The College of New Jersey - Teachers as Scholars Seminars (TAS)

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The College of New Jersey - Teachers as Scholars Seminars (TAS)

Seminars are two-day professional development events led by faculty members of The College of New Jersey(TCNJ)

By TCNJ - Educator Professional Development

When and where

Date and time

February 1 · 8:30am - May 15 · 3pm EST


Brower Student Center 2000 Pennington Road Ewing Township, NJ 08628

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 103 days 5 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

The Teachers As Scholars (TAS) was created 15 years ago through the collaborative effort of TCNJ’s Professional Development School Network, The College of New Jersey, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for the purpose of providing a selection of content-related seminars geared toward the particular interests of K–12 educators. The goals of the TAS seminars are:

  • To foster and promote teachers as academic and intellectual leaders by giving them time to reflect and discuss new ideas and recent scholarship with colleagues;
  • To give (over time) equal opportunity to all teachers in a district to examine and learn cutting-edge scholarship as part of their work day; and
  • To encourage professional relationships between arts and science faculty and classroom teachers, while improving articulation between K–12 schools and higher education.

TAS seminars are offered first to our Professional Development School Network; then to all school districts if space is available. Please scroll down to learn about the seminars and the seminar leaders.

SEMINAR #1: Tis a word too great for any mouth”: Shakespeare’s Language February 1 & 8, 2023

Shakespeare has been dead for 406 years, but he’s still one of the most frequently taught authors in American high schools. Any teacher asked “Why still teach Shakespeare?” will have a number of ready answers. Shakespeare’s plays continue to be cultural capital referred to at every turn, from Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury to The Lion King. Shakespeare’s plays illuminate the tragedies and joys of the human condition. Shakespeare’s stories are beautiful.

But few of us ever answer, “Shakespeare teaches us all something important about the English language.” Even fewer of our students will answer, “I understand every word Shakespeare writes.” For many of our students, Shakespeare’s language is an impediment rather than a joy. Lessons about Shakespeare’s poetry and plays often side-step his language, instead inviting students to reframe the action of the plays in contemporary settings with contemporary dialogue. In effect, many of us teach students to do what Shakespeare did to his own sources: to recast the stories in our own times without reference to the original language of the texts. Such lessons teach students important tools in translation or provide opportunities for performance, but they rarely improve students’ long-term comprehension of Shakespeare’s language.

This seminar will focus on Shakespeare’s language, using Love’s Labour’s Lost, as the point of departure. We will also discuss sections of Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. Participants will learn to use the lexical and linguistic tools necessary to discuss Shakespeare’s language and learn how to develop lessons to bring those resources into the classroom to improve student reading comprehension.

Seminar Leader: Felicia Steele, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the English department at The College of New Jersey. She teaches courses in introductory linguistics and the global history of the English language, as well as courses in early literatures and medievalism in British literature. Professor Steele’s main research is in historical linguistics, specifically auxiliary verb change over the history of the English language. She has also published essays in historical phonology and the uses of linguistic analysis in discussions of literary influence and the influence of Tolkien on Seamus Heaney. She is currently writing a book about the History of the English Language.

SEMINAR #2: The Representation of Women in Ancient Greek Art - March 7 & 14, 2023

Women have been greatly underrepresented in the literary and historical studies of ancient Greece, but there is an abundance of evidence about their lives available in the art historical and archaeological record. This course will help to illuminate the lives of Greek women by using a comparative and interdisciplinary approach that includes the evidence from art and architecture as well as literature. We will examine not only what women actually did and did not do in ancient Greece, but also how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. By studying how women were represented in vase-painting, sculpture, and other arts and examining the arrangement of the houses where they lived, we will explore the complexities and ambiguities of women’s lives in ancient Greece and help to create a fuller, more rounded, and more accurate picture of women’s lives in ancient Greece than we get when we only study the literature. Key issues/questions to be explored:

  • How were women represented in the visual and material cultures of ancient Greece?
  • What messages about women were the images meant to express?
  • How does the way a woman is represented change with age, status, identity, geography?
  • What is the point of studying women in ancient Greece? Why does their history matter to us today?

