Dr. Cheryl Fryer
Meet our Fall 2012 CETLA Fellow, Dr. Cheryl Fryer, Assistant Professor of Dentistry! As a CETLA Fellow, Dr. Fryer will continue to explore technologies and pedagogies that can increase student engagement and learning in the College of Dentistry.
A daughter of Howard, Dr. Fryer graduated from Howard’s BS/DDS program in the early 1980s. Afterward, she completed the General Dentistry Residency Program at the nearby Veterans Administration Medical Center and earned an M.S. in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Afterward, she became an Assistant Professor of Oral Pathology at Howard and, eventually, Coordinator for Howard’s Group Practice Module, Acting Chair of the Department of Restorative Services, and Coordinator for the Caries Management Clinic. However, as she recalls, she still yearned to understand “how students learn and what we as teachers, individually and collectively, can do to strengthen the quality of their academic experience and positively influence their development as professional graduate students.” Her quest led her to pursue an M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park.
At the University of Maryland, Dr. Fryer studied theory and research on college teaching as well as leadership in health care education. In particular, she investigated the impact of problem-based learning on dental education. At the same time, at CETLA, she began exploring the role of writing in active learning. After taking the WC01 workshop “Helping Students Use Writing to Learn about a Discipline,” she began to experiment with “journaling” in dentistry to stimulate students’ reflection about clinical experiences and to improve faculty-student communication. Eventually, she became a certified Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) professor. At CETLA, she has also explored the potential of technology to improve student learning in her field, earning certification for both Blackboard and Distance-Learning. With CETLA, she even developed the Dentistry section of CETLA’s Multimedia Resources page by recommending and reviewing dentistry websites (see http://www.cetla.howard.edu/teaching_resources/multimedia.html ). In addition, she has garnered Academic Excellence Awards to test intra-oral cameras in dentistry and digital technology in education, including the use of digital laboratory notebooks.
It is not surprising, then, that Dr. Fryer has won numerous teaching awards from dental classes and student organizations, and it is fitting that she was recently appointed as the Director of Faculty Development for the College of Dentistry. We look forward to collaborating with her as she shares best practices for teaching large classes and promotes student “journaling” about clinical experiences.