GTAP Awardees

The Associate Level

Basia WalenkiewiczBasia Walenkiewicz started teaching during her undergraduate education while completing a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, where she got to experience being a teaching assistant for organic and analytical chemistry. Currently, Basia is a second-year graduate student in the chemistry department. She has taught a number of courses at IU, including principles of chemistry and biochemistry laboratory (C127), biological chemistry discussion (C384), and advanced biochemistry laboratory (B488).

A teaching moment that Basia is particularly fond of is when she was meeting with her students to discuss their lab reports. C127 is often one of the first science classes students take and writing a scientific piece poses a unique challenge to many students. Recognizing this, Basia offered extra meetings to her students to discuss the material for the report as well as the process of writing itself. Several students took the opportunity to learn more on how to write a lab report and they worked with Basia and each other. She was very happy and proud of those students for not only taking time to work through a challenging task but even more so for helping one another and engaging in active learning.

When asked what she would say about the Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship Program, Basia said: I would encourage anyone interested in teaching to participate in GTAP. Teaching is an ever-evolving process in which students and teachers not only exchange knowledge but also build a community and grow. GTAP provides instructors with the tools necessary to create a safe space for students to grow in and an engaging environment that encourages active learning. I think that the program is very useful in recognizing possible problems even before they happen and improving the instructor-student communication to benefit everyone involved.

Patricia McDonoughPatricia McDonough is a PhD candidate in Linguistics, focusing on endangered language documentation and minoring in India Studies. She has taught a variety of undergraduate linguistics courses at IU since 2017 and is currently serving as instructor of record for Ling-L103, Introduction to the Study of Language. Prior to teaching at IU, McDonough co-taught a Creative Expressions course as a volunteer at the Indiana Women’s Prison. This summer, she has the opportunity to work with a new student demographic while teaching at WonderCamp, WonderLab’s STEM-based camps for elementary students here in Bloomington.

McDonough's most rewarding teaching moments have come from seeing students take a genuine interest in their learning. She love teaching linguistics classes because we’re constantly surrounded by language but often don’t think critically about it. She was so impressed by how my students this semester surveyed their friends and family members with a map activity on dialect perceptions in their native languages. She was also thrilled to have the opportunity to design and teach a Linguistics and the Legal System course through the College of Arts and Sciences for the winter term: Being able to read insightful reflections from students on a number of serious issues we were discussing about language and the law was extremely rewarding!

When asked about what she would say about the GTAP program, McDonough writes: The GTAP program has been a great opportunity for me to spend time reflecting on my teaching philosophy and practices, while hearing from graduate students and instructors in other departments I don’t normally get to interact with. I’ve felt more comfortable trying new pedagogical approaches in the classroom, and I think my students have benefited from this as well. I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve found myself discussing pedagogy (and enjoying it!) with other friends and colleagues who teach. I’ve benefited from this program as a learner, too – I now think more about how I can be a more active participant and better engage with new material in workshops, conferences, and my own online classes. I recommend GTAP to any graduate student who is passionate about teaching and interested in taking concrete steps to reflect on and improve their teaching strategies.

Hayley TrickeyHayley Trickey has a varied teaching resume from teaching undergraduate classes in Gender Studies and Political Science and Research Workshops at Arizona State University. Currently, Trickey is an A.I in the Department for Gender Studies at I.U in G225 Gender, Sexuality, and Pop Culture where she is a first-year Ph.D. student with a research interest in the Politics of Grief. Trickey has always had an interest in teaching, however teaching incarcerated students within Arizona's prison complexes has such a profound and inspirational effect on her pedagogy that she hopes to continue teaching within the carceral system throughout her time at I.U and her future career.

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Trickey said: I think it makes you understand different perspectives, expectations, and experiences of the academy. It is easy to become entrenched in a specific way of doing things because they have been successful to you personally, and it is easy to forget that often we are out of touch with Freshmen and how they perceive the world and ways of learning. This program allows a conversation that encouraged growth and self-reflection pedagogically that may not be available within your own department. Being an effective educator in the long term is going to make a career within the academy and prospects on the job market more postivie.