Seminar Leader: Lee Ann Riccardi, PhD is a Professor of Art History and Classical Studies. Her main area of research focuses on portraiture, with a special emphasis on sculptural and coin portraits produced in the Greek world under the Romans, and she has written several articles on various aspects of these topics. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a year as a Fulbright scholar in Greece, and regularly leads study abroad trips to Greece and Rome.

Seminar # 3: Lessons Learned from Pandemics - April 19 & 26, 2023

Throughout history, humans have encountered countless infectious diseases. Some of these have become legendary, owing to their lethality or their insidious spread. We will examine the societal impact of history’s most significant Pandemics: Bubonic Plague, Spanish Flu, and COVID-19. We will explore the effects of each disease on two levels: the biological (microbiology, pharmacology, and immunology) and the societal (epidemiology and sociology). The biology of each disease will be explained. We will become familiar with the state of global public health over time. We will see how art, music, and literature have been influenced by diseases. The ethics of infectious disease monitoring and control will be discussed, including quarantines, mandatory health department notification, use of vaccines and experimental drugs.

The many positive outcomes of pandemics are teaching moments across the ages and can be incorporated into interdisciplinary curricula. This seminar will answer these questions:

  • How do the impacts of Bubonic Plague, Spanish Flu, and COVID-19 compare?
  • Were we ready for COVID-19?
  • Will we be ready for the next pandemic?
  • How should we prepare?

Seminar Leader: Rita M. King, PhD has taught in the TCNJ Biology Department for over 25 years and was the Coordinator in the Tutoring Center for 11 years. Prior to her teaching career Rita did cancer research at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York. She has taught many courses to biology and nursing majors, as well as non-majors. She has taught The History of Disease and Principles of Microbiology. Her specialty is emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. ” It is easy to find the negative and disastrous outcomes of disease but I enjoy focusing on the positive outcomes and changes to society, economy, art, literature, and music. The resilience of our species never ceases to amaze me.”

SEMINAR #4 “life sentences: Teaching the Literature of the Prison” April 21 & 28, 2023

America has become known as the “Incarceration Nation,” imprisoning more people than any other country in the world. Interdisciplinary in nature, this seminar will explore literature by and about prisoners, and address such themes as confinement, slavery and oppression, and most importantly, the power of the written word. We will consider many disciplines as we approach these materials: gender, criminology, psychology, sociology, and, most notably, literary analysis. Together, we will turn to this groundbreaking, provocative material written by one of the most neglected, silenced, but all-too-critical sectors of our population– the incarcerate

Seminar Leader: Michele Lise Tarter, PhD is a professor of English at TCNJ. She has published and presented extensively on early American women’s writing as well as on 17th– and 18th-century transatlantic Quaker literature. She is co-editor of New Critical Studies on Early Quaker Women, 1650- 1800 (Oxford UP, 2018), Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America (University of Georgia Press, 2012) and “A Centre of Wonders “: The Body in Early America (Cornell UP, 2001). Her most recent research project is based on her volunteer work teaching a memoir-writing class to prisoners in the maximum-security wing of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey.

SEMINAR #5: Incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) in the Classroom - May 8 & 15, 2023

It is imperative to upskill students for the 21st century high demand careers in a diverse world and increase their culturally competent compassion as teachers prepare them to be global citizens. To this end, this seminar will introduce how immersive technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) can be used in teaching and learning and showcase recent student engagement with VR and projects designed to have social/cultural/health impact. Built in this seminar are guided hands-on VR sessions where participants will have the opportunity to interact with and critique a range of impactful programs. Participants will learn how VR is revolutionizing teaching and learning, and explore ideas on leveraging it to innovate within their own field. Further training and funding opportunities will be provided.

Seminar Leader: Yifeng Hu, PhD is an associate professor of Communication Studies at TCNJ. Her research and teaching are transdisciplinary, which include emerging communication technology, health communication, and intercultural/racial communication. She has led her students to research and design virtual reality-based projects that have the potential to make social changes. Hu is eager to share her expertise and passion in emerging communication technology and its social impact, and hopes to excite her peers with a vision of teaching and learning for the 21st century.

Information for all seminars:

  • Fee: $300.00 per person/per seminar - Fee includes
  • Ten hours instruction and Certificate of Completion
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Parking

Please note the following:

All seminars use books. The books are not required, but highly recommended. You may use your own, or have TCNJ purchase and send to you. The booklist and order instructions are provided below.

