Professor Kevin Oliver selected as 1 of 3 2022 UNC Faculty Fellows
Kevin Oliver, Ph.D., professor of learning, design and technology in the NC State College of Education, has been selected as one of three scholars to serve as part of the 2022 UNC Faculty Fellows Program.
The UNC Faculty Fellows Program provides a mentored learning opportunity to faculty interested in academic affairs issues and who have expertise of interest to the UNC System and its constituent institutions. Fellows take responsibility for special projects and participate in activities through the UNC System Division of Academic Affairs during their one-year tenure.
“I was honored to be selected as NC State’s representative for this fall’s UNC System Faculty Fellows competition and excited to be chosen as one of only three fellows from across the 17 constituent institutions who will begin working with the system office in early 2022,” Oliver said. “Since I have an interest in future administrative work in higher education, the fellowship will provide invaluable experience working on academic affairs projects tied to digital teaching and learning.”
The focus of the 2022 Faculty Fellows Program is “Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning” and fellows will review current literature, talk with innovative teaching faculty across the UNC System and national higher education, and investigate and experiment with new technologies.
Oliver’s research has long focused on ways to promote student acquisition of cultural and scientific outcomes in technology-rich distance learning and informal learning settings. He is currently serving as the principal investigator on a project that will bring robotics activities into after-school makerspaces in the Piedmont Unifour region of North Carolina.
While projects for 2022 Fellows have not been determined, Oliver discussed with system staff the possibility of studying similar innovation spaces as applied across UNC campuses, such as library makerspaces and NC State’s Entrepreneurship Garage, to inform the design of collaborative incubators through his work as a fellow.
He also leads the Cultural Investigation and Digital Representation for Educators (CIDRE) project, an annual, international professional development program that allows in-service teachers to learn strategies for developing cultural connections and understanding through technology.
During his fellowship, Oliver is interested in drawing on his prior experience with CIDRE to better prepare leaders of campus global programs and study abroad offices to promote cultural learning through technical strategies and tools. He is also interested in drawing on his prior work with NC State’s Digital Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) to expand training resources for faculty learning about distance education.
Oliver said that he believes his year as a UNC Faculty Fellow will ultimately help him to understand strategies for broadly promoting teaching and learning with technology and prepare him for his future career goals.
“I believe this fellowship will also help me understand how the system identifies, prioritizes and responds to specific needs across constituent institutions that can be addressed with technical solutions,” he said. “If I move into administrative work in higher education at some point in the future, these skills should help me be a stronger leader who is capable of recognizing and quickly addressing problems of practice to strengthen a particular department, college or institution.”