Jennifer CoxJennifer Cox completed her B.A. in Modern Language and Culture at Kennesaw State University, where I worked as an English as a Second Language tutor. Her work in ESL helped her to discover her love for teaching and researching language, which led her to pursue an M.A. in French Linguistics at IU. Cox began teaching beginner’s French courses during the first semester of her M.A. as an Associate Instructor, and have since taught sections of FRIT-F 150 and 200.

While teaching language skills is an essential part of foreign language courses, teaching cultural awareness is an equally important element. Jennifer Cox's proudest teaching moments are when students use skills and concepts they have acquired in class to discover new things in cultural materials like music and YouTube videos, or even by making new friends online using their language skills. It makes her proud to see them become more confident speaking French and taking advantage of the benefits of learning a second language.

When asked what she would tell her peer graduate students about the Graduate Teaching Associate Program, Cox said: I would recommend GTAP to any graduate student, especially those who work as instructors but tend to spend more time improving their research work than their teaching skills. The Associate level of GTAP requires you to attend presentations that cover specific pedagogical techniques to add to your teaching toolkit, many of which you would likely not consider otherwise. Joining the program gives you an organized way to improve yourself as an instructor and receive recognition for your work.

Mallory KernMallory Kern completed her B.S. in chemistry from Lycoming College (Williamsport, PA) in 2016 and joined the graduate program in chemistry at IU in fall 2016. She is currently completing her doctoral degree (organic chemistry) under the supervision of Dr. Nicola L.B. Pohl, and anticipate completing her PhD in May/June 2021. During her time at IU she has had the opportunity to teach C341 (organic chemistry 1) for three semesters and C343 (organic chemistry lab) for one semester. She has also been an academic tutor for C341 and C342 (organic chemistry 2) since 2019.

During the summer of 2018, Kern had the opportunity to work with a REU (research experience for undergraduates) student from Puerto Rico, who had almost no synthetic chemistry background or skills. For the first few weeks, Kern worked alongside her and gave her step by step instructions for every task. Eventually, Kern only had to remind her of a few steps here and there, and she still asked her a decent amount of questions. Finally, by the end of the summer, the studetn was able to set up a reaction by herself, check the reaction progress by TLC analysis, quench the reaction, purify the crude mixture, and analyze the product by NMR spectroscopy all on her own. All Kern had to do at that point was confirm she had the product she synthesized, and she did have that product (in a fantastic yield).

When asked what she would tell her peer graduate students about the Graduate Teaching Associate Program, Kern said: CITL offers so many wonderful resources for graduate students who want to be professors, and participating in GTAP allows you to access those resources for a "grade." Also, if you want to be a lecturing professor, you should 100% get involved in GTAP. It gives you proper training and tools to become a great professor.

Headshot of YanYichuan Yan has taught English and Hospitality in high schools in Taiwan from 2000 to 2006 and, he became a Secondary Chinese teacher in Indiana from 2009 to 2018. In between, Yan also taught Chinese in universities in the U.S. Since 2018, he has been one of the associate instructors teaching courses in the Computer Educator’s Licensing program in the School of Education at IU. Despite his exceptional amount of teaching experience, Yan still found the GTAP program helpful for his teaching. It helped him to consider various teaching and learning issues, for instance, diversity, equity, inclusion issues, and how they inform him of the best teaching practices to cope with the issues in university settings. Plus, it provided a wide variety of strategies that he could apply in my daily teaching such as grading strategies and technology tools.

Teaching is Yan’s passion, and he is proud of still doing it after approximately 15+ years. These teaching experiences don’t always make him a great teacher, but he never gave up trying. That was one of the reasons he attended CITL events. Yan cares about student learning, and, in the past two years, there were IU students writing him letters to express their gratitude for having him as their instructor. Yan knows that learning did happen in his class and he didn’t let his students down. This has given him the reason to be proud of himself.

When asked what he would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Yan said: I would encourage them to complete GTAP programs in the following manner. For the short-term, they earn badges and they can add to their personal profile and resume. For mid-term, GTAP can prepare them to be a future faculty member in college. They can see how people tackle different issues in teaching and learning. It could be very practical and useful. For the long-term, it is a part of their life-long learning. The strategies they learn from GTAP may be applied to their future career even if they are not planning to be a faculty member. Most of the graduate students would become a supervisor of some sort in an organization in the future. They would need some training skills that GTAP may be able to provide as well.

