Assistant Professor Xian Du of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is one of 12 winners in the 2019-20 TIDE Ambassadors (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity) faculty fellowship awards, as chosen by the UMass Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development.
“I am teaching a large-sized undergraduate class in the MIE department,” says Du about his motivation for applying for a TIDE fellowship. “My students have various cultures, educations, and learning backgrounds. The TIDE Ambassador program can offer me an excellent chance to learn how to leverage the class environment, culture, and other resources for an excellent teaching approach.”
Throughout the program year, TIDE participants will explore how they can enhance students’ learning and academic success across cultural, social, and learning differences by adopting a strength-based, inclusive, and equitable approach to teaching and learning grounded in the value of diversity.
Du is the principal investigator in the Intelligent Sensing Lab. Du's research focuses on the scale up of flexible electronics printing processes from lab to industry using high-precision, in-line inspection and pattern recognition technologies for large-surface quality control. He also works on automatic, high resolution, accurate, and robust imaging tools for medical devices for noninvasive detection and description of biomarkers.
Du earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tianjin University in China, his M.S. in Mechatronics Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China, and his Ph.D. in Innovation in Manufacturing Systems and Technology from the Singapore-MIT Alliance between the National University of Singapore and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The overarching purpose of the TIDE program is to establish a learning community that offers participating faculty fellows sustained opportunities to engage with and support each other as well as to learn together so that they are able to develop the knowledge and skills to share this learning with the UMass community. Experiential, collaborative, and reflective learning are integral elements of the TIDE program.
Throughout the fellowship year, participants:
- Engage in reflective practices, developing self-awareness and sharing their own experiences, successes, failures, and concerns with inclusive teaching and engaging students with diversity-related topics.
- Engage in experiential learning activities to gain experience with inclusive teaching practices.
- Explore scholarship, theoretical frameworks, and various perspectives to build and enhance their capacity to teach diverse students inclusively and equitably.
- Participate in discussions, considering insights from relevant literature and exchanging ideas on how one can use inclusion and equity models to support deeper and more respectful learning.
- Develop a library of resources.
- Put into practice what they learn to their own course design and pedagogical practices, reflect on this, and gain feedback from peers and facilitators.
- Set goals for continued improvement.