Writer: Hayden Coombs
Conversations about learning and teaching have always been a part of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho. However, in 1979, these conversations were expanded because of Walter Gong. Brother Gong was invited by the College President, Bruce Hafen, to give a presentation on learning and teaching to the college faculty. His presentation was so widely accepted, he was invited back to return for a two-week seminar where the college faculty could spend significant time discussing these ideas and theories with him.
The impact of Walter Gong's visits to this campus can still be seen today. Some 33 years later, there are still members of the faculty teaching and discussing what they learned from him. For these many reasons, as well his passion of teaching, the keynote address at the annual BYU-Idaho Faculty Conference is named in his honor.
This year's conference will be held on September 5, 2012, and will begin in the Hinckley Chapel at 9:00 am. The keynote address, which traditionally begins the conference, will be given by Ann Marie Harmon, Mathematics Department Chair.
Sister Harmon arrived at Ricks College in 1999 after teaching at Idaho State University. She has since served as the President of the Faculty Association and is currently serving as Chair of the Mathematics Department.
Concerning her address at the Faculty Conference, Sister Harmon said she will be discussing how, "research has shown that our students come to us with many preconceived, faulty, and strongly held notions about our fields. How can we encourage students to think critically about what they are learning and how their prejudices affect that learning?"