Lori K. Holleran-Steiker
Lori K. Holleran-SteikerSchool of Social Work
What motivated you to become a PTF?
I was part of the team that helped to create the Provost Teaching Fellows program and was delighted at the opportunity to be a Senior Fellow at the program’s implementation. I also was empowered to cultivate and augment the commonalities and initiatives between the different teaching excellence oriented groups of which I am a part (Chair, Signature Course Advisory Committee; Steering Committee, Academy of Distinguished Teachers; and First Year Experience programs and events like the University Lecture Series, Reading Round-up, Honors Day, Honors Colloquium, Bridging the Disciplines Program, etc.).
What inspired your passion for teaching?
One of the greatest experiences of my teaching career is the creation and implementation of my First Year Signature course, “Young People and Drugs.” The course is highly interactive and holds a Writing Flag, intended to help students think critically, formulate and articulate their ideas, and communicate them effectively. This course gives me the opportunity to braid together my personal experience and passions regarding substance abuse and recovery, with my professional experience and research findings. One of the serendipitous outcomes of the course is that each semester, some of the students have decided to either try to help someone they care about or address their own issues with substances. The course has reached beyond the classroom and students that completed the course started and grow the UT Sponsored Student Group DAPA (Drug and Alcohol Public Awareness) to bring their learning onto the campus and beyond, in order to raise awareness and lower stigma. There is no better example of the UT motto.
What advice do you have for other teachers?
Remain teachable and value the partnership between professor and student—intentionally listen, connect, and venture into learning, solving and creating together.
Dr. Holleran Steiker is a Senior Fellow and serves as mentor for incoming Fellows in the Provost Teaching Fellows program. Find out more about this Faculty Initiative here.