Laura Elizabeth Sponsler

Clinical Associate Professor

What I do

Dr. Laura E. Sponsler is a clinical associate professor in the higher education department at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education. In this role, I connect my teaching, scholarship, and service to the mission and purpose of the university to be a great private university dedicated to the public good.

Specialization(s)

civic learning and democratic engagement; community engagement; inclusive teaching, learning, and assessment; scholarship of teaching and learning; non-tenure track faculty

Professional Biography

Laura E. Sponsler, Ph.D, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver. Her work broadly examines the democratic purposes of higher education and in particular, how institutions provide space for voice, participation, and inclusive practices, and how these ideals are institutionalized. Her research agenda focuses on the following areas: civic engagement; inclusive teaching, learning, and assessment; organizational change, organizational learning, and faculty development; and the experiences of non-tenure track faculty and their participation in higher education.

Dr. Sponsler has served as the Resident Scholar for Teaching and Professional Faculty in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Dr. Sponsler’s research and leadership supports faculty off the tenure track – the Teaching and Professional Faculty (TPF) – through faculty development initiatives and organizational change to institutionalize a respectful, inclusive, and collegial culture for all faculty.

Previously, Dr. Sponsler served as the founding director for NASPA’s Lead Initiative, a civic learning and democratic engagement network, and as a practitioner in service-learning. Laura received her Ph.D. in Higher Education and M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. in biology from Saint Joseph’s University.

Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Higher Education , University of Pennsylvania, 2012
  • M.Ed., Higher Education Management, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • BA, Biology, Saint Joseph's University, 2003

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education
  • NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

Media Sources

Research

Dr. Sponsler's work broadly examines the democratic purposes of higher education and in particular, how institutions provide space for voice, participation, and inclusive practices, and how these ideals are institutionalized. Her research agenda focuses on three main areas: inclusive teaching, learning, and assessment; organizational change and faculty development; and the experiences of non-tenure track faculty and their participation in higher education.

Presentations

Sponsler, L. E. (2021). The confluence of inclusive assessment and accreditation. Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference. online: Higher Learning Commission.
Sponsler, L. E., Mahan, G., Carter, B., & Pitts, V. M. (2021). OTL Faculty Podcast: Creating Community and Connectedness in an Online Course. Office of Teaching and Learning: Faculty Spring Showcase 2021. Denver, CO: Office of Teaching and Learning, University of Denver.
Sponsler, L. E., & Cole, B. (2020). Engaging Students in Institutional Change and Civic Engagement. AACU Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: AACU - Association of American College and Universities.
Taczak, K., Schiavone, A. V. J., Sponsler, L. E., & Tobin, H. L. D. (2020). Creating Spaces on Your Campus for an Intentional ePortfolio Curriculum. 11th ANNUAL FORUM ON DIGITAL LEARNING AND ePORTFOLIOS. Washington, DC: AAC&U - Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Sponsler, L. E. (2019). Engaging Graduate Students in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning through Faculty-Student Partnerships. Lilly Conference for Evidence Based Teaching and Learning. Bethesda, MD.
Meyer, M., Mitchell, T., Sponsler, L. E., & Post, M. (2018). Teaching Democracy During Turbulent Times: Strategies for Civic Engagement. 2018 Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.: AACU.
Hafenstein, N. L., & Sponsler, L. E. (2019). Teacher Evaluation for Teaching Effectiveness: The Morgridge College of Education Model. Lilly Conference for Evidence Based Teaching and Learning. Bethesda, MD.

Awards

  • Delphi Award Winner, Pullias Center for Higher Education and AAC&U
  • Excellence in Teaching Honoree, University of Denver
  • Excellence in Service , Office of the Provost, University of Denver
  • Faculty Career Champion, Career Services, University of Denver