Dr. Eric Fournier named Director of Educational Development at The Teaching Center

Dr. Eric Fournier was recently named the Director of Educational Development at The Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Fournier is currently a professor of geography and sociology in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. He is also Director of Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship at the university. Fournier will assume his position at The Teaching Center in June 2019.

Fournier brings an extensive background in teaching to his new role at The Teaching Center. He joined Samford’s faculty in 1997 after earning a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia. Fournier currently teaches World Geography, Physical Geography, Urban, Economic Giants of Asia, and Mapping a Changing World at Samford University. He also occasionally teaches the Bridging London course at Samford’s London, England campus.

Fournier has garnered many awards for his teaching over the years including the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2011, he won the Excellence in Teaching Awards, Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers. In 2013, he won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching from Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences.  In 2014, Fournier was named Alabama Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Fournier is an author on various publications including “Mapping the journey towards self-authorship in geography” in Journal of Geography in Higher Education, and “Problem-based Learning in Geography: towards a Critical Assessment of its Purposes, Benefits, and Risks,” which was published in Active Learning and Student Engagement: International Perspectives and Practices in Geography in Higher Education by Routledge in 2010.

Fournier looks forward to working with faculty and students at Washington University in St. Louis to implement pedagogical best practices.

“I was drawn to this job by the opportunity to do faculty development work at a world class university, so I am excited to join the team at The Teaching Center. I have been impressed by the way the Teaching Center team uses a scholarly, evidence-based approach to shape their programming, and I am looking forward to working with them to expand the range of programs and services offered by the center,” Fournier said. “I also appreciate the integrated nature of a center that works to create and sustain the culture of teaching while also working to improve learning spaces at the university. In most schools those two functions are very distinct, so having them together in a single center can really help advance the quality of the student and faculty experience at WashU.”

Dr. Michael Wysession, Executive Director at The Teaching Center, and the rest of the team look forward to welcoming Fournier this summer. “The Teaching Center and Washington University are very fortunate to be able to hire someone of the caliber of Eric Fournier to lead the Educational Development team. Eric is at the cutting edge of pedagogical best practices, nationally recognized in his field. Eric is also an award-winning teacher who brings a quarter-century of experience as a geography professor, including as department chair. This combination of skills will allow him to effectively motivate and inspire our faculty to further develop their own classroom teaching methods. Eric is an effective, compassionate, and innovative leader, and I greatly look forward to working with him in expanding the mission of the Teaching Center’s Educational Development across all schools of the university,” Wysession said.