The Courage to Care: Radical Hospitality in Teaching

As the modern world evolves with new innovations and technology, Saint Leo University remains steadfast in upholding the foundational Benedictine value of radical hospitality. By cultivating positive connections to everyone around us, students, faculty, and staff, our commitment to radical hospitality has become part of our identity. In our pursuit of retaining students and ensuring their success at Saint Leo, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is pleased to announce this Fall semester’s focus, The Courage to Care: Radical Hospitality in Teaching. 

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is pleased to announce this Fall semester’s theme for Faculty Development Day: The Courage to Care: Radical Hospitality in Teaching.  Rooted in the ideas of Benedictine tradition and Appreciative Education, we’ll explore what radical hospitality means on our campus, in our classrooms and online. We invite you to submit a proposal and share your insights and strategies that enhance teaching practices and empower all students to succeed. 

Our virtual event will kick off with a guest speaker who will inspire us to examine the Appreciative Education approach to teaching and learning.  Subsequent concurrent sessions will focus on the principles and practices of Appreciative Education which include 

  1. Fostering a positive and empowering learning environment. 
  2. Promoting student-centered learning. 
  3. Encouraging growth mindset. 
  4. Teaching strategies that help students connect and engage such as active learning, collaborative learning, problem-based learning, and authentic assessments. 
  5. Envisioning positive possibilities and empowering students to take ownership over their own learning. 

This faculty development day, let’s share our best practices and explore how we can help students have the “Courage to Be More.”  


Event Date Wednesday, August 20, 2024 
Location: Online/Virtual 
Event Format: Opening remarks followed by Keynote speaker and 2 blocks of concurrent sessions.

    1. 50-minute presentations – single presenter 
    2. 50-minute panel presentations – 2-3 presenters with a collaborative proposal 

Proposal Deadline is Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Themed Tracks and Possible Topics

Classroom Community and Sense of Belonging  

  • Social and Emotional presence in the classroom 
  • Inclusive Teaching (diversity, inclusion, neurodiversity, microaggressions, etc.) 
  • Strategies to build a positive classroom community 
  • Managing conflict in the classroom 

Techniques to Increase Student Agency and Retention  

  • Mentoring and connecting with students 
  • Engaging students in research  
  • Deeper dive into the tenets of Appreciative Education  
  • Experiential learning, internships, and professional experiences 
  • Empowering students to take ownership over their own learning 

Online Teaching 

  • instructional strategies that engage online learners 
  • Facilitating student-to-student interaction 
  • Zoom synchronous session strategies 
  • Instructor presence in the online environment  
  • Collaborative learning online strategies and tools 
  • Innovative discussion boards  

Assessing Student Learning 

  • Authentic assessments that require creative thinking and problem-solving 
  • Assessments that develop students’ professional skills  
  • Assessments that integrate AI 
  • Formative assessments that “form” students’ understanding 

Teaching Best Practices  

  • Active Learning 
  • Collaborative Learning 
  • Universal Design for Learning 
  • Hybrid Teaching 
  • Technology tools that support on-ground and online learning 

Artificial Intelligence 

  • AI and writing assignments  
  • Guiding students to use AI ethically in their courses 
  • AI tools to prepare our students for their professions  
  • Using AI as a teaching and/or productivity assistant 
  • Assessments that allow AI use 
  • Assessments that don’t lend themselves to AI use 

For more information, visit the Faculty Development Day Fall 2024 page on our website to view a complete list of themed tracks and to submit a proposal. 


Resources for Appreciative Education

Appreciative Advising

          Appreciative Education has its roots in Appreciative Advising which embodies a student-centered approach to education through encouraging positive interactions and experiences — in other words, extending radical hospitality. At the core of Appreciative Advising lies its framework of six tenets: Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don’t Settle. Through these tenets, faculty, and staff engage with students to cultivate an environment that is not only inclusive but also tailored to their individual college experiences. From your very first interaction with a student (Disarm) to uncovering their strengths (Discover), demonstrating interest in their dreams and futures (Dream), advising them on their program evaluations and employing innovative teaching methods (Design), providing support as they navigate assignments and challenges (Deliver), to ensuring they never settle for less than their own expectations of success (Don’t Settle). 


          We warmly invite you to explore the various tracks and topics for Faculty Development Day that align with the principles of radical hospitality and appreciative education. The day will offer valuable professional development opportunities for both faculty. By sharing your expertise, you will contribute to the professional growth of your fellow faculty members, fostering a collaborative and supportive academic community. We encourage you to share your insights, experiences, and strategies, as they will not only enhance teaching practices but also empower our students for success at Saint Leo.