by Michael R. Meyer – Director, William G. Jackson CTL
Dennis Livesay , Dean of the College of Computing, has selected Todd Arney, Senior Lecturer in Applied Computing, as our twelfth-week Deans’ Teaching Showcase member.
Arney, an inaugural winner of the Provost’s Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence in 2020, has a long record of outstanding teaching. But, this time, Applied Computing Chair Dan Fuhrmann, while acknowledging that Todd continues to teach a “substantial load” at an “exceptionally high level of quality,” recommended Arney for his behind-the-scenes “efforts to modernize the curricula in the Department of Applied Computing, and to enhance the use of state-of-the-art computing resources across campus, through the use of our new Virtual Cluster.”
Fuhrmann notes the changes in instruction required by the pandemic made Arney’s work a particular “godsend” because it enabled remote teaching. But he emphasizes that “it facilitated a vast improvement in student experience, in comparison to the aging educational computing hardware in the Computer Network and Systems Administration program that preceded it.”
Fuhrmann calls Arney an “evangelist” for the Virtual Cluster and notes that in addition to its implementation within the CNSA and Cybersecurity programs, Arney has made special efforts to reach out to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, bringing a modern computing framework to one of their senior/graduate courses, CEE 4610/5610 (Water Resources System Modeling and Design).
He also worked with AC Academic Advisor Kay Oliver, the instructor for SAT 1090 (Introduction to Applied Computing), to provide introductions on cybersecurity and privacy frameworks for the students to use as a common language for their group work discussions on project design using micro:bit hardware to solve real-world problems.
Currently, Arney is working on additional collaborations with Mechatronics faculty, two senior design projects, and two new faculty members in the College of Computing to help support their courses using the cluster. Fuhrmann emphasizes that “Bringing new resources into our educational programs does not happen overnight, and it does not happen without knowledgeable, dedicated faculty members who see the potential and who make the necessary effort to upgrade the curriculum to take advantage of those resources. Todd Arney is that person in the Department of Applied Computing.”
In choosing Arney, Dean Livesay heartily agrees, noting, “Ensuring that our students have access to the latest technology is time-consuming and represents work that isn’t acknowledged as regularly as it should be. As such, we’re especially proud to recognize Todd’s accomplishments in deploying virtual machines broadly in our classes, and helping others do the same in theirs.”
Arney will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members, and is also a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer) recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.