Associate Director, Associate
Professor, and Lecturer in Chemistry
Photo by: Dan Addison
Michael Palmer, Associate Director and Associate Professor, joined the Teaching Resource Center in the Fall of 2003. As an Associate Director, he presents interactive workshops locally, nationally and internationally; he regularly consults with faculty, graduate student instructors, departments, and administrative units about teaching and learning matters; and he designs and administers professional development programs, such as the TRC's graduate student professional development program, Tomorrow's Professor Today, and the Center's annual Course Design Institute. His educational development research centers on teaching consultation techniques, graduate student professional development, and the impact of intense professional development activities on teacher beliefs and practices. Published accounts of his work can be found in To Improve the Academy, Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education (2nd Ed, 2012; editor Kate Brinko), and Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development. He was the 2011 Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education's (POD Network) conference co-chair and has served on the core faculty of the 2009, 2011, and 2013 New Faculty Developers Institutes. He is currently a member of the POD Network's Core Committee, the organization's Board of Directors, and chair of the Membership Committee.
Michael's pedagogical interests include course design, active learning, student motivation, creative thinking, and teaching large enrollment courses, particularly in STEM disciplines. He teaches a highly interdisciplinary course on infinity and a large-enrollment, inquiry-based laboratory course for first-year chemistry students. In 2012, he won one of UVa's All-University Teaching Awards.
and raised in Wyoming, Michael obtained his B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry
at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. There he won both the University
of Wyoming Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Sara Jane Rhoads Award
for Outstanding Research for the Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry. Upon completing
his graduate studies, Michael accepted a postdoctoral research position
in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Virginia.
Michael's research focused on environmentally and industrially important
catalytic processes, from the desulfurization of petroleum feedstocks
and the conversion of natural gas to liquid fuels to the selective oxidation
of aromatic compounds. Published accounts of his chemical research can be found
in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Physical Chemistry
B, and Organometallics.
Michael's CV (updated: 04/22/13)
Recent Educational Development Activities
- Member, POD Network Core Committee (Board of Directors)
- Chair, POD Network Membership Committee
- Core Faculty Facilitator, International Institute for New Faculty Developers, 2009, 2011 & 2013.
- Conference co-Chair, POD Network, Atlanta, GA, 2011.
- Conference Program co-Chair, POD Network, St. Louis, MO, 2010.
- Palmer, M.S. & Little, D. (2013). Tomorrow's Professor Today: Tracking Perceptions of Preparation for Future Faculty Competencies. To Improve the Academy, 32. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Palmer, M.S. (2012). Graduate Student Professional Development: A Decade after Calls for National Reform, Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development, Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.
- Little, D. & Palmer, M. (2012). Training Instructional Consultants to Use a Coaching Framework. In K. T. Brinko (Ed). Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education. 2nd Ed., Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.
- Little, D. & Palmer, M. (2011). A Coaching-based Framework for Individual Consultations. To Improve the Academy, 29. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Select Conference Presentations
- Exploring the Range of Multi-day Course Design Institutes. Teresa Johnson, Jerry Nelms, and Stephanie Rohdieck, Katie Linder, Michael Palmer, National Conference for the POD Network, Seattle, WA, October 2012.
- Learning to See the Infinite: Teaching and Measuring Visual Literacy. Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, February 2012.
- Investigating the Long-term Impact of a Graduate Student Future Faculty Program. Michael Palmer, Deandra Little, Melissa Hurst, and Michele Maher, Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, February 2012.
- Course Design Institute: Transforming Teaching and Learning, Dorothe Bach, Deandra Little and Michael Palmer, Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, February 2011.
- Disciplinary thinking: Studying the ability of first-year chemistry students to think scientifically, American Chemical Society National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 17-20, 2008.
Select Invited Workshops on Teaching & Learning
- Some Whys & Hows of Active Learning, Keynote Address, Nutrition Dietetic Educators and Preceptors Area 6 & 7 Spring Meeting, Charlottesville, VA, March 2013.
- The 5% Rule, or Teaching As a Scholarly Act, Keynote Address, Conference on Integrating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Into Academic Culture, Maryville University, St. Louis, MO, Oct 2012.
- Teaching through Critical Thinking Tasks, 3-hour pre-conference session, Conference on Integrating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Into Academic Culture, Maryville University, St. Louis, MO, Oct 2012.
- the other side of the box: fostering creativity in—and out of—the college classroom, Duke University, Durham, NC, Oct 2012.
- Motivation as a Means to Two Ends: Retention & Learning in STEM Courses, James Madison University, May 2012.
- Engaging Minds through Engaging Questions: Reimagining STEM Education, James Madison University, May 2012.
- First-Year Seminar Summer Institute, University of Richmond, May 2012.
- Improving Teaching and Student Learning through Course Design Activities: A Research-Based Seminar Series, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, January 2012.
- Promoting Learning in Large Enrollment Courses, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, March 2010 & 2011.
- Engaging Students, Engaging Minds, University of Texas-Arlington, October 2009.
- Beyond Grades: Improving Learning and Teaching with Authentic Assessment, University of North Carolina-Asheville, September 2009.
- Sailing in a Sea of Students: Effectively Navigating Large Enrollment Classes, University of Wyoming, May 2009.
- The ‘Science’ of Questioning: Promoting Critical Thinking with Purposeful Questions, FBI National Academy, April 2008.
- Collaborative Learning: Helping Students Learn How to Learn, University of North Carolina-Asheville, March 2008.
- Course Design Institute, University of Virginia, May 2008-2013.
Recent Courses Taught
- 2012 UVa All-University Teaching Award