Headshot of KevinKevin Naaman’s the fall semester of 2020 is the beginning of his second year as an Associate Instructor at IU. Naaman is pursuing a degree in Inquiry Methodology, certificate in Biostatistics, and minor in Epidemiology. As an aspiring scientist, Naaman recognizes the importance of developing his oral and written communication skills. One of his most memorable moments was when a line of students formed on the last day of class to thank me for instructing them. It was inspiring to receive so many handshakes and words of gratitude. 

When asked what he would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Naaman answered: The GTAP program provides any interested educator the opportunity to learn about current best practices and also creates an opportunity for the participants to take a step back and reflect on their own teaching. Taking a step back to reflect is important, because graduate school passes by quickly.

Headshot of PattiPatti is a doctoral student in mathematics education. She originally graduated from IU with a degree in business and computer information systems, working as a programmer and a consultant for a number of years before completing her master’s as part of IU’sTransition to Teaching program. With 4 years of teaching preschool, 1 year of teaching elementary school, and 7 years of teaching middle school math and science, she is finding working with college students an interesting challenge. As a National Board Certified Teacher, she is excited to see that IU takes teaching and learning seriously and that the GTAP exists to help graduate students become better instructors both now and in the future if they go on to be professors.

At IU, Patti has interned in E343 (Math in the Elementary School a teaching methods course), N101 (Teaching and Learning Elementary Math) and N103 (Teaching and Learning Elementary Math II), which was taught asynchronously online for the first time during her internship. In the 2020-2021academic year she is teaching N101, S303 (Classroom Management), M403 (High School Mathematics Field Experience), and M303 (Junior High Mathematics Field Experience).

Patti’s proudest teaching moments usually involve following her students’ lead to meet course goals, such as using interpretive dance to demonstrate and assess knowledge of the rock cycle, building “tin” people to practice finding surface area of composite shapes, and using digital jigsaws to accommodate students who could not come to class but still needed to feel a part of the community while continuing to learn. The best teaching and learning ideas often come from students.

When asked what she would say about GTAP to other graduate students, Walsh said: The biggest benefit of GTAP, otherthan all the great webinars on so many valuable teaching topics, is putting faces to the names at CITL. Before I started attending sessions, I would not have considered contacting anyone at CITL for guidance. Now I feel as though I would be comfortable reaching out with questions or requests for resources because I know who the folks are who will help me.

Headshot of JillFortin started her MA in August of 2015 and she is now a 4th year PhD student in Hispanic Literatures and Culture. She has taught every semester since studying at IU, almost all of those within the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Half of the coursestaught were grammar based, mostly at the intermediate level, and more recently have expanded into the 300 level introductory courses to Hispanic Culture and Literature. As someone who always wanted to be a teacher, the experience so far at IU has been very formative, with input from a variety of sources constantly molding me and helping me improve as an instructor.

One teaching moment Fortin is very proud of took place in an Introduction to Hispanic Cultures class where students were given no information about Las pinturas de castas (paintings of castes) and were asked to find similarities between all 16 of the images they were given, to put them into categories, and who the intended audience was. They had previously read some colonial Latin American texts comparing European and indigenous perspectives of the time period and she was so thrilled that the students were able to draw from these difficult readings to complete the activity with little input from myself. The engagement with the activity and varietyof responses encouraged me to put more faith in what students already know and ask them to reapply it in a different way.

When asked about what she would say about GTAP, Fortin wrote:

I would encourage other graduate students to participate in this program because teaching every semester can put one into a routine and these workshops not only provide new materials and methods, as well as areas within which to interact with other instructors, but made me more conscious of how I approached my classes and lesson planning. It has been a very beneficial experience that provided me access to tools that I didn't even know were out there.

Headshot of AllisonBefore coming to IU to pursue their PhD, Smith taught English and Science to high school students living in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic. This was one experience that solidified their love for teaching. At IU, Allie has taught the same course, L113, for the past four semesters and they have grown as an AI every semester. One semester, Smith had a student who was really struggling with the material and came to office hours and would ask them questions every time they had one and by the end of the semester they had one of the highest grades in the class. Also by the end of that semester, the student was able to explain various topics to other students who were struggling. Though it always surprises Smith when the students comment on how they take an interest in their lives and successes as something they are not used to because this is something that is very important to them!

