Nancy Coster, CPA

Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting

Biography

Nancy Coster is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting in LMU's College of Business Administration. She joined the LMU faculty in 2007 and has taught financial accounting, managerial accounting, accounting information systems, and advanced accounting. Her prior teaching experience includes full time lecturer positions at the University of California Irvine, California State University Northridge, and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Nancy is a Certified Public Accountant and her professional background is in public accounting where she worked for a Big Four firm and a local accounting firm, largely on assurance engagements.

Philosophy

I enjoy learning and hope to foster that same enjoyment of learning within my students. I understand that students have different goals in life and different goals for a particular course. I think my role as a teacher is to help students achieve their goals and often to inspire them to set the bar higher for themselves. I work to engage students through various teaching methods, incorporating technology where it enhances learning, and I draw from personal experience and current events to bring classroom theory to life.

Experience

My style of teaching is primarily lecture based but also incorporates in-class work by the students. I frequently adjust my lecture in real time based on student questions and discussions by digitally writing directly on the screen via my Tablet PC. In a typical class, I introduce a topic, demonstrate a problem and then ask the students to work through a similar problem in small groups; during this time I circulate throughout the class, answer questions and provide feedback. After the small groups have completed the problem, each group contributes to the larger class discussion of the solution and I address aspects that have come up repeatedly during group work.
My student projects are often based on real company annual reports that I have modified to better focus on a particular concept. I ask the students to develop financial statement and budget models using MS Excel. I also ask them to interpret the results of their models. Do the numbers make sense? During extensive office hours, I help students develop their technical and professional communication skills as they work through the projects. My role is not only to help them understand the project, but also to help them ask better questions, to listen to my response and be able to develop appropriate follow up questions, and be better prepared to enter the accounting profession.

Elizabeth Drummond, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

Biography

Elizabeth Drummond received her Ph.D. in modern European history at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on the history of Germany and Poland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular the construction of national identity and nationalist mobilization in the German-Poland borderlands in the decades before World War I. More broadly, her teaching and research aim to situate European history in a global context, with a focus on modern Central Europe, nationalism, imperialism, dynamics of global exploration and exchange, and the intersections of nation/race, gender, class, and religion.

Philosophy

My approach to teaching is based on my understanding of history as both a content-area and a discipline and on my broader understanding of the nature of a liberal education. I see my teaching as part of a tradition that seeks to educate not just the Western Civ student, the history major, or the future lawyer, but to help the individual student develop into a rational and ethical global citizen, who engages in rigorous and independent critical thinking about the world and who strives to realize her own historical agency. As a history teacher, I try to model to my students not only an enthusiastic interest in history but also the complexities of historical analysis. By unmasking the processes by which historians make sense of and give meaning to the past, I help students understand history not as a collection of facts but as a means of thinking about and understanding their own and other cultures, past and present. In modeling the work of the historian, I try both to challenge and to mentor students as they develop their own scholarly abilities – challenging them through the class assignments (both more traditional assignments that focus on close reading and the development of historical arguments in writing as well as more innovative assignments, in particular around the field of public history), mentoring them as they work to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills, and encouraging them to develop the sense of curiosity that marks the life of the mind.

Experience

Most students come to college understanding history as a collection of names, dates and events to be found in a book. They do not fully appreciate that history is more than the mere study of the past, the memorization of facts. As such, I strive to impart to my students an understanding of history as the process of developing reasoned arguments about the past through which we improve our understanding of people's thoughts, actions and experiences. In doing so, I emphasize the richness, complexity, and contingency of the historical past. Students in my classes examine questions of continuity and change over time, of causality, of similarities and differences across time and space, of cross-cultural and cross-civilizational encounter and exchange, and of ideological, structural and cultural factors that informed how people experienced the world around them. In practicing the craft of history, students learn how to think and develop skills that will serve them far beyond the study of history – how to find and use a variety of sources, how to read texts analytically and critically, and how to develop and present, in both writing and speech, well-developed arguments supported by evidence.

Adriana Jaroszewicz, MFA

Assistant Professor of Animation

Biography

Before joining Loyola Marymount University, Adriana served as a Senior Digital Trainer for artist crews at Sony Pictures Imageworks. She has collaborated with composer Martin Jaroszewicz in the interactive installation "Chaos and Metamorphosis," and audiovisual applications for the iPad, "OSC Physics" and "OSC Physics Pro." Adriana has presented her ongoing research on the application of Laban-Movement-Analysis-based methods as animation pedagogy at the Carnegie Academy in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), Lilly West Conference on College and University Teaching, and Society for Animation Studies, among others. Her recent work is the animated short "El Botín" (The Looting), which combines 3D computer animated characters and miniature environments.

