Director, Associate Professor, & Lecturer in Chemistry
Michael Palmer joined the Center for Teaching Excellence in the Fall of 2003. As Director, he leads the CTE’s efforts to improve teaching and student learning at UVa. He also helps design and direct a variety of the Center’s educational development programs, such as the CTE’s graduate student professional development program, Tomorrow’s Professor Today, the annual Course Design Institute, Nucleus, and Ignite programs. He also presents interactive workshops locally, nationally and internationally; and he regularly consults with faculty, graduate student instructors, departments, and administrative units about teaching and learning matters. His educational development research centers on teaching consultation techniques, graduate student professional development, course design initiatives, and the impact intense professional development activities have on teacher beliefs and practices. Published accounts of his work can be found in:
- To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development
- Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education (2nd Ed, 2012; editor Kate Brinko)
- New Directions for Teaching and Learning
- Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development
- Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.
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 POD-sponsored New Faculty Developers Institute since 2009. He is a former member of the POD Network’s Core Committee (2013-2016), the organization’s board of directors, and chair of the Membership Committee (2013-2016). With colleagues Dorothe Bach and Adriana Streifer, he won the 2014 POD Network Innovation Award for work on a valid & reliable syllabus rubric; with Lindsay Wheeler and Itiya Aneece the 2015 Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development for work on student perceptions of syllabi; with Adarsh Char, Lauren Kane-Sample, Chip Evans, William Hall the 2016 POD Network Innovation Award for work on c3Design.
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, a seminar on the science of learning, 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.
Born 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.
|Educational Development Awards
Recent Educational Development Activities
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|Select Invited Workshops on Teaching & Learning
Recent Courses Taught