Hahn Fund RITG Blog

Why the Hahn Project Showcase Was More Important Than You Might Think

Last week’s blog post outlines the presentations given at what we are confidently calling the First Annual Hahn Event. We do mean to have more such events, and we hope you will attend. The event was right before our Pomona holiday break, and I found myself detailing to visiting family, as we sipped wine in the Santa Ynez region, why I thought the Hahn event was more important than most folks might immediately realize. And I want to share those with you now too.

  1. Celebration. Most of us love a good end-of-the-semester celebration, especially if food is involved (even if it does have to be the now-familiar grab-and-go required by pandemic conditions). If the celebration is marking work well done—all the better. That was true for the First Annual Hahn Event, but there’s even more to celebrate. At a time when most of us were trying to remember what day of the week it was and if we had already changed out of our daytime pajamas and into our nighttime pajamas, these awardees chose to take on the additional work of proposing a technology-enhanced curricular change. Mind boggling! And worth celebrating.
  2. Honor. I suppose it can seem pro forma, but as presenters noted their gratitude to the Hahn family, I was moved, and it seemed to me others were too. We are fortunate to have this fund and how wonderful and important to mark our appreciation. 
  3. Reflection and community. Most of us have witnessed the power of a curricular exercise that requires students to reflect on their thinking and to make their work and thinking visible to others. The same thing happens when instructors reflect on their practice and do so in the presence of others. The Hahn event was intentionally designed to create the space for awardees to share their projects, reflect on their process, and invite dialogue with the audience. This generated ideas and connections during the event, but perhaps even more importantly, it laid down tracks for ongoing and deeper collaborations. 
  4. Stewardship. The time together offered those of us who steward the Hahn fund the chance to listen for ways we can broaden the work of successful projects. We Hahn stewards are particularly driven to help move the insights of awardees across the Pomona curriculum. We want to avoid creating “boutique” projects that live only with one course or one instructor. We stewards were listening, too, for ways to make our work with instructors sustainable. I am mostly thinking of financially sustainable though we have to also consider the sustainability of our support model. In short, it does no good to fund and celebrate an innovative project that we cannot then sustain into the future.

I was both pleased and proud as I sat in the audience of the First Annual Hahn Event, and I am energized as I consider again the importance of that event and look to the future. I hope you will join us for our Second Annual Hahn Event—either as an awardee or audience member—for celebration, honor, reflection and community, and stewardship. 

Learn more about the Hahn Teaching with Technology Program and consider submitting a proposal for the upcoming grant cycle.