When asked what they would say when telling others about GTAP, Smith writes: I absolutely will and I have already recommended this program to others in my department. This is a program that is not highly advertised within Biology, but I think it is the most helpful to become an effective AI and future instructor.

Headshot of RajRaj started the Ph.D. program in August 2017. He was an IT project manager, worked in the enterprise data analytics team at Humana, Louisville before joining Ph.D. at IU. He has around12+years of professional work experience in various roles including developer, business analyst, team leader, and project manager. He is interested in collaborative cognitive load theory, and Learning presence in online environments. His future plan is to be a full-time professor at a research-oriented University and to contribute in the areas of online teaching and learning, collaborative cognitive load theory.

One of my favorite teaching moments happened during the train-the-trainer program in my IT days, where I took a training on Siebel server configuration for the newly implemented CRM system. When I was talking about technical details to trainers and it seemed like they had noclue what I am talking about. I could sense the tension in the room as they were struggling to relate the technical details such as server configuration and commands required for server management. I went back home that evening and started looking out for ways to make the complex technical topic easy to understand. The next day I started the training by telling them a story through a hypothetical example of how someone who struggled with similar content andhow they were able to succeed. This made a huge impact in the training. I could see everyone started to pay attention and started to share pointers and similar experiences. I also started to make the content easy to understand by using a lot of metaphors and examples to help participants make connections. I understood the explanation problem- when we know the content it is difficult to imagine how it is to not know the content. I started my Ph.D. with this goal to make complex technical topics easy to understand.

When asked about what he would share about participating in GTAP, Sankaranarayanan writes: I regularly share the CITL event details and the events program website to my friends in my department. I feel this program is more like mentoring or preparing us for our future career by sharing effective and proven strategies that can be used in our future classroom. I always tell them this is a great opportunity to showcase/ show evidence to teaching competency for their dossier. I have encouraged my friends to signup for the program.

Headshot of AnneAnne is a PhD student in paleontology studying the evolution of mammalian locomotion. She first started teaching when she joined Indiana University as a masters student in 2017. Anne worked as an Associate Instructor for two semesters, running lab sections for E114: Dinosaurs and their Relatives. After a break working as a research assistant, she will be returning to work as an Associate Instructor Fall 2020 for C105: Weather and You. In the spring she will be running her own course, a Collins seminar, L130 Paleo art Imagining Lost Worlds.

One of Anne's proudest teaching moments was one on one time spent with a student. The student came to turn in a lab with the two large math problems left completely blank. The student did not feel confident in mathematics and had decided to take the point loss rather than attempt the problems. Anne sat with the student for 20 minutes after lab to help them work through one of the problems. She was proud of the student for taking the time to work through the problem even though they found math so difficult.

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the Associate Level of GTAP, Kort answered: I would recommend other graduate students participate in the GTAP for two reasons. First, even a small amount of knowledge about pedagogy, like Bloom's taxonomy, can vastly help you approach your teaching in a more student friendly manner. Second, if you want to become a professor, like I do, teaching is a large part of the job. You should both be good at it and be able to enjoy it. By learning about pedagogy through this program, you find new ways to approach teaching so that it is better for you and your students.

Headshot of RachelRachel Kasthurirathne's interest in college teaching began nearly a decade ago, when she served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Human Hearing and Communication in the IU Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences. This early experience introduced Rachel to the immense rewards and challenges of teaching and was one of the main factors that led to her pursuit of an academic career. During her combined MA-PhD program in IU Speech & Hearing Sciences Rachel has continued to assist several courses and has also served as an instructor for Child Language Development and Speech and Language Sciences Overview.

Rachel's favorite teaching moments involve helping students understand and refine the soft skills needed to be successful communicators and team members in the classroom and the larger community. She feels gratified when she observes students acknowledging the diverse perspectives of their peers and contributing to an environment where others feel comfortable and motivated to add to the course dialogue.

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the Associate level of GTAP, Kasthurirathne answered: The GTAP community gives you a dedicated place to share achievements and setbacks that you are experiencing in the classroom, helps you be more reflective of your own teaching, and gives you hands-on practice and feedback with implementing innovative teaching methods into your courses.

