Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019: Brockport – Jennifer Smalls
Jennifer Smalls has been a full-time instructor for the Department of Nursing at the State University of New York College of Brockport since 2014. She also teaches as an adjunct Health Assessment lab instructor at the University of Rochester in the APNN program since 2017. In anticipation of the RN-to-BSN program at the College of Brockport become 100% online, she successfully converted the hybrid Health Assessment and Health Assessment Clinical courses and the hybrid Nursing EBP Seminar courses to full online formats. Jennifer has since taught exclusively in the online program since 2017. The courses she teaches include the Introduction to BSN Practices (bridge course), Health Assessment/Health Assessment Clinical, Nursing Seminar I and II, and Epidemiology Community Clinical.
As the course coordinator for the Health Assessment and Seminar courses, Jennifer works very hard to enrich the content of these courses every semester. As she states, “I always enjoyed teaching these courses in person and did not want to lose the depth of learning that can come with traditional classroom education. I find the greatest challenge with online teaching is keeping students engaged and informed in an asynchronistic environment so I am always looking for new strategies to provide meaningful learning opportunities. One approach I have found to be most effective is to always make sure that my expectations for student learning are made clear through video lectures, course announcements, grading rubrics and purposeful feedback.”
Jennifer serves on many Department of Nursing committees at the College of Brockport, including the Evaluation Committee, the International Education Committee and serve as a College Senator for the department. She also serves as the chair of the College Senate General Education Standing Committee. With that honor, she is also a member of the College Senate Executive Committee and the General Education Assessment Committee. “I feel honored to have been given the privilege to serve my department and the campus in these capacities.”
“I have been a nurse for over 25 years and have worked in a large variety of health fields, including orthopedic rehab, pediatrics, nephrology, head trauma, telemetry/cardiac rehab, pulmonary/ventilation rehab and nursing leadership. I have worked as a hemodialysis nurse for 19 years and became a Certified Dialysis nurse in 2016. I am finding great pleasure in now being able to use that knowledge and experience to help influence our future generations of nursing leaders and educators.”
Jennifer has also participated in several faculty-led Study Abroad trips for the College of Brockport since 2015. She has taken students from several SUNY campuses to work with the underserved communities in the Sacred Valley region of Cusco, Peru. She has also coordinated a collaboration with an organization in Haiti and will be piloting the first faculty-led Study Abroad trip to Leogane, Haiti in March 2019. There students of all disciplines will work to provide much needed healthcare, education, and infrastructural resources to a destitute community lacking even the basic of necessities.