Registration Information

  • Online registration on Eventbrite is required
  • You do not need a PO# to register
  • If paying by purchase order - please select "pay by invoice"

Payment Information/Timeline:

  • To receive books before seminar payment is due 2 weeks prior to seminar date
  • Final Deadline: 1 week prior to seminar date
  • Accepted form of payments are
  • Credit Card(Eventbrite only)
  • Purchase Order
  • Check/Money Order

Payable To: The College of New Jersey or TCNJ

Mail to: The College of New Jersey PO Box 7718 Ewing, NJ 08628-0718 Education – 108 You may email or fax purchase orders to, f. 609.637.5196.

For any questions please contact George at or 609.771.2540

Teachers as Scholars Booklist - 2023

Participants are highly encouraged to purchase books; however, it is not required. You may purchase on your own, or have TCNJ purchase and send it to you. The cost for TCNJ purchase and send to you is provided for each Seminar. TCNJ will purchase/send all books for the seminar; sorry, no partial orders. Books are new paperbacks. Please contact George to order books and for any questions:

SEMINAR #1: Tis a word too great for any mouth”: Shakespeare’s Language - Fee: $50.00(3 books)

1. Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion - David Crystal

ISBN-10: 0140291172 ISBN-13: 978-0140291179

2. A Midsummer Night's Dream "Annotated" - William ShakespeareISBN-13: 979-8486378393

3. Love's Labor's Lost (Folger Shakespeare Library) - William ShakespeareISBN-10: 1982164956 ISBN-13: 978-1982164959

SEMINAR #2: The Representation of Women in Ancient Greek Art- Fee: $10.00

1. Women in Ancient Greece - Susan Blundell ISBN-13 ‏: ‎978-0674954731

SEMINAR #3: Lessons Learned from Pandemics - Fee: $35.00

  1. Irwin W. Sherman ISBN-10: 1555814662 ISBN-13: 978-1555814663

SEMINAR #4 “life sentences: Teaching the Literature of the Prison” Fee: $50.00(2books)

1. Wally Lamb, ed., Couldn't Keep It To Myself: Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters

2. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

SEMINAR #5: Incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) in the Classroom Fee: $25.00

1. Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works and What It Can Do Jeremy Bailenson ISBN-10: 039335685X ISBN-13: 978-0393356854

About the organizer

The TCNJ School of Education provides high-quality academic programs to students studying at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With a legacy in education innovation dating to 1855, we are equally committed to our students and our profession. We prepare teachers, counselors, and school administrators who are critical thinkers and capable researchers. As lifelong learners, our graduates are poised to lead positive change throughout their careers, even as educational issues and practices evolve.

Founded in 1855 as the first teacher-training school in New Jersey, and the ninth in the nation, The College of New Jersey has a long commitment to the transformative power of education. Today, the School of Education is the steward of this legacy, and continues the college’s original mandate to prepare active, informed, and self-reflective educators committed to the right of all students to learn, grow, and thrive. Guiding our work is the shared vision that teachers and other school professionals can and should be agents for positive social change.

Through meaningful, challenging academics and collaborative partnerships with the P–12 community, the School of Education has built a reputation for graduates who are well educated and well prepared for the challenges and opportunities of today’s classrooms. In fact, TCNJ-educated teachers can be found in nearly every district in the state, and the School of Education is recognized throughout the region as the most in-demand source of talented new teachers, counselors, and administrators.

Our connections with the P–12 community allow us to proactively address unmet and emerging needs in education. In recent years, we have developed and launched innovative academic programs in urban education, middle school specialization, and environmental sustainability education, among others. Students and teachers are the direct beneficiaries of our extensive outreach efforts, from summer academies in the public schools to professional development collaborations with local school districts.

Located in suburban Ewing, New Jersey, the School of Education is housed in its own dedicated building. Opened in 2012, the three-story, 72,000-square-foot Education Building models the collaborative, technology-rich environment that our students will encounter in contemporary classrooms and schools. Learning spaces include standard and smart classrooms, a STEM classroom, model classrooms for early childhood and elementary education, and an observation room for counselor education as well as a computer lab, seminar room, auditorium, and extensive study and gathering spaces.