Headshot of LekeahLekeah Durden began teaching during the 3rd year of her doctoral program, during which she has had 2 semesters of teaching biology to non-science majors. During this time, Durden had an undergraduate teaching assistant (UTA) and designed her own quizzes. She also had grading requirements and led the review for the lecture exams. Durden’s only experiences had been a brief 2-day training of general info about teaching that occurred during orientation week the 1st year of my program. And so, she reached out to CITL to evaluate my class styling within my first few weeks to get some tips to improve.

Durden’s favorite teaching moment to date was during a pedagogy course that she created her own micro-teaching exercise. Durden was able to develop the materials, pick the subject matter and lead a classroom of undergrad volunteers using pre- and post-assessments. She particularly liked having full control and answering questions with interested students. She said that the evaluations were helpful and it was encouraging to hear comments about how she connected the material to real-world issues. One student even wanted to go home and share with their family!

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the Associate Level of GTAP, Durden answered: Many of my peers who are interested in teaching have decided to pursue the GTAP certification. I think it is valuable because content knowledge doesn't always make you an effective teacher, so learning strategies and receiving help to better communicate knowledge benefits both the instructor and the student. I think increasing science-literacy and making it more transparent to society is becoming increasingly needed for our political climate.

Headshot of BriaBria Davis is a Learning & Developmental Sciences PhD Candidate, with a minor in Special Education at Indiana University. As a McNair Graduate Fellow, she has been a research assistant for the Center for Research on Learning and Technology, and she currently serves as an Associate Instructor for the Counseling and Educational Psychology department. She has experience with teaching preservice teachers through the “Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers” and the complementary field experience courses. These courses focus on building a foundation of learning theories and applying these theoretical practices to real elementary school contexts. Bria is committed to increasing awareness about educational accessibility, and she is currently working to incorporate additional aspects of Universal Design for Learning within the courses that she teaches. Furthermore, Bria has advised, mentored, and led academic and professional development workshops for a diverse group of high school and undergraduate students through various programs such as the Balfour Scholars Program, the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, and the Neal Marshall Leadership Academy.

Bria collaborated with the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) Center to help inform future universal designs of accessible learning environments. Bria subsequently shared resources and integrated assistive technologies within her course content so that all of her students, including those with and without learning challenges and unidentified disabilities, could have a more engaging and positive learning experience. One teaching moment that Bria is particularly proud of is when, after demonstrating how to use assistive technology to improve language processing, a student came to her expressing how life changing the assistive technology was for her own learning and academic success. This student was extremely appreciative because there had not been an instructor that provided this type of resource that essentially helped to break down barriers to learning academic content. Because of this experience, this same student started to look for barriers to learning within her elementary school field experience site. Later, she told Bria how she advocated to increase educational accessibility for a child that had noticeable language processing challenges. Bria was extremely proud and grateful to have been a source of inspiration for her student to become an advocate on behalf of others.

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the Associate level of GTAP, Davis answered: The Associate level of GTAP truly is a way to gain a more solid foundation and understanding of effective pedagogical practices. No matter what interests you have or department you are in, the GTAP community is really supportive and open to answering any questions that you may have about your current strategies that you implement or techniques that you wish to learn more about. My experience thus far with GTAP has been rewarding, and I have developed a greater sense of self efficacy in regards to increasing and sustaining student engagement.

Photo of Morgane FlahaultMorgane Flahault is a doctoral candidate in both the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of American Studies. She started her career teaching English as a Second Language in middle school and high school in France after receiving pedagogical training on how to teach foreign languages. After moving to Bloomington to enroll in a combined PhD in Comparative Literature and American Studies, Morgane has taught a wide array of classes, from an Introduction to Pop Culture, to Literatures of the Asian Diaspora, to Comparative Arts in the Garden, and Introduction to Asian American Studies. All of her classes teach students to analyze cultural productions through the lens of gender and racial identities. 

One teaching moment that will always stay with her actually happened outside of the classroom. Morgane had been teaching a class on same-sex romance in film and literature, and a few of the students enrolled in the class seemed reluctant to discuss the topic; one of them in particular seemed somewhat antagonistic about it. However, Morgane shared additional resources to encourage her students to learn more about the topic outside of the class. Towards the end of the semester, she caught sight of this same student at the Kinsey institute reading a book about male homosexuality. Morgane was happy to see that she had encouraged him to take his learning experience outside of the classroom.

