Nebraska Wesleyan University ( awarded Chelsea Klinkebiel, Assistant Professor of Psychology, the annual 2024 Holder Fellowship for Instructional Improvement, to recognize her instructional innovation and teaching excellence.

Klinkebiel will use the award to enhance the curriculum of the “Psychology of Sleep and Dreaming” course, which she will teach this fall. “Students will learn the basics about how we sleep, why we sleep, sleep stages and what makes for effective sleep, both quantity and quality. They will also learn about dreaming.”

The course has traditionally been taught from a learning and memory-focused approach that’s based on cognitive psychology. The new curriculum will integrate clinical aspects, including sleep disorders and treatment and pediatric sleep medicine.

The fellowship funds will help update resources essential for student engagement and learning, including textbooks, research materials and new equipment that will track sleep patterns.

Part of the curriculum will explore the origin of dreams. “There’s not a ton of research in this area, but some of the foundational theories that formed the discipline of psychology focus on dreaming,” she says. “For example, there are many instances where things are brewing in our unconscious and we’re not aware, and those come out in our dreams.”

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