Sharing success

Mount launches Davidson DiPaola Educational Innovations Cooperative
February 27, 2017


Dee Berlinghoff, professor of education, and Ed Teall, professor of philosophy, co-directors of The Davidson DiPaola Educational Innovations Cooperative at Mount Saint Mary College. They are showcasing One Button Studio, which allows professors to digitally record lectures onto a flash drive. One Button Studio will be the subject of the DDEIC’s next Coffee Talk for the college community.


Give yourself time. Let your ideas percolate. Be comfortable with your surroundings.

As part of his “Creativity and the Creative Process” course, assistant theater professor James Phillips and his class brainstormed ways to harness a more inspired state for both body and mind.

But it wasn’t just Phillips’ students who got the creative juices flowing: several Mount faculty and staff members were also immersed in the lesson. And it was happening in classrooms throughout the college – from mathematics and psychology to criminology and science – allowing the Mount community to examine the teaching strategies of their peers.

The daylong open classroom program is one of the first from the Mount’s newest initiative, The Davidson DiPaola Educational Innovations Cooperative (DDEIC). The DDEIC is committed to the continuing study of sound educational practices and promoting the professional development of faculty as instructors, researchers, and scholars. Through activities like observing fellow professors in action, the DDEIC fosters critical thinking and communication in student learning.

The Davidson DiPaola Educational Innovations Cooperative is spearheaded by co-directors Dee Berlinghoff, professor of education, and Ed Teall, professor of philosophy.

“We want this to be a shared resource for all Mount faculty,” explained Teall. “We all have different ideas of how to teach. This is a way we can exchange and share those ideas and give our students a better classroom experience.”

The cooperative aims to “enhance the teaching” of Mount faculty to “prepare our students to be lifelong learners,” as detailed in Mount Saint Mary College’s overall mission.


Bojan Lazarevic (left), assistant professor of information technology, discusses the possibilities of using virtual reality for enhancing instruction in various disciplines during the inaugural Davidson DiPaola Educational Innovations Cooperative Coffee Talk. The talks are concise learning opportunities to discover new instructional ideas and approaches. Wearing the VR headset is Dennis Rush, chief information officer at the Mount.


It is the Mount’s fifth Center for Excellence, joining the ranks of The Catholic and Dominican Institute, The Center on Aging and Policy, The Center for Adolescent Research and Development, and The Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning.

The Davidson DiPaola Educational Innovations Cooperative is named after the late Mount professors Virginia Davidson, English, and Lucy DiPaola, education chair. Davidson and DiPaola shared a passion for teaching that embodies the spirit of the DDEIC’s goals, noted Berlinghoff.

“Consistent with the college mission, they interacted with students in an effort to enable them to reach their potential as life-long learners,” Berlinghoff explained. Davidson “worked closely with Ed [Teall] when they integrated her basic writing course with his logic course to find ways to enhance the learning of students. I worked with Lucy [DiPaola] on a number of projects as she provided guidance in my early career at the Mount.”

In the future, Berlinghoff and Teall plan to offer workshops on teaching strategies and classroom activities; individual and small group support for implementing instructional approaches; lectures on topics relevant to Mount faculty; access to specialized equipment and software; additional open classroom opportunities; programming to support new faculty; faculty-to-faculty training; and more.

“Our hope is for the DDEIC to be a true cooperative, having faculty sharing effective pedagogy with each other,” Berlinghoff said. “In turn, our students will benefit from new techniques and a good start on that path to life-long learning.”