Campus Nooks with More Than Textbooks
Campus Nooks with More Than Textbooks
Jerry Reed, professor of computer programming and analytics, displays office hours on an electronic sign outside his office. It grabs students’ attention and sparks conversations about classes that will give them hands-on experience in building their own gadgets.
African American and 20th century
Humanities Professor, West Campus
“I want a space that encourages students to ask questions, to enjoy learning,” describes Lisa. Upon first glance of the humanities professor’s space, students get a glimpse of her love for cats and her dark sense of humor.
Framed pieces fill the walls, each with a tale of its own—pictures and postcards from the students she’s kept in touch with over the years. “Some have moved out of state for jobs or to further their education.” she says. “It’s special to still be part of their lives and get updates on how they’re doing or what they’ve been up to.”
Speech and Communication Professor,
From walking by to stepping inside, Bill’s love for Disney is a conversation starter that catches students’ eyes. Sitting in the easy chair—a plum, plush recliner—students get a front-row seat to colorful movie posters and Disney knickknacks, including his Toy Story collection that starts chatter about which of the three films is best. “It’s welcoming; a place where students are comfortable coming to,” he says. “Some have even said it’s the coolest office ever.”
A more recent addition to his office came from a past Annual Juried Student Digital, Graphic and Fine Art Exhibition. The pottery piece, “Unity,” caught his attention with its colors, but the story behind it—a tribute to Pulse—spoke volumes to him. He added, “I love to support students whenever possible.”
It’s welcoming; a place where students are comfortable coming to.”
Professor of Humanities, West Campus
As a way to inspire students outside of the classroom, Jed’s space sheds a different light on humanities—filled with postmodern art and miniature toys ranging from the late 70s through the early 80s to items that are a nod to his classes.
A collection of vintage movie cameras and film posters, including a favorite, Metropolis, speak to his passion for filmography, but also his role in putting together the college’s Cinema Nights. The events introduce students to situations and human landscapes rarely explored in mainstream filmography. “I want Cinema Nights to encourage students to study film through a critical lens and analyze it as a mark of cultural identity,” he explains.
Professor of French and Spanish, and
Language Coordinator, Osceola Campus
Tranquil yet lively, Samira’s space tells a story of international cultures. Bookshelves display photos of past class trips, including one to Epcot where students in French class interview French-speaking people from different countries and another visiting a Latin restaurant with students from her Spanish class. “Even after students leave the classroom, many come back to visit,” she smiles.
A world map hangs above one bookshelf—a reference point for Samira to show students where her worldly trinkets came from. “I take the opportunity to talk about the country, the people,” she explains. “It helps students visualize it firsthand.”
Samira’s worldly pieces are arranged by their region. Atop the Central America shelf, sit mini elephant figurines and booties—gifts from a college peer who visited El Salvador years ago—a testament to the meaningful relationships she forms with both students and staff.
Collaboration Work Spaces
Winter Park Campus + East Campus
Around each campus, students and staff collaborate in various spaces to talk over class projects, career goals or even just life.
One such space on Winter Park Campus (seen below) is shared by Jean Marie Fuhrman and several others. Students are greeted with a motivational quote before walking into the bright area surrounded by travel pieces. “It’s a warm, friendly environment where students feel at ease,” Jean Marie explains. “They love looking at the souvenirs from all over the world and share their own stories, too.”
Another great space, the Graphics Lab on East Campus (seen to the left and below) is flooded with color and offers an open work area that encourages teamwork. Program Chair and Professor of Graphic and Interactive Design, Kristy Pennino, describes the space as a creative outlet, saying, “Students come here to bounce ideas off one another, get inspired—it’s fun to see their energy.”
Students come here to bounce ideas off one another, get inspired—it’s fun to see their energy.”
How to Create a Space for Student Learning
Spaces can have a significant impact on learning. Here are some ways to start on creating your own unique space.
MAKE IT INVITING
Offer students a warm and inviting place to come meet with you—whether they’re stopping by to say “hi” or are seeking guidance on a class project.
Create a space that fosters collaboration—one that supports various interactions and socialization among teammates and college peers.
STOCK UP ON LEARNING TOOLS
From books to movies to other academic resources, make sure your space is filled with things that add to the student experience.
LEAVE ROOM FOR MEETINGS
Keep your space set up in a way that is conducive to student learning. It should renew students’ energy and enthusiasm.
ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH
Bring some personal flair to your space. Quirky collectibles, photos, artwork—whatever suits your fancy.