Bob Seiser of Roosevelt University and SCI-Midwest welcomes attendees to SSI 2016

Bob Seiser of Roosevelt University and SCI-Midwest welcomes attendees to SSI 2016

The SCI-Midwest has sponsored workshops on quantitative reasoning, food science and policy, and sustainability. Member institutions have been actively involved in NCSCE’s GLISTEN (Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network) initiative. The SCI-Midwest was one of the original six Centers initiated in 2008, and was hosted by Harold Washington College (City Colleges of Chicago) from 2008 until the end of 2011, and in that capacity also hosted the 2009 SENCER Summer Institute. Beloit College assumed the host institution role from 2012 to 2013, followed by the current host, Roosevelt University. The SCI-Midwest region includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We are excited to partner with groups of faculty to host regional workshops related to SENCER issues. Please contact the co-directors with your ideas.

About the Host Institution: Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University is the only private, non-sectarian university in the Chicago metropolitan area. It was founded in 1945 by faculty, students and staff as one of the first universities to provide equal access to higher education and to express a social justice mission. Today RU enrolls over 6000 students across two campuses, lists more than 150 Transformational Learning courses and is the Midwest’s 4th most diverse university (US News & World Report). The RU Chicago Campus is part of the largest concentration of college students in the nation (65,000 in the Loop), and the Wabash Building is the second tallest academic building in the U.S.


Past Symposia

SCI-Midwest Spring 2017 Meeting
Roosevelt University
April 8, 2017

Twenty SENCER newcomers and alumni gathered at Roosevelt University on April 8 for an extended roundtable discussion on “The present and future of SENCER”, sponsored by SCI-Midwest. Facilitated by NCSCE executive director Eliza Reilly and SCI-Midwest co-director Robert Seiser, participants identified concepts and ideals that unify the SENCER community in the Midwest and discussed ways in which the work of SENCER can become more visible and impactful at both the local and regional levels. Topics included enhanced communication/networking, collaborative funding opportunities, regional implementation awards, increased student involvement, theme-based curricula, and improved coordination of SENCER activities across institution types, educational levels and geographic boundaries. In keeping with Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, workshop participants resolved to put plans into action and convene again at SSI 2017 and at a fall regional meeting focused on faculty development.

2016 SENCER Summer Institute
Roosevelt University
July 28-August 1, 2016

Roosevelt University

The 2016 SENCER Summer Institute was hosted by Roosevelt University from July 28th – August 1, 2016.

The central theme of this year’s Institute was transformation. Transformation is expressed throughout several facets of our work in 2016, from the continued progress in our SENCER, SENCER-ISE and Engaging Mathematics projects to our pursuit of opportunities emerging from new partnerships and initiatives, and our organization being profiled in a recent USC monograph by Adrianna Kezar and Sean Gehrke as a Community of Transformation in STEM reform.

The major aims for this year’s program included conversations about the STEM reform ecosystem, examples of SENCER work on campus and of the SENCER approach in real-world problems, and assessment of SENCER work. Other topics covered in the 2016 program include:

  1. Civic Intersections of STEM and Humanities
  2. Communities of Transformation: Maximizing Impact
  3. Public Engagement with Science
  4. Foregrounding Quantitative Literacy in Civic Life
  5. Science and Technology for Social Good
  6. Leading Change: Aligning Institutional and Personal Priorities

Program Book

Download (PDF, 2.5MB)

SCI-Midwest Fall 2015 Meeting
Harold Washington College
October 24, 2015

Saturday, October 24
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Harold Washington College
30 E. Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60601

The goals of the conference are threefold:

  1. Introduce new participants to the SENCER project and its aim of “Applying the science of teaching to the teaching of science”;
  2. Showcase the work of SENCER alumni and leadership fellows;
  3. Inspire and support new work in advance of the 2016 SENCER Summer Institute.


9:15 am      Coffee and Registration
9:45 am     Welcome
10:00 am   Opening Plenary (David Burns)
11:00 am    SENCER 101 — Introduction to SENCER
12:30 pm    Lunch
1:30 pm      Disciplinary / Team workshops (SENCER Leadership Fellows)
3:30 pm      Closing Plenary

Photo: Howard Rosing of DePaul University Speaks to participants in the SCI-Midwest Spring 2014 meeting about food Equity

Credit: Bob Seiser, SCI-Midwest Co-Director

Spring 2015 Regional Meeting
Northeastern Illinois University
March, 14 2015

Teaching College Science and Math Through Food, Health and Sustainability Themes


Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Northeastern Illinois University
Student Union
5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625-4699

The SCI-Midwest Spring 2015 Regional Meeting will be held in conjunction with the 2015 Chicago Symposium Series’ second meeting on Friday, March 13, also at NEIU.

