Sabbatical watch: Where teachers are going


Eight Pima Community College instructors are taking a sabbatical for the 2018-2019 school year.

A sabbatical is a paid leave of absence to travel and study. These professors were recommended for the sabbatical by The Faculty Professional Development and Sabbatical Standing Committee. All will receive full pay, except for one approved half-pay sabbatical.

Anthony Sovak

Anthony Sovak – English Instructional Faculty, Community Campus

Sovak is taking his sabbatical to read and learn about newly published poets and what it means to be a published poet in the 21st century. He wants to perform at several open mic nights and make his poetry available for use by writing classes and for creating writing classes at the Community Campus. About his sabbatical, he says:

“While I have been teaching poetry and writing poems for many years, I have never had the opportunity to focus exclusively on the writing and publishing process as it pertains to creative writing. The experiences I have throughout the process will shape my pedagogy and creative work for the rest of my career.”


Diane Lussier – Mathematics Instructional Faculty, Downtown Campus

Lussier’s sabbatical is to develop new materials to be used in MAT 092 and other pre-college algebra classes.

“I am taking a sabbatical in the fall in order to develop some course support materials for the faculty who teach Math 092/095/097,” Lussier said.

Patti Gardner – Digital Arts Instructional Faculty, West Campus

Gardner’s sabbatical is about updating and rejuvenating her design skills. She is going to learn about how her industry is changing in order to adapt to the changes. She will use what she’s learned to influence her curriculum in all of her classes.

“Personal growth as a designer is imperative. A sabbatical will provide me with an uninterrupted block of time to focus on updating and rejuvenating my design skills.”

Mirjana Glisovic – Bensa- Mathematics Instructional Faculty, Northwest Campus

Glisovic-Bensa’s sabattical is about creating new lesson plans for her college algebra, precalculus, statistics and calculus courses. She plans to use statistics about public health from the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health. She wants to create a lesson plan that includes real-world events in order to further engage her students.

She also is taking a half-pay sabbatical during Spring semester of 2019.

Andrea Kooshian – English as a Second Language Instructional Faculty, Downtown Campus

Kooshian is taking a sabbatical in order to study the Spanish language more thoroughly in Mexico. She will attend Spanish classes for 20 hours a week for 17 weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico. She intends to gain a better understanding of the Spanish language to better herself when teaching English as a Second Language.

Monique Rodriguez – Educational Support Faculty, Librarian, Northwest Campus

Rodriguez’s sabbatical is about her making instructional videos about fake news, MLA8 and website evaluation. The videos will be made available to all faculty and other librarian peers. Rodriguez will enroll in two online educational technology courses at the University of Arizona.

Elizabeth Rollins – English Instructional Faculty, Desert Vista Campus

The purpose of Rollins’ sabbatical is to draft a modern creative fiction guide about craft, courage and business concerns when living a writer’s life. The guide’s working title is “Five Brains and Other Theories on Writing Fiction.” Rollins also will offer two workshops on the generations of new work.

Kyley Segers

Kyley Segers – Mathematics Instructional Faculty, East Campus

Segers’ sabbatical’s purpose is to create new ways to incorporate problem-based learning into two mathematics courses at Pima, 188 and 231, precalculus and calculus 2. Ultimately, Segers will become a PBL (problem-based learning) mentor at Pima.

“I decided to take a sabbatical because I am very passionate about problem-based and inquiry-based Learning in STEM education, but designing classes using these methodologies is very time-intensive and requires a lot more research and work than designing a traditional lecture-based curriculum. I wanted to have a semester to focus on creating lessons and assessments for two of our math courses at the college: MAT 188 (Precalculus I) and MAT 231 (Calculus II). Currently, the East Campus is part of a grant to develop a PBL curriculum in MAT 189 (Precalculus II) and MAT 220 (Calculus I). By using my sabbatical time to develop two additional courses in the PBL format, any math faculty member at the college who is interested in trying PBL or IBL will have ready-made curricula to use for our four main STEM-track math classes.”

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