Lilly Sustaining Fellows
The Lilly Teaching Fellows Program exceeded expectations in terms of curricular enhancement to incorporate vocational reflection. This program helped create a core of faculty actively involved in vocational reflection conversations. The Sustaining Fellows Progam is an effort to sustain the involvement of these faculty members in conversations and course improvements. Faculty who were selected as Lilly Teaching Fellows during the five years of the original Lilly Grant Program have been invited to apply as Sustaining Fellows.
The program will take advantage of the work faculty members have already completed and provide opportunities to sustain their ongoing conversations about vocation. During the first year of the original grant we brought the teaching fellows together at the end of the academic year to thank them and to collect some input on their experiences. The teaching fellows observed that this luncheon conversation was extremely valuable; they encouraged us to do it on a regular basis. So, as we moved into the second and third years, we brought everyone together—that specific year’s fellows and those from previous years-- once or twice each semester to share experiences, materials, opportunities, and plans. These conversations have proven stimulating and enlightening.
This provided the inspiration for the Sustaining Fellows idea. The faculty members who were designated as Lilly Teaching Fellows during the initial grant period were invited to apply for a Sustaining Fellows designation. Drawing from the pool of over two dozen teaching fellows, all former teaching fellows are invited to participate in a book discussion group and five will be selected each semester to engage in an intentional process of curricular reflection. These sustaining fellows will lead the book discussion group and gather regularly to share their experiences, refine their course materials, explore new ideas for vocational discernment conversations and activities in class, and contribute to the ongoing discussion about Lives of Worth and Service. Their observations and thoughts about pedagogical approaches to teaching about vocation will be collected, edited and compiled into a publication that can be used by other instructors, both at St. Olaf and elsewhere.
Each of the Lilly Sustaining Fellows will receive a modest honorarium and the materials for the book discussions will be provided by the grant. The Director of the Lilly Grant Program serves as coordinator for this program and facilitator for the regular discussion sessions and will function as editor of the pedagogical volume.