A Warm Welcome to Our New Director of Faculty Development

Jun 13, 2024

By: Loisa Fenichell, graduate communications assistant, and Laura Sponsler, new Director of Faculty Development

The Director of Faculty Development helps to oversee faculty development programming at DU, which includes ensuring high quality orientation, leadership, mid-career development, and transition to retirement programs and materials for faculty across lines and series, including part-time faculty.

The Faculty Affairs team at DU is very excited to announce and welcome Laura Sponsler as the new Director of Faculty Development!

Laura E. Sponsler, Ph.D, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver and Director of Faculty Development in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (VPFA). Dr. Sponsler previously served for four years as the Resident-Scholar for Teaching and Professional Faculty in the VPFA, leading work to support teaching and professional faculty and culminating in the Delphi Award 2021 for the university.  Before her time at DU, Dr. Sponsler served as the founding director for NASPA’s Lead Initiative, a civic learning and democratic engagement network, and as a practitioner in service-learning.  She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education and M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in biology from Saint Joseph’s University.

As an educator and scholar, Laura is passionate about advancing equity and creating a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible system of higher education for faculty and students. Her early research agenda focused on civic learning and democratic engagement. Since then, her interests have broadened to include inclusive teaching, learning, and assessment; the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL); organizational change; and faculty development, in particular, the experiences of non-tenure track faculty in higher education.

When not at work, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Her hobbies include working out, knitting, reading fiction, listening to Taylor Swift, and drinking tea.

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