Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2016 – Stony Brook: Marilyn London
Dr. London recently retired from her position as Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Registrar for the Stony Brook School of Medicine. She worked in the Health Sciences Center for over 20 years.
Marilyn has an eclectic background. She holds a Doctorate in Education from Rutgers University, a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, both earned at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign. She co-authored a book called First Time Leaders of Small Groups and has co-taught an international Human Resources course. She has also published in the field of music, and has presented several workshops and posters at national and regional medical education conferences. As a hobby, she recently completed a novel, “The Trust Fund,” as well as a creative short story, “On Clinical Trials.”
Dr. London held several teaching and leadership positions during her career including working on committees in the School of Medicine, developing a group piano program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, running a library concert series, as well as co-leading the Belle Mead Friends of Music in New Jersey. As a young musician, Dr. London performed solo and four-hand piano in Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and across Long Island for over 20 years before moving into higher education administration. She also ran a private studio, and taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, Rutgers University, Westminster Choir College, and public and adult schools.
While working as an administrator in the School of Medicine, I missed teaching and interacting with students. I jumped at the opportunity to teach in the School of Professional Development. My first few courses were face-to-face but I was curious about teaching online, and soon developed a new course that combined my music background with my administrative experiences. Cultural Diversity in American Musicals is primarily a diversity course but it incorporates readings, musicals and other fine arts works with rich online discussions and creative projects that students can use on the job to teach about diversity. I soon took on Project Seminar and Higher Education Leadership courses online. The biggest initial challenge for me online was figuring out how to tell students apart so that I could treat them as individuals. I learned that people tend to leave an idiosyncratic mark on their writing styles. Now, I even feel confident writing recommendations for students who I get to know quite well online. Some features of online teaching that I love are: teaching at a time that’s convenient for me each day, having time to think out my responses to student input, having multiple ways to interact with students (using Blackboard, emails, phone, teleconferencing, etc.).