Amanda Smothers, Ph.D.

Teaching and Learning Coordinator
ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholar


Responsibilities

Amanda researches emerging pedagogies and technologies and offers high-level programs and consultations to faculty, teaching staff and teaching assistants on basic to advanced teaching effectiveness and technology integration. She also offers classroom observation services and provides confidential feedback and support for improving teaching.

Education

  • Certificate of Graduate Study in Postsecondary Developmental Literacy and Language Instruction, 2021
  • Ph.D., 19th Century British Literature and Bibliography and Textual Studies, Northern Illinois University, 2016
  • M.A., British and American Literature, Northern Illinois University, 2010
  • B.A., English Literature and Theatre Arts, Marquette University, 2004
  • CODE Facilitator
  • Instructor of UNIV 595 (Interdisciplinary Teaching Strategies Seminar in Online Teaching)
  • Coordinator of the Teaching Assistant Institute
  • Faculty Partner for the Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy
  • Facilitator of the Student Success in Gateway Courses Faculty Learning Community (Fall 2021-Spring 2022)
  • Facilitator of the ACUE microcredential course in Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning (Spring 2022 & Fall 2022)
  • Assist in Blackboard Ally Initiatives
  • Assist in Coordinating and Facilitating the Online Teaching Symposium
  • CITL News editor and contributor
  • Revising and editing CITL's Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants
  • Facilitator of the Student Engagement: Creating a Sense of Community in an Online Course Faculty Learning Community (Spring 2021)
  • Facilitator of the Intentional Tech Faculty Learning Community (Spring 2020)
  • Facilitator of the Tenure-Track Faculty Writing Circle, New Faculty Network Faculty Development Liaison (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)
  • Faculty Partner in the Online Course Design Academy
  • Trans Ally Training (Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, Northern Illinois U., November 9, 2021)
  • APPQMR Facilitator Training
  • APPQMR and QM Peer Reviewer training
  • OSCQR Peer Reviewer training
  • LGBTQIA+ Ally Training (Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, Northern Illinois U., February 7 & 13, 2020)
  • Disability Ally Training Invited Speaker (Doug Lawson, Northeastern Illinois U., and the Disability Ally Training Committee, Northern Illinois U., November 15, 2019)
  • Undocumented Ally Training (DREAM Action NIU and the Office for Undocumented Student Support, Northern Illinois U., November 11, 2019)
  • Peer Reviewer for Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education
  • Textbook Reviewer, post-secondary composition textbook, Six Red Marbles
  • Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants, Faculty Development, Northern Illinois University, revised and updated 2019-2021.

Edited Collection

  • “The Real Thing”: Essays in Celebration of Tom Stoppard’s 75th Birthday, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. Co-edited with William Baker.
  • Studies in Victorian and Modern Literature: A Tribute to John Sutherland, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Assistant Editor.

Book Chapter

  • “The Search for Truth in Arcadia,” in “The Real Thing”: Essays in Celebration of Tom Stoppard’s 75th Birthday, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

Journal

  • “Where Are We: My Mundane Professional Life,” Contributor, Composition Studies, Spring 47.1 (2019).

Bibliographical Review

  • “XIV: The Victorian Period (1830-1900)”: Year’s Work in English Studies 96:1 (2017; Covering work pub. in 2015): 703–915. Assisted William Baker.
  • "XIV: The Victorian Period (1830-1900)”: “1. Cultural Studies and Prose” and “2. The Novel.” Year’s Work in English Studies 94:1 (2015; Covering work pub. in 2013): 712-838. Assisted W. Baker.
  • “XIII: The Nineteenth Century: The Victorian Period”: “1. Cultural Studies and Prose” and “2. The Novel.” Year’s Work in English Studies 92:1 (2013; Covering work pub. in 2011): 647-706. Co-authored with W. Baker.

