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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 Groups -- Spring 2024

Spring 2024 Faculty Reading Groups


My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, by Rebekah Nathan


Students, faculty, and professional staff spend a good amount of time together over the academic year. While we share an abundance of common interests and goals—knowledge and learning acquisition, making progress toward degree requirements, building confidence and resiliency, fostering growth and development of self and other, forging strong social and professional relationships—sometimes it seems as though we’re orbiting different axes or speaking different languages. Students sometimes don’t understand where faculty and professional staff are coming from; likewise, faculty and professional staff sometimes have difficulty seeing certain situations from a student’s perspective.

This reading group will draw together students, faculty, and professional staff to bridge these gaps through the sharing of different perspectives on academic and student life. Our discussion will take shape around Rebekah Nathan’s book, My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student. After teaching anthropology at a large university for more than a decade, Professor Nathans decided to enroll as a freshman, move into a residence hall, eat in the dining hall, and take a full load of courses. As a result, she came to understand that being a student is a pretty difficult job, and her discoveries open up topics ranging from community and diversity, academic success and support, the art of college management, and student life and culture. We hope that our conversations will open new pathways to both discuss these topics and implement concrete strategies to address them on our campus, all with an effort to increase efforts in student retention and student success.


We will run two fully in-person groups concurrently, each limited to 15 participants (5 faculty members, 5 professional staff, and 5 students).


Group One

Thursdays, 11.00-12.15

Facilitator: Dr. Rekha Rosha, Program Manager, Academic Advising and Support, College of Nursing and Health Sciences


Thur., Feb. 8

Thur., Mar. 21

Thur., Apr. 11 

Thur., May 9


Group Two

Tuesdays, 12.30-1.45  

Facilitator: Jennifer Vincent, Director, Career Center


Tuesday, February 6th

Tuesday, March 5th

Tuesday, April 2nd

Tuesday, April 30th

To register, please email Ellen Mandly at to reserve a spot. Please indicate whether you are faculty, student, or professional staff, and please specify which group (Tuesday/Thursday) you wish to join. The groups will meet fully in person, and we ask that you commit to attending all meetings upon registering. OFD will provide a copy of the book to all participants as well as lunch at each session.




The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It, by Jennifer Moss 


Facilitator: Kari Mofford, Health Sciences and Engineering Librarian, Claire T. Carney Library


Burnout is something we are all familiar with and probably have experienced to one degree or another.  Why is burnout so prevalent, and can anything be done to avoid it?  In The Burnout Epidemic, Jennifer Moss starts with the causes and risk factors of burnout; she then surveys some wellness initiatives that, while well-intentioned, can actually cause more harm than good; and then concludes with real steps for leaders to follow to make things better for themselves and their workplaces. 

Will this book solve all our problems?  Probably not, but it can foster an honest, healthy conversation about a topic that is important to us all.  This reading group welcomes faculty, professional staff, and administrators to the conversation, with the mindset that we are all potential leaders, even if we do not currently hold an official leadership position.



All meetings will be conducted in person at the OFD, Library 212, from 2-2.50 p.m. on the following Mondays:

Monday, February 26: Insights

Monday, March 18: Strategies

Monday, April 22: Leadership


The OFD will provide a complimentary copy of the book to all participants; they will be available at the OFD office for pickup. Refreshments will be provided at all meetings. This reading group will be capped at 12 participants. If interested, please email Ellen Mandly at as soon as possible. Questions should be directed to Kari Mofford at


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