2022 Gitner Award Winner

Kathleen Vandenberg, of the Division of Rhetoric

Kathleen Vandenberg (left), Master Lecturer of Rhetoric in the College of General Studies, receives the 2022 Gitner Family Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology from University Provost Jean Morrison at the Celebration of Teaching, Research & Scholarship on April 20, 2022.

Dr. Kathleen Vandenberg is an innovator in the art of storytelling who understands the sharp divide between consuming media and producing it. In an age of near-universal digital immersion, she has pioneered courses that ensure students not only emerge tech-savvy, but able to communicate effectively, ethically, and engagingly through the use of text, visuals, sound, interactive features, and design.  As observed by one of her colleagues, Dr. Vandenberg’s “fearless experimentation with advanced soft- and hardware and her seamless and thoughtful integration of these into her courses and assignments are motivated by a profound desire to put technology in service of high-impact student learning.”

Dr. Vandenberg regularly integrates software like Adobe’s InDesign, Premiere, and Spark tools to help students transform traditional writing assignments into compelling, slickly produced tap essays, podcasts, and short opinion documentaries. To assist in this learning, Dr. Vandenberg creates her own step-by-step instructional videos, giving students the space, time, and freedom to experiment with the technology, along with the tools to make their success possible. Students often say they leave Dr. Vandenberg’s classes feeling empowered to produce personal and professional projects using the technology they have learned from her.

The scope of Dr. Vandenberg’s innovative use of technology extends well beyond her classroom. A vital contributor to the BU Hub’s Digital & Multimedia Expression standards, she regularly leads workshops for faculty members on teaching digital multimedia assignments, has served on her college’s Faculty Teaching with Technology Committee and chaired its Committee on Educational Technologies and Learning Initiatives, and influenced the creation of the 2019 Center for Teaching & Learning Adobe mentor program. With the support of her dean, she helped create a podcast studio for use by students in her classes as well as student groups across the University.