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Faculty Reading Groups

Open to all faculty, semester-long reading groups create opportunities to build community and conversation around a selected title from the scholarship of teaching and learning with the intention of helping faculty discover new insights and innovations for their classroom instruction. Reading groups are led by a UMassD faculty member and the OFD provides a copy of the selected title to all participants.

Recent titles include:

If you would like to suggest a topic for and/or facilitate a future OFD reading group, please email

Current offerings

OFD Reading Group – Fall 2023

Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge

Facilitator: Dr. Katie Krafft, Department of Crime and Justice Studies; OFD Assistant Director 

In Mind Over Monsters, Sarah Rose Cavanagh explores the relationship between a worsening crisis in youth mental health and education. In the Preface to the book, she writes: “there is a common solution to both addressing the youth mental health crisis and remaining true to the educational mission of secondary and higher education – and that solution is creating living and learning environments characterized by both compassion and challenge.” In this Fall 2023 reading group, we will have a chance to reflect on forms of both compassion and challenge that lead to productive teaching and learning, and to discuss the opportunities that arise when these two approaches exist in tandem. Often, they are presented as opposites, and this reading group will be a space for us to think through and share practices that are both compassionate and challenging, rigorous and revitalizing, and supportive for students and for ourselves.



All meetings will be conducted in person at the OFD, Library 212, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on the following Wednesdays:

27 September: Welcome and agenda-setting; Preface and Chapters 1 + 2

18 October: Chapters 3 + 4

1 November: Chapters 5 + 6

29 November: Chapters 7 + 8 and Conclusion


If you would like to participate, please email Ellen Mandly at Lunch will be provided at all sessions and OFD will provide all participants with a complimentary copy of the book.