Faculty-to-Faculty Spotlight - Bill Meisel

Faculty-to-Faculty Spotlight - Bill Meisel

FSCJ has the best and brightest faculty who are committed to providing meaningful and rewarding educational experiences for our students.

As a way to continue the 2015-16 theme of “engagement,” Dr. Angela Browning will be highlighting the extraordinary work of a faculty member each month to share his/her teaching and engagement techniques, professional development, community service and unique College contributions.

This month’s spotlight is Bill Meisel, professor of mathematics at Downtown Campus.

Engaging with and supporting students:

  • Teaches math in a “less visual,” language-oriented way, which allows students to see different approaches to math problem-solving
  • Appreciates diverse approaches to teaching that can result in student success
  • Believes in the importance of giving students information early in the semester about his teaching approach
  • Adopted the use of free, open-source texts or his own materials in an effort to mitigate the high cost of textbooks and to ensure students’ immediate access to course materials

Reimagining course assignments:

  • Creates an active learning environment that encourages student-faculty interaction
  • Works with his students and guides their problem-solving
  • Ensures that in-class problems exemplify the types of problems students will see on their exams
  • Shows statistics students a short video revealing how psychics, palm readers and astrologists use “cold reading” to deliver a “reading” of a person’s personality
  • Students learn about “confirmation bias” by viewing the responses of young people who first believe the psychic reading is 80, 90 or 95% accurate, but when it is revealed that all “readings” are identical, theybecome aware of the fraud
  • Uses specific information from the state of Illinois’ bi-annual raffles to teach students about math, and to illustrate how using math can reveal truth about who “wins” these state drawings, raffles or lotteries

Engaging with the College and the Community:

  • FSCJ International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, presenter:
    • 2013: “A Crash Course in Voting Theory and Apportionment
    • 2014: “Calculus II:  Trigonometric Substitution Using Imaginary Numbers
    • 2015: Finding Particular Solutions to Second Order Differential Equations with Constant Coefficients Using Operators;
  • FSCJ Faculty Senate, member (2013 – current)
  • United Faculty of Florida, treasurer (2015 – 2016)
  • Downtown Campus Governance Committee, member (2012 - 2014)
  • Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning / Center for Learning Enrichment, member (2012 – 2014)
  • Volunteer chorus member, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus; weekly rehearsals at JU in preparation for annual performances produced by the Symphony

*Tell me about the engaging activities in which you and your students are involved.  Email angela.browning@fscj.edu with information about your class or a colleague’s.