, and encourages them to discuss and dissect common challenges. By attending the Institute, I gained a broader perspective about online education within a university, and the impact it has on society. In addition, I had the opportunity to think and talk about leadership with scholars, peers, and international colleagues.

Can you give a quick report on your outcome, at this point?

As a result of this fellowship, I am energized to remain current on leadership trends and the impact of online learning. Through social media, I stay connected with the other IELOL attendees discussing new technology and issues. I am not as task-oriented as I used to be; now, I make time to see the bigger picture and plan further into the future.

Would you recommend that other staff apply for the Fellowship?

I would definitely recommend that other staff apply for the Fellowship next year. It provides a unique opportunity to take time and focus on your own professional development, which will ultimately benefit both you and BU.