Trishnee Bhurosy specializes in applied research to design and evaluate theory-driven and empirically-grounded dietary interventions. Her interests include behavioral research on dietary behaviors underlying obesity and other chronic conditions. Bhurosy has taught courses such as Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (lab sections), Men’s Health, Personal Health and Stress Prevention and Management. At the University of Mauritius, she taught courses such as Control of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, Sports Nutrition, Food Processing and Safety. She has advised and mentored a diverse group of high school, undergraduate and graduate students in Mauritius and in the US.
Bhurosy has had many memorable teaching moments, but she cites being especially proud of the progress international students made in her classes during Fall and Spring 2017. She noticed that it was difficult for them to become active participants in a classroom setting and to get them connected to adequate resources on campus. Bhurosy actively strove to help her students, understanding the difficulties as she is an international student as well. Bhurosy explained, that “it is always a proud moment of achievement for me to see an improvement in the learning experiences of my students.”
When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Bhurosy answered: If you are struggling with developing your teaching strategies and skills in general, attending the workshops and/or being engaged in the learning communities will help significantly in those. I have used some of the strategies and concepts learned through the workshops in my classes during the past semester and I saw that my students were more engaged. It became more enjoyable for me as well! The GTAP also helped me talk more confidently about my teaching with my peers and through this process, I was able to think out loud about my experiences and skills as an instructor.
With the help of CITL and supportive faculty, Maddie Chera has had the privilege to teach several courses in Cultural Anthropology and related fields, resulting in positive student feedback and achieved learning objectives. She started out as an associate instructor in introductory Anthropology courses, leading discussions sections and formulating assessments. Chera went on to teach an original course on agricultural biodiversity conservation for the Collins Living-Learning Community, for which she received the Carl H. Ziegler Teaching Award. Subsequently, she taught her own Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course at Fordham University. Chera is teaching a similar course and upper-level anthropology seminars in her areas of expertise (food, South Asia) at Indiana University’s South Bend campus in the 2018-2019 academic year, as a Future Faculty Teaching Fellow of the University Graduate School. In addition, she has teaching-related experience facilitating graduate writing groups, working as a farm educator for teens and children, and mentoring students and peers at IU and during her field research in India.
The best moments in Chera’s teaching career are when students relate the concepts and material from the course to their interests. As much as she not-so-secretly wishes all her students declared Anthropology majors, her real goal is that they leave her courses thinking anthropologically and applying cultural analysis to new experiences and to the things they already geek out about. In the past, Chera’s students have successfully applied ideas and methods they worked on throughout the course to a final project of their design. They build up to this project through smaller assignments and checkpoints. Students have embraced the opportunity, and Chera is always proud and excited to see what they have learned. For example, one student focused on education policy planned to interview public school teachers in their lounge, to learn about their use of work and leisure time. Another student, who was negotiating her family’s expectations of her future, decided to examine the symbols of marriage rituals in her own religious community, speaking with a priest and other church members about their perceptions. Yet another student, a music-lover, looked at sense of community in the live concert setting, and analyzed the shared identity between musicians and fans. Through research and reflection, these students transformed the course from a set of abstract lessons about seemingly exotic peoples into embodied skills of observation and analysis useful beyond the course. Since that is Chera’s master plan, she is very happy to see these results, and to learn from the research, too!
When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Chera answered: The CITL offerings are valuable resources for us in building our skills and communicating them to others. They are free and should be used to the fullest. Add to that the recognition we can get for expanding our skills and engaging with the teaching community at IU through the GTAP, and it seems obvious that taking part in the program is a smart move.
Fernando Melero García began his teaching career in 2012. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Melero García was a teaching assistant at John H. Reagan High School (Houston, TX), where he aided students taking courses in Spanish language and literature. From 2013 to 2015, he taught Spanish at the University of New Mexico. After completing an MA in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of New Mexico, Melero García came to Indiana University where he has been teaching Spanish and Hispanic Linguistics since 2015. While at IU, Melero García has also been an instructor of a study abroad program that takes place during the summer in Chile where he taught Hispanic Linguistics.
A teaching moment of which Melero García is particularly proud occurred when he traveled to Chile as an instructor for a six-week study abroad program for high school students. After landing in Santiago and, after picking up our luggage, one of their students realized that she had left her phone in the plane. The program has an honor code according to which once the group land in Chile, students should only speak Spanish. He accompanied the student to the customer service offices to pick up her phone and, on our way to the offices, Melero García was asking her in Spanish how she was feeling after the long trip. He noticed that she was a very reserved person and that she was experiencing some difficulty understanding him. The six weeks went by, and a few days before coming back home, the students did a farewell show where they danced, sang, and interacted with their host families. During the show, Melero García noticed that this student was interacting and socializing with many people there. She was no longer experiencing difficulty understanding and interacting with local people. Not only had she improved her linguistic skills in Spanish, but she had embraced a new culture and was now part of it. Melero García felt very proud of her at that moment, and he was also very proud of his team because he realized how important it is for us as educators to provide the optimal environment and conditions in order to facilitate student development on multiple levels.
When asked what he would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Melero García answered: I would definitely encourage anybody to complete this program. The most important thing to me is that it is offering me a broad vision of teaching and learning beyond my department. It is wonderful to meet people from other departments during the workshops and learn about learning more generally (and not just learning languages and/or linguistics).
Abigail Kimmitt was the principal instructor for the upper-level Animal Behavior course at Indiana University in the fall of 2017. She incorporated active learning techniques such as problem-based learning, think-pair-share, and literature discussions to engage the students as scientists rather than passive learners. Kimmitt has also been the associate instructor for an upper-level Biology of Birds course and an Introductory Ecology and Evolution course.
One of Kimmitt’s most memorable teaching moments was when a female student in her Animal Behavior class expressed interest in graduate school in the sciences. The student had entered the class pre-med and was an excellent and enthusiastic student. She first asked Kimmitt about getting involved in research and the experience in the class and her new research lab shaped her interest in becoming a scientist. Kimmitt expressed that students who become actively engaged in the material and interested in incorporating the material into their career or even their hobbies makes teaching even more worth it!
When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Kimmitt answered: This program provides graduate students with a concrete program to learn about evidence-based teaching strategies, interact with other graduate students and faculty to improve their teaching strategies, and then apply them to their own classrooms. It also creates a great opportunity for students to have something to present on the job market; this program has clear guidelines and provides evidence that the candidate has actively learned and engaged in bettering their teaching.