Blog and Newsletter

  • Editor, Coordinator, and Contributor, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) Blog (formerly Faculty Development Blog), Northern Illinois University (Oct. 2019-present). https://citl.news.niu.edu
  • Editor, Spectrum online newsletter (Faculty Development, Northern Illinois University, Fall 2019-present).
  • Invited Speaker, Online Course Design for Educators Workshop (DeKalb Public Library, Aug. 12, 2020)
  • “Checking in or Checking out?: Engaging Distance Learners by Infusing Active Learning in the Online ‘Classroom,’” OLC Innovate 2020 Conference, Online Learning Consortium and MERLOT, Chicago, IL; June 16, 2020. Lead Presenter.
  • “ALP English Student Success,” Faculty Research Community Panel Presentation, TEACH ECC Conference, Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL; February 2021.
  • “Improving Student Retention in English Courses,” Faculty Research Community Panel, Assessment Diaries, Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL; February 8, 2019.
  • “Un-Research: Deconstructing the Research Paper,” Writing on the Edge Conference, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL; October 20, 2018.
  • “‘We Get the Job Done’: Using Popular Culture to Address Diversity,” 10th Annual Assessment Conference & Share Fair, William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL; September 21, 2018.
  • “Panel Discussion: Improving General Education Skills Across the Curriculum,” 10th Annual Assessment Conference & Share Fair, William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL; September 21, 2018.
  • “Discovering and Articulating Your Teaching Practice,” Adjunct Faculty Teaching and Learning Conference, William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL; August 16, 2017.
  • “Discovering and Articulating Your Teaching Practice,” Teaching and Learning National Institute, Washington Center at Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA; July 30-August 2, 2017.
  • “Group Composition and Conflict Management: Thank You for Your Cooperation,” Allerton English Articulation Conference, Monticello, IL; April 20-21, 2011.
  • “Bringing the Reel World and Nature into the Composition Classroom,” Allerton English Articulation Conference, Monticello, IL; April 21-22, 2010.
  • “Native American vs. Anglo Gothic Perspective in Ghost Singer,” Midwest Conference on Literature, Language, and Media (MCLLM), Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL; April 9-10, 2010.
  • “Lost and Found: The Search for ‘Truth’ in Arcadia,” Midwest Modern Language Association (M/MLA), St. Louis, MO; November 3-6, 2011.
  • “Top Girls: Is There a Viable Feminist Solution?” Midwest Conference on Literature, Language, and Media (MCLLM), Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL; April 1-2, 2011.
  • Dr. Joseph Cipfl Faculty Research Grant, Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), 2021. Research Topic: Counteracting Equity Barriers to Online and Remote Learning for Community College Students in Developmental Courses.
  • Honorable Mention, Harlan Teller Dissertation Award, NIU, April 2017;
  • Doctoral Exam Passed with Distinction, Bibliography & Textual Studies, August 2013
  • Honorable Mention, Arnold B. Fox Award for Graduate Research Writing, NIU, February 2013. “The Gothic (and Other Generic Elements) in M.E. Braddon’s ‘Sensational’ Lady Audley’s Secret.”
  • Arnold B. Fox Award for Graduate Research Writing, NIU, November 2011. “Jane Austen’s Letters: A Paleographic Study”
  • Teaching college English since 2008 and teaching online since 2012; has also taught hybrid.
  • Quality Matters (QM) certified Peer Reviewer
  • OSCQR Online Course Design Peer Reviewer

Applause

The following comments from NIU faculty were shared through NIU Today Applaud a Colleague:

"Amanda has always been a great help with assisting me with Blackboard questions. She is kind, incredibly responsive (often within minutes of a message being sent), and very patient when I am asking the same question I asked months earlier, but did not retain the answer. Last summer and fall many College of Law faculty who may not have used Blackboard in the past were using it. Because our schedule is a bit different than the rest of the university and because of the newness of Blackboard for some faculty, we had several issues around course availability. Amanda worked with me to make sure all the classes were made available early enough to avoid any issues with access and we were able to make the access to fall classes go smoothly. Also, just last Friday she was quick to help resolve an issue I was having, making my own start to the semester better. I really appreciate her patience and pleasant attitude and all the assistance she provides." (January 25, 2021)

"This team developed, coordinated and launched the TA Institute fully online! Your efforts provided access to this critical training opportunity for so many NIU graduate students–thank you!" (August 24, 2020)

"Amanda has been incredibly helpful to us in the transition to remote teaching, all while keeping other learning communities she runs active and awesome. She is patient and kind, while being brilliant and helpful." (June 1, 2020)

Amanda Smothers

Contact

Amanda Smothers
Email: amanda.smothers@niu.edu
Phone: 815-753-5803
Office: AC116

LinkedIn page

ACUE Credentialed Educator

NIU Ally

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