Usama (Sam) Acra is a senior instructor in the Department of English. He has taught several courses at LAU (from 1983 to 1987 and from 1991 to date), including Fundamentals of Oral Communication (previously known as Communication Art), Business Communication, Sophomore Rhetoric, English II, English I, English 009, and intensive English courses.
He has also taught in four other universities:
- Speech courses at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).
- Introduction to mass media at the Lebanese University.
- Introduction to mass media, business communication, and communication skills courses (English 208, English 204, and English 203) at the American University of Beirut.
In order to maximize student interest and enhance understanding, Acra utilizes a variety of traditional and nontraditional teaching methods that best suit the audience, the occasion, the situation in the country, the general mood, and the time the class is given.
Besides giving lectures, homework, quizzes/exams, and other traditional assignments whenever needed, he uses other methods proven to be more effective, including: using technology in the classroom, educational games, dyadic and group study, classroom and small group discussions, investigative interviewing, visiting other institutions, problem-solving assignments, in and out-of-class oral presentations, and field work.
To assist both faculty and students, Acra prepared an extensive file of supplementary materials for faculty in addition to a students’ blackboard file to be utilized for classroom discussion, tests, out-of-class assignments, and other pertinent activities. In addition to the supplements provided by the publishers, his file includes his own test bank, quizzes, exams, a study guide for students, a topic list for speeches, exercises, educational games, puzzles, group discussion activities, sample speeches, outlines, chapter by chapter handouts, and helpful website links.
Acra successfully coordinated a pilot study for a smart speech classroom for online recording of students’ speeches, effectively promoted the use of technology in the classroom, prepared a website for the Fundamentals of Oral Communication course, and is currently working on establishing an exchange program between LAU and other American universities.
In addition to teaching, his academic duties at LAU included the following:
- Member of the LAU Faculty Senate
- Member of the Senate Committee for the Assessment of Faculty Governance
- Coordinator of Fundamentals of Oral Communication
- Cocoordinator of the Department of Humanities’ Campaign for Recycling
- Student advisor
- Member of the Student Campus Life Council
- Advisor to the Human Rights Committee
- Member of the Debating Society
- Member of the departmental Hiring Committee to recruit faculty
- Member of several ad-hoc committees
- MA in Speech and Interpersonal Communication, Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
- BA in Speech, Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
Senior Instructor of Communication and English
Office: Nicol 410