Marsha VanNahmen has been named the Employee of the Quarter at IUPUC for Q1, 2022. Since the beginning of 2016, IUPUC has recognized an employee every quarter for contributions made that go above and beyond regular work responsibilities.
Since joining IUPUC as the Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in 2006, VanNahmen has strived to provide students the tools to succeed both in college and as they move forward into their careers. In her role, she continually works to bring relevant and meaningful training and workshop opportunities to both the IUPUC and Ivy Tech faculty and staff through her work with the Gateway Community of Practice, the Gateway Fellows, Growth Mindset programming, Civic Lab, National Equity Project, IUPUC Diversity Council as well as book reads and other programs.
As a member of the IUPUC committee for faculty development, VanNahmen participates in grant writing, most recently obtaining a second FACET Mini-Grant, as well as a Welcoming Grant to enhance IUPUC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She also serves on joint committees between IUPUC, Ivy Tech, and the Community Education Coalition in the planning and development of student resource guides, grant-writing, and space/center development in the Columbus Learning Center.
The COVID-19 pandemic required the CTL to adapt; shifting its focus towards teaching skills required in the virtual working and learning landscape. “The Center for Teaching and Learning designs and delivers professional development for faculty and staff. COVID has caused us to think more specifically about what knowledge and skills are needed to teach and work effectively in a remote or hybrid environment—skills like how to engage students when your only connection is through a computer screen, or how to deliver content using various interactive approaches. We have learned that many of the techniques that engage students in a remote environment will also enhance engagement in face-to-face classrooms,” said VanNahmen.
When asked what inspires her to get up and to go work in the morning, she responded, “No two days are the same and I appreciate the variety and the pace. Along with CTL programming and projects, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with colleagues in every department and division, and to learn about many different dimensions of the campus. I have been lucky to be part of IU and IUPUI programs which have given me a wider-angle perspective of the university and higher education in general. As a bonus, I work with many other community partners which helps me understand and anticipate ways in which IUPUC and our students integrate within the fabric of our service region.”
Upon learning the Employee of the Quarter honor, VanNahmen responded by recognizing her peers she works alongside: “Throughout my career at IUPUC, I have watched my colleagues work tirelessly day in and day out—particularly during the pandemic which has caused additional stressors both in and beyond the workplace. I appreciate this recognition, but I know how much resident talent we have on our campus, and I look for ways to lift others up whenever I can.”