University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty-to-Faculty Consulting Program

Request a Consultation:

To request a consultation,
email either:
   Dianna Murray-Close, or
   Nicole Phelps

Many faculty value conversations with colleagues about teaching challenges and creative ways to handle them. As part of the CTL Faculty-to-Faculty Consulting Program, Associate Professor Nicole Phelps and Professor Dianna Murray-Close (see bios below) are available to meet with fellow faculty talk confidentially about teaching.

Beginning their second year as CTL Faculty Associates, Professors Phelps and Murray-Close are available to consult on a variety of topics, including:

  • Course and syllabus design
  • Designing inclusive classrooms
  • Integrating information literacy and library instruction
  • Active learning and discussion
  • Classroom climate
  • Controversial topics in the classroom
  • Effective use of iClickers
  • Effective use of PowerPoint
  • Assessment and grading strategies
  • Teaching non-majors
  • Teaching TAP, HCOL 086, and sophomore seminars
  • Teaching large enrollment classes e.g. effective lecture and management strategies
  • Peer observations to evaluate teaching effectiveness
  • Managing and mentoring undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants
  • Developing exhibits of student research (on-campus exhibits, posters, Student Research Conference presentations)

The goals of the Faculty Associates program

  • Increase faculty-to-faculty support networks for teaching and learning
  • Expand the availability of peer teaching consultations tailored to individual needs
  • Increase the institutional capacity for developing faculty leadership and skills in the peer consultation process


Dianna Murray-Close
Professor of Psychology

Since arriving at UVM in 2007, Prof. Dianna “Annie” Murray-Close has served as the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Psychological Science and is currently the Director of the Ph.D. program in General/Experimental Psychology. Prof. Murray-Close teaches large-enrollment undergraduate courses, upper-level undergraduate courses, and graduate seminars in the areas of developmental psychology and psychology of gender. Prof. Murray-Close regularly works with undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants, incorporates technology into her classes (e.g., iClickers), and tackles controversial topics in the classroom. Prof. Murray-Close also runs an active research laboratory with undergraduate and graduate research assistants completing independent research projects. Prof. Murray-Close recently developed the graduate seminar Teaching of Psychology, focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning and best teaching practices. Prof. Murray-Close was the recipient of the UVM College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture Award in 2016 and the UVM Alumni Association George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award in 2018.

In her teaching, Prof. Murray-Close is particularly interested in designing courses to engage students and promote deep processing of course content. Prof. Murray-Close enjoys discussing all aspects of teaching with colleagues, ranging from syllabus design, assignment development, strategies for teaching large-enrollment classes. and fostering successful discussions in the classroom.

Nicole Phelps
Associate Professor of History

Professor Phelps's teaching at UVM has included a variety of diplomatic history courses that cover the eighteenth century through the near-present, courses on the Gilded Age & Progressive Era (the 1893 World’s Fair is a favorite topic), both halves of the introductory US history survey, and an introductory D1 class on “Race and Nation in the US” from 1776 to the near-present. With some frequency, she also teaches HST 101, a required course for History majors (aimed at sophomores), and HST 301, a required course for incoming History MA students, both of which focus on skills acquisition, rather than specific historical content. She's also taught TAP, HCOL 086, and several HCOL sophomore seminars.

Class sizes have ranged from independent studies to 180 students. Professor Phelps has used clickers, worked closely with a variety of library staff and faculty, integrated technology skills workshops, employed WID Mentors and graduate TAs, had students present at the Student Research Conference, and worked with a class to mount an exhibit of Gilded Age political cartoons in the Bailey/Howe Library.

She has been chair of the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee and a member of the Honors College Curriculum Committee since 2014. She has also served on the Teaching Committee of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations; her work there included collecting syllabi for posting online and presenting on several teaching-related panels at the society’s annual conference.

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