Faculty-to-Faculty Spotlight-Dr. Maria Colavito

Faculty-to-Faculty Spotlight-Dr. Maria Colavito

This month’s spotlight is Maria M. Colavito, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at South Campus.

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 Maria M. Colavito, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at South Campus.

Engaging with and supporting students:

  • Faculty advisor to the South Campus Philosophy Club, Lovers of Wisdom
  • Serves as Socrates Café facilitator at South Campus

Reimagining classroom assignments:

Final assignments in all of Dr. Colavito’s classes include a group summative project that requires students to create a video or live presentation that explores a “big question” related to the curriculum presented in her philosophy course. 

Students research, evaluate, and present the work in a narrative or documentary format with their consensus conclusion or “answer” demonstrated, not stated, at the end of the document or video.  This assignment requires them to engage fully with one another in analyzing and synthesizing the course material in novel ways while also learning the practical skillsets of collaboration, project management, and project execution on a timeline.

The other students, along with Dr. Colavito, critique the presentations and group members evaluate the quality of others’ group participation. A link to a final project is included here.

Engaging with her profession:

  • Professional membership:
    • Certified Philosophical Client Counselor, American Philosophical Practitioners Association
  • Collaboration with colleagues in publishing and editing:
    • Co-authored The Encyclopedia of Epic Films; contributed a chapter on Greek philosophy to a trade paperback on Spiritual Growth Therapy; wrote article in Festschrift edited by Dr. Christopher Chapple; wrote introduction to a new translation for a play, Antigone, recently published by Dr. Constantine Santas; currently writing a memoir of a local community leader

Engaging with the community: 

  • Volunteer consultant and facilitator:
    • Alachua County School District, science department teacher retreat
    • Chappell Schools annual retreat
    • Lifescape Solutions, Delray Beach, Florida  
  • Serves on local Boards:
    • President and Chair, Biocultural Research Institute, St. Augustine, Florida
    • Consultant and community partner, HandsOn Gainesville STEM
    • Member, STEP Partnership