Philosophy

Animation is an apprenticeship discipline where theory and practice go hand in hand. I am committed to the teacher/ scholar / artist model and evidence-based learning as a teaching philosophy. I believe that in order to be an effective teacher one needs to constantly pursue professional development in both pedagogic literature and practice in the discipline. To keep my teaching methods current, I embark on multiple animation works, strive to develop efficient assessment methods in the Animation Department, and continue to work on interdisciplinary Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects.

Experience

In my courses, students learn from practice. Through unique animation projects, students are guided to develop a professional mindset, where an appropriately self-critical attitude, problem solving, the ability to work and communicate with others, being open to and able to give meaningful feedback, developing persistence through multiple revisions to refine a product, and becoming self-motivated learners are essentials qualities. I emphasize working with professional standards and ask students to use appropriate vocabulary with their peers when they articulate ideas, communicate workflows, and deliver projects. Students apply what they learn in timed practical and theoretical tests and in small assignments.

Michelle Lum, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Biography

Michelle Lum is an associate professor in the department of Biology. She received her Ph.D. at UCLA in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology where she focused on the molecular interactions between plants and beneficial microbes. Her research focuses on the identification of beneficial plant associative bacteria and identification of the mechanisms that allow these bacteria to interact and positively impact plant development. Michelle teaches upper division courses related to microbiology and plant biology and is lead instructor of the 2nd semester of the General Biology laboratory. She also mentors a number of students in microbiology and plant research.

Philosophy

Teaching is an opportunity for me to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for biology. I aim to give my students the same satisfaction I myself get when new knowledge enhances my appreciation and understanding of the world around me. I want to engage students in science by making it relevant to their life experiences and immersing them in experiences in which they are doing the science.

Experience

I am a firm believer that undergraduate exposure to research, whether it is in the classroom setting or in independent research projects, can have the greatest impact on students' understanding and engagement of science. I use the primary literature in lecture courses to give context to the concepts they have learned and to illustrate how science is done. In the laboratory classroom setting, I have integrated teaching with my research. Projects are strategically designed so students make novel discoveries, learn a multitude of skills used in the laboratory and for data collection and analysis, but also have the flexibility to design their own experiments. Depending on the course, this may be smaller projects that span several weeks, or a single project with multiple facets that spans the entire semester. Scientific presentation is a critical part of the scientific process, and both oral and written presentations, informal and formal, are essential parts of my courses. Many students from my teaching labs have gone on to present posters of their findings at undergraduate research conferences. The large, multi-section lower division lab I lead involves coordination with multiple instructors and undergraduate TAs for success of the course. I also have been collaborating with a colleague at a community college in the implementation of a research-based course into her department's curriculum.

Kirstin Noreen, Ph.D.

Professor of Art History

Biography

Prior to joining the faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at LMU in 2006, Kirstin Noreen taught at Louisiana State University and worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Her specializations in Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art history have led to publications dealing with the ritual use of icons as well as the revival of Early Christian and medieval art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She has received various grants to support her research, including an American Council of Learned Societies, Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship; a National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend; and a Fulbright Grant.

Philosophy

My own experiences as an undergraduate student in over-crowded classrooms in Florence, a small liberal arts college in Oregon, and a large state school in Los Angeles have caused me to appreciate diverse approaches to instruction and to learning. While there is often a need to adjust to different classroom situations, I feel that it is essential to impart my own enthusiasm in the material through the development of new and innovative ways of presenting my art history course content. I have found that effective teaching must include numerous methods of engagement to help students become active participants in the learning process rather than passive recipients of information

Experience

In teaching the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, I have found that the material is sometimes difficult for students because it is both physically and temporally removed from their daily experience. To deal with this issue, I incorporate various site visits to local museums and integrate diverse technological approaches to make the subject more interactive and dynamic. I have found that using a range of technologies both in teaching (i.e. 360 degree views, embedded videos, virtual reconstructions) and in student assignments (the development of websites or podcasts) have made my teaching more effective. Not being a "techie" myself, the use of new technologies helps to push me out of my comfort zone, making the learning a joint process.