Blue Devil of the Week: Making Duke a Better Place to Learn

Position: Associate Director of Research, Evaluation and Development for Duke Learning Innovation

Years at Duke: 8

What she does at Duke: As Associate Director of Research, Evaluation, and Development for Learning Innovation at Duke, Kim Manturuk connects faculty with resources to conduct research on teaching and learning. She consults with professors on campus to help them determine the orientation of studies; how best to collect and use data; and the ethical considerations of research involving students.

When Manturuk joined Duke in 2014, his work assisting faculty with research began consulting on three projects, but his work has since expanded to a portfolio of at least 50 projects with faculty on campus. . Projects include the effects of team learning in STEM classrooms and how class format and assessment methods affect student performance in math lessons. This growth underscores the importance of her work, especially given the disruption to traditional teaching and learning caused by COVID-19.

“Being able to facilitate this expansion of the research community around teaching has been really cool,” she said.

With a doctorate in sociology, Manturuk’s research focuses on how to make learning experiences and environments more equitable and inclusive for Duke students. Her recent articles cover how faculty members have learned to teach effectively remotely during COVID-19, as well as a case study on how faculty can support LGBTQ+ students living and learning at home during the pandemic. .Kim Manturuk, fifth from left, and his colleagues at Duke Learning Innovation, have been named recipients of the 2022 Duke Presidential Award. Photo courtesy of Kim Manturuk.

Because the pandemic has increased the use of new learning technologies, like Zoom, she is studying the effectiveness of digital learning tools like Nudge, an app developed by Learning Innovation that sends a multiple-choice question about a topic being discussed. in class 24 hours after the class meeting.

“It’s really exciting to be able to create a new infrastructure of support around teaching and learning research,” she said.

Very first job: As a teenager, Manturuk’s first job came in an unusual uniform: a full tuxedo, sash, and top hat.

The fancy costume was part of the pizza delivery for Papa Harry’s Pizza restaurant in Columbus, Indiana, which operated under the slogan “pizza with a touch of class”.

“It definitely made me feel comfortable not caring what other people thought because you look ridiculous and that’s part of the job,” she said. “Unexpectedly, it ended up being a big confidence booster.”

What she likes about Duke: Since joining Duke, Manturuk has been impressed by the collaborative spirit of his colleagues on campus. For example, she recently worked with the university’s Office of the Registrar to streamline the process for Duke researchers to request demographic information about members of the Duke community to contextualize research.

“Their attitude from the start was how to make it work,” Manturuk said. “Always, I’ve come across this over and over again at Duke, people have this attitude of ‘this seems like a good idea. Let’s see how to get there. “Kim Manturuk strikes a pose at Duke TechExpo 2018. Photo courtesy of Kim Manturuk

Lessons learned during the pandemic: When the pandemic began in March 2020, Learning Innovation was inundated with hundreds of requests to help transition from in-person to online classes over a period of approximately 13 days.

On the first day of quarantine, Manturuk had also closed a house. Without Wi-Fi at home, she worked from a McDonald’s parking lot to access the internet for several crucial days when her expertise was needed to continue classes. The experience is indicative of lessons in adaptability that have given him renewed meaning of an old adage.

“Don’t let perfection be an enemy of doing something the best you can,” she said.

When not at work: An accomplished distance runner, Manturuk completed Michigan’s Lighthouse 50 ultra marathon in June, a precursor to a pair of 100-mile events she will run this fall. She finished the 50-mile race in 12 hours, a new record and eighth among all female competitors.Kim Manturuk is an accomplished runner, who has completed a 50 mile race.  Photo courtesy of Kim Manturuk.

She ran 500 days in a row – between 3 and 20 miles a day – logging around 2,500 to 3,000 miles a year.

“It’s a great way to refocus and get ready to go into work,” she says.

Most memorable day at work: Manturuk helped organize the Pandemic Pedagogy Research Symposium, a virtual event at Duke on research into how the pandemic has changed teaching. Sessions and topics led by experts from across the country included how to approach scoring during the pandemic; lessons learned for distance learning STEM courses and other innovations that were born out of necessity.

Last year, approximately 500 people attended the symposium. This year, nearly 1,000 participants from across the country.

“It was phenomenal,” she said.

Is there a colleague at Duke who has intriguing work or who goes above and beyond to make a difference? Nominate that person for the Blue Devil of the Week.