Conference attendees will:

  • Explore the use of several major issues – food, health, sustainability, and the intersections among them – as tools for teaching in STEM fields and as opportunities for student civic engagement.
  • Learn about the goals of the SENCER project and how to design a “SENCER course”.
  • Share examples of pedagogies across the disciplines that enhance civic engagement, student learning and faculty collaboration.
  • Strengthen the SENCER regional network by making new connections and renewing old ones.

Both events will feature keynote speakers emphasizing the SENCER approach to science and math education:

David Burns, Executive Director, National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, and founder and Principal Investigator of SENCER

Victor Donnay, Professor of Mathematics, Bryn Mawr College

There is no fee to register or attend the meeting. (Registration for the Chicago Symposium Series is separate – see above website) A number of travel awards will be available to presenters and new attendees. Registration and application details will follow in the new year.

Click here to go to the registration page for the SCI-Midwest Spring 2015 Meeting.

Preliminary Schedule

8:30am Registration and Breakfast
9:15am Welcome and Introductions
9:30am Opening Plenary
10:30am Concurrent Sessions I
11:30am Poster Session
12:15pm Lunch
1:00pm Plenary
2:00pm Concurrent Sessions II
3:00pm Closing Plenary
4:00pm Adjourn

Directions and Parking

For directions to the campus: http://www.neiu.edu/about/campus-map-and-directions


Take the Ravenswood (Brown Line) train to Kimball, and transfer to the CTA bus going north on Kimball. Get off at Bryn Mawr and walk two blocks west.


From the North: Take 41 south to I-94 east and exit at Peterson east (41B). Proceed on Peterson to Pulaski and turn right (south). Take Pulaski south to Bryn Mawr and turn left (east) to the campus.

From the Northwest: Take I-90 east to the Austin exit. At the stop sign, turn left and follow the street around to the light at Foster. Turn left (east) on Foster. Proceed on Foster past Pulaski and turn left onto the NEIU campus.

From the West: Take I-88 east to I-290 east, to I-94 west. Exit Peterson east (41B). Proceed on Peterson to Pulaski and turn right (south). Take Pulaski south to Bryn Mawr and turn left (east) to the campus.

From the South: Take I-94 west to Peterson and exit east. Proceed on Peterson to Pulaski and turn right (south). Take Pulaski to Bryn Mawr and turn left (east) to the campus.


Parking is free for meeting participants. Park in any Level 2 area; we suggest parking in parking lot F or the Parking Facility building adjacent to parking lot F. Enter the campus on N Central Park Avenue (either from Foster on the south or Bryn Mawr on the north), and it is easy to find the Parking Facility. From there it is a short walk to the Student Union (follow the walkway between the Library and the Fine Arts Building and then turn north to the entrance of the Student Union).

Campus Map:

Contact Information

For more information about the symposium or questions, please contact the co-directors of SCI-Midwest,Bob Seiser ([email protected]) and David Rutschman ([email protected]).

Photo: Howard Rosing of DePaul University Speaks to participants in the SCI-Midwest Spring 2014 meeting about food Equity

Credit: Bob Seiser, SCI-Midwest Co-Director

Teaching College Science Through Food, Public Health, and Sustainability Issues
Roosevelt University
March 8, 2014
Sustainability, Quantitative Reasoning, and the Liberal Arts: Enhancing Student Success Through Civic Engagement
Beloit College (WI)
November 10, 2012
SENCER Summer Institute
Butler University (IN)
July 2011
Regional Midwest Meeting
Indiana State University (IN)
September 2010
Teaching Quantitative Reasoning Through Civic Engagement
Metropolitan State University (MN)
November 2009
SENCER Summer Institute
Harold Washington College (IL)
August 2009
Meeting the Challenges of Great Lakes Stewardship: SENCER Approaches
Case Western Reserve University (OH)
March 2009
Indiana Schools Meeting
Butler University (IN)
December 2008
Midwest Regional Meeting
University of Wisconsin Parkside (WI)
February 2007

Midwest Co-Director


Dr. Rober Seiser, SCI-Midwest Co-Director

Dr. Robert Seiser
Roosevelt University
[email protected]

Co-Director Emeritus

Dr. Dennis Lehman
[email protected]

Dr. Marion Field Fass
Beloit College

Leadership Council

Dr. Mariah Birgen
Wartburg College

Dr. Cynthia Kaus
Metropolitan State University

Dr. Farah Movahedzadeh
Harold Washington College

Mr. Glenn Odenbrett
Case Western Reserve University