DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

As I have articulated elswhere in this portfolio, I identify with/adopted the "steward of the discipline" as my formal model for my professional development and career trajectory. Although I earned my first PhD, in Cognitive Sciences, in 1997, and the stewardship model was first published and discussed in 2006, my academic career has always been in the stewardship model. “Stewardship of the discipline" is a formalization of what it means to be a true scholar and teacher at the doctoral level.  The lead scientist on the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate described stewardship as including both a commitment to the foundation (“heart and essence”) of one’s field, but also to thoughtful and innovative forward momentum and development of one’s field for the future. These are characteristics that I strive for in my independent and collaborative research, as well as in my teaching and mentoring.


The experience of teaching biostatistics to future stewards of their disciplines, and my 20 years of experience as a biostatistical consultant, have strongly influenced my appreciation for the challenges in building and maintaining statistical literacy that specifically can support competent scientific stewardship. Statistical literacy training that supports the stewardship model was the topic of my roundtable discussion at the 2011 Joint Statistical Meeting in Miami and was integrated into a T32 doctoral training grant renewal (funded for 2017) on which I am now a co-investigator (PI: Maguire-Zeiss), and the training I am developing for the ELIXIR-Italy program in Fall 2017 (ELIXIR-UK, homed at Cambridge University, is also planning to invite me to present this workshop in 2017). With the current emphasis in Europe (ELIXIR) and the US (BD2K) on big data and its automated analysis, statistical literacy is both more important than ever and also, more likely to be ignored, together with stewardship obligations, than ever before. My engagement with national and international groups through which training in statistical literacy can be promoted (e.g., many of my latest service commitments) have stemmed in part from the urgency I feel that statistical literacy must become a focal training objective within these initiatives. After presenting the Mastery Rubric for Statistical Literacy at a Satellite workshop after the All Hands Meeting of ELIXIR in Rome (March 2017), a I have been invited t


A perspective on how I integrate my interest in stewardship and teaching with my research domains comes from a Fellowship I was awarded in 2013, the Penn Teaching Fellowship in Neuroethics. This competitive Teaching Fellowship was awarded through the Center for Neuroscience and Society, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA and was funded by NSF. Along this line, one of the representative papers included with this personal statement is an example of how my teaching, and specifically a stewardship model of teaching, have had impact beyond both the specific instructional opportunity and GU itself. I collaborated with a colleague (Dr. Kevin FitzGerald) on the GU Task Force for the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) to use the Mastery Rubric to construct a career-spanning institutional curriculum in RCR. This task force experience led us to a manuscript (published in 2012), which in turn led to my first independent NSF grant (2012-16), and 20 new publications, chapters, and presentations (roughly 21% of my total output 2011-2016). One of these chapters was a discussion of the role of stewardship in the preparation for work in/with Big Data by undergraduates (Tractenberg RE. (2016). Integrating ethical reasoning into preparation for participation to work in/with Big Data through the Stewardship model. In, J. Collmann & S. Matei (Eds)., Ethical Reasoning in Big Data: An Exploratory Analysis. New York: Springer. PP 185-192). This example is particularly representative of my endeavors towards stewardship of science and the scientific method through teaching, scholarship and service.


Overall, 16 of my 70 peer reviewed publications (as of May 2016), the one book review, one (of four) editorials, 4/6 chapters or encyclopedia entries, and six proceedings contributions relate specifically to pedagogy in practice or assessment –including the development of curricula. One of what I feel to be my most important contributions to the literature on higher education was published in January 2017 (Tractenberg et al. (2017) “Evidence of sustainable learning with the Mastery Rubric for Ethical Reasoning”) –a manuscript that is the first to document that students actually perceive “sustainability” of learning (although sustainable learning has been a construct in higher education for at least 10 years), and is also the first ever evidence that any training in responsible conduct of research (that meets NIH requirements) can be sustainable. This body of work, together with my ongoing work to promote professional and professional identity development for the American Statistical Association, and ongoing engagement with the ELIXIR training program across Europe since January 2016, is evidence of my commitment to teaching excellence and contributions to designing and evaluating curricula that promote teaching excellence. A letter from the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa evaluating both my work (presented there by invitation in 2013) and my teaching is included in this packet.


I have long been committed to teaching and to the scholarship of teaching and learning. I studied pedagogy in higher education 1993-6 as one of two trainers/mentors for all Teaching Assistants in the School of Social Sciences. I am especially proud of awards for contributions to undergraduate (1995), and graduate and undergraduate (1996), education. In 2004 I was named a Teaching and Learning faculty fellow at Georgetown, and an Apple Distinguished Educator. In 2013 I was named the founding Director of the Best Evidence in Biomedical Education (BEME) International Collaborating Center at GUMC, and our two-year pilot study of BICC engagement will end in July 2016 – primarily because after studying the BEME model, I have determined that the theoretical and empirical bases for BEME scholarship are incompatible with educational research and stewardship generally (a manuscript outlining this argument was submitted for peer review in March 2017). I also initiated a Community of Practice around stewardly scholarship of online teaching and learning with a cohort of four SNHS faculty committed to this concept for the 2015-16 academic year. As a team, we have created a new Mastery Rubric for Advanced Practice Nursing, which we plan to submit for peer review and publication this summer. Three other scholarly projects were also developed during this yearlong pilot, together with several faculty development initiatives. The pilot project demonstrates my commitment to stewardship as well as to the ongoing development of the research skills of faculty at Georgetown University. The earliest work that results from our Community of Practice will be important – stewardly- scholarship that not only achieves multiple faculty development objectives for these SNHS faculty, but that also makes concrete contributions to the discipline of Advanced Practice Nursing. The participants in this project are preparing to continue this work, and to begin to inculcate others in this model, committing to stewardship themselves and representing the most complete success I could ever hope for in any research project (pilot or otherwise).

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.