FSU Graduate School names new assistant dean

Lisa Liseno

Lisa Liseno has been named an assistant dean of The Graduate School. In that role Liseno serves as the director of the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) and the Fellows Society.

“I am very excited for this new opportunity to mentor FSU’s graduate students in their teaching and professional development,” Liseno said.

PIE, a unit of The Graduate School, strives to enrich the learning experience for undergraduate students at FSU by supporting the teaching efforts of graduate student teaching assistants through its various services. These services include the annual fall TA Orientation/Teaching Conference, which will be held Aug. 20-21. Registration for the PIE Teaching Conference is free and open to all graduate student TAs as well as faculty, postdoctoral students and staff.

“PIE serves a vital role in graduate students’ pursuit to learn the profession of teaching,” Liseno said. “The program gives graduate students the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge necessary to instruct at the college level, including how to put together a course syllabus, create course objectives, classroom management, teaching and learning strategies, university policies, and how to manage one’s time in order to balance the roles of student and instructor/teaching assistant.

“I personally benefitted greatly from attendance at the annual PIE conference each year I served as a teaching assistant at FSU,” she said. “While putting together my application materials for the annual teaching assistant award, which I was honored to receive in 2005, I also learned how to assemble a professional teaching portfolio, including how to write a teaching philosophy.”

Each academic year approximately 15 FSU PIE Associates are selected to represent various departments across campus. Some academic departments on campus do not have training programs of their ow, or are in various stages of creating such a program. In either instance, PIE plays a vital role in assisting with creating effective TA training programs.

Liseno also serves as director for the Fellows Society, Florida State’s graduate fellowship society that brings together the university’s outstanding graduate students who hold competitive university-wide and prestigious external fellowships for the purpose of interdisciplinary discourse.

The mission of the Fellows Society is to recognize and advance academic excellence at the graduate level by developing leadership skills, promoting interactions among fellows from multiple disciplines, encouraging service to the university and community, and developing an interdisciplinary network of scholars. Activities include monthly research sharing sessions, an annual President’s Social, the spring Fellows Forum, and a fall induction ceremony and networking session.

Both the PIE program and the Fellows Society offer graduate students the opportunity to experience a shared learning community by getting together with graduate students in other disciplines.

“As both a graduate student and faculty member, it is very easy to get trapped in the vision of one’s own discipline and way of perceiving a particular issue or problem. Having a chance to communicate and collaborate with those in other disciplines broadens our understanding, and is an investment that pays off in growing our knowledge by providing multiple perspectives,” Liseno said.

Both programs are now housed in the new Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, which provides a perfect space for graduate fellows and other highly motivated and engaged students and postdocs to interact with one another, share creative ideas, discover new ways of thinking critically and build lasting relationships.

Liseno received a bachelor’s degree from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis., where she double majored in philosophy and journalism. She then earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Northern Illinois University in 2000, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from FSU in 2007. From 2008 until her hire by The Graduate School, Liseno was a faculty member in Florida State’s Academic Center for Excellence, a learning center housed in Undergraduate Studies. Liseno continues to teach philosophy courses as an adjunct instructor at Florida State.