December 08, 2017, BY Matt Hughes

Joseph Tranquillo and two students talk
Professor Joseph Tranquillo (right) is the center's third director and the first engineer to assume the role. Photo by Brett Simpson

Professor Joseph Tranquillo, biomedical and electrical engineering, has been named the next director of Bucknell's Teaching & Learning Center (TLC).

The TLC's mission is to work with faculty, students and other campus partners to support the implementation of research-based practices through workshops, reflections and conversations. Located in the Carnegie Building — a student-support hub — the center provides one-on-one tutoring sessions with trained tutors, study groups and resources to ensure all students can gain the most from their Bucknell education.

Students in select math and science courses have access to individual sessions with professional learning support specialists, and the center offers peer-led study groups for courses in a broad selection of disciplines, including engineering, economics and foreign languages. It also provides extensive resources to help students balance responsibilities and effectively manage learning that happens outside the classroom — including guides, action plans and worksheets on topics such as time management, test preparation and controlling pre-test anxiety.

Tranquillo will serve a three-year term as head of the center beginning with the fall 2018 semester. He has been an active contributor to TLC initiatives since the center's founding in 2006, most recently as the TLC Faculty Fellow, noted Provost Barbara Altmann.

"In addition to his involvement with teaching and learning initiatives at Bucknell, Joe has been recognized nationally for his commitment to educational development," Altmann said. "Most recently, Joe was honored with the Theo Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, one of the organization's highest accolades, during its June annual meeting. We are excited to have a distinguished educator from the engineering field following our past two directors from the College of Arts & Sciences."

Tranquillo will take over for Professor Sue Ellen Henry, education, who has led the TLC for four years. Photo by Brett Simpson

Tranquillo's research has increasingly focused on innovative approaches to teaching that improve student learning, particularly in the areas of engineering education and faculty development. He has published three textbooks and facilitated teaching workshops around the country and internationally, and during a sabbatical worked for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, where he interviewed more than 60 educators to identify barriers to more effective teaching. He is also a frequent collaborator with faculty from outside the College of Engineering, having co-instructed courses with professors of comparative humanities, dance, economics and management.

"I have always viewed my success as the success of my students," Tranquillo said. "Now in mid-career, my definition of success has expanded to include finding resources and opportunities for everyone around me. Together with the TLC staff, I know we can empower everyone on campus to develop and share their adventures in teaching and learning."

Tranquillo will be the center's third director since its establishment. He will take over for Professor Sue Ellen Henry, education, who has served as TLC director for the past four years.

"Under Sue Ellen Henry's leadership, the TLC continues to thrive," said Georgina Dodge, Bucknell's associate provost for diversity & inclusion, who oversees the center. "Her support of TLC staff has led to increased programming and demand. Her creativity and collaborative spirit have positioned the TLC as an invaluable partner for faculty and students alike. We sincerely thank Sue Ellen for her commitment to teaching and learning and the work of the center."

Professor Geoffrey Schneider, economics, was the center's founding director.

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