Christopher Minnix

I hope that this message finds you at the beginning of an exciting fall semester and that you know just how much your dedication to your students during this time of continuing difficulty means to those of us who are working on the implementation of the new Blazer Core Curriculum. I want to welcome all of you to the Blazer Core Curriculum newsletter and share some exciting developments with you.

One of the first things you will notice is that our name has changed from the Signature Core Curriculum to the Blazer Core Curriculum and that we have a new website. I encourage you to check out the story in this newsletter about this new logo and name, as well as the overview of the new website. At this time, this site is still aimed primarily at faculty and institutional audiences but will be expanded and refocused for students, parents, and community members as we get closer and closer to the rollout of the Blazer Core.

Since the Spring, a range of important initiatives have been taking place that continue to move the Blazer Core Curriculum towards its commitment to be fully rolled out by Fall of 2023.

Our Blazer Core Curriculum Committee, which is made up of representatives from all UAB Colleges, Schools, and Units has been meeting since June and is working to provide departments and faculty with clear and timely guidance for developing and submitting courses for inclusion in Blazer Core. This work includes alignment with Faculty Senate processes that reflect our commitment to shared governance at UAB. In the next few weeks, departments and faculty will receive a Guidebook for Submitting Core Courses, complete with a full description of the submission and review process and sample materials. As you can see on our new website, the structure of Blazer Core is mapped out on the Curriculum page, and departments and units are encouraged to set up a meeting or reach out to our office at any time to discuss ideas for exciting core courses.

In addition, the Blazer Core has continued to capitalize on the success of the Core Fellows and Student Consultants on University Teaching (SCOUT) programs, celebrating the achievements of our first-class or Blazer Core Fellows and welcoming our second class this summer. You can read about these dynamic faculty fellows in the stories below. We are thrilled to welcome back many of our Student Consultants on University Teaching, who worked with core faculty to provide a students’ perspective on their teaching. As you can see from the profiles of Dr. Samiksha Raut and Dr. Scott Brande in this newsletter, this program has been highly successful, and we will be expanding the services of the SCOUTs this year so that they can offer one-on-one consultations for all interested core faculty based on availability.

With each edition of this newsletter, we will share profiles, interviews, and stories from UAB core faculty, including interviews like Core Fellows, but also a future feature called “Core Stories” that features faculty discussing the key experiences they had in their own core curricular education and how they have shaped their teaching. Each issue will also include a short profile of a SCOUT, along with a tip from that SCOUT on core teaching from the students’ perspective. Finally, our newsletter will contain links to our calendar and announcements of upcoming events. To make sure that you receive this newsletter, we encourage you to subscribe using the web form that you will find on the News page of the website.

These are just a few of the exciting developments that are taking place at this time, and we look forward to sharing more helpful information, as well as stories of the student and faculty success with you every three weeks in this newsletter. In addition, we hope you will follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for up-to-the-minute announcements and stories.

Dr. Christopher Minnix
Director, Blazer Core Curriculum