Morgane hadn't initially planned on completing the GTAP. She just showed up to the CITL workshops that looked like they would be useful for her to better herself as an instructor, and to complement the pedagogical techniques she had learned through her own experience, observing other instructors and reading resources online. At one of these workshops, Morgane learned about the GTAP and thought it would be great to have some kind of certificate to add to her teaching portfolio since she is applying for teaching positions. Morgane states that she has a lot of teaching experience already, but it seems like this kind of official recognition is a plus going on the job market.

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Morgane states: Most of the workshops were extremely useful and I managed to implement some of the things I learned right away in my teaching practice. They are also great for self-assessment. Each workshop allows you to pause and think critically about existing teaching practices, and to think about the ways they can be improved.  The Graduate Student Learning Community was a great way to delve deeper into an aspect of pedagogy that you really care about. In my case, participating in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion community provided me with a supportive community to learn about and discuss issues that are crucial to our teaching practices and lives in general, and I really enjoyed meeting with my community all through the semester; I think it helped all of us grow as instructors.

Denisa JashariDenisa Jashari is a doctoral candidate in History at Indiana University. Previously, she received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Hispanic Studies from Trinity College, and her M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and History from Indiana University in 2014. Her dissertation project unites urban and social history with methods from critical geography, visual culture, and Geographic Information System mapping to illuminate the contested politics of the urban poor during the second half of the twentieth century in Chile. Denisa’s research has been supported by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, the Doris G. Quinn Foundation, the American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant, the Tinker Foundation, and various Indiana University awards.

 Denisa views teaching as an integral part of her scholarship. As an instructor, Denisa exposes students to the notion that history is a constant process of meaning-making, where multiple, competing interpretations exist. The assignments she creates resemble real-life situations and reveal how historical skills are transferrable across disciplines. Her classes combine textual analysis of primary sources with digital tools such as word clouds, concept mapping, and google mapping to aid students in expanding their geographical knowledge and spatial thinking. Her broad, interdisciplinary training (graduate minor in Latin American Studies and a History Dept. doctoral minor in Middle Eastern history) equips her to teach survey and advanced thematic courses in Latin American history, history of the Americas, and World history. She taught “World History in the Twentieth Century” for the History Department’s Intensive Summer 2016 Session. She taught, “Between Two Giants: Latin America during the Cold War” as part of IU’s Lifelong Learning Center. During academic year 2019-2020, Denisa will be the Future Faculty Teaching Fellow at Butler University.

When asked that she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Denisa Jashari answered: The Associate level of GTAP gives a comprehensive introduction to teaching theories and pedagogical practices that you can immediately consider and implement. For instance, the DEAL model for service-based learning can easily be adapted in a variety of classes and increase student learning by challenging them to reflect upon different class activities and articulate the ways in which those activities have informed how they think about a particular topic. It makes for active learning that challenges students to practice higher-level thinking skills. After the completion of the Associate level requirements, you also become much more knowledgeable about university resources that can help you throughout your teaching career and in preparation for the job market, or in preparation for the next GTAP level!

Megan ConnorMegan Connor began teaching while pursuing her master's degree in media studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Connor taught the same course -- JAMS 101: Introduction to Media -- for four semesters, which was a great opportunity to experiment with pedagogy, makes changes, and see what worked best from class to class. At IU, she had the opportunity to be the associate instructor for a range of different courses across the Media School, everything from Communication Law to Introduction to Production & Design. Connor has also been the instructor of record for the Media School course, Advertising & Consumer Culture, where she was able to tailor the syllabus to my expertise, teaching students about topics like gendered and ethical modes of consumption, as well as teaching a course of her own design at the Collins Living-Learning Center on teen media.

One of Connor's best teaching moments was getting to see all the insightful and creative work her students produced while she was teaching at Collins. For one unit, each student hand-crafted a mini-zine on themes in the teen media we had screened: everything from transgender characters, to teen pregnancy, to a Mean Girls-style burn book. For another unit, students live-tweeted during a TV show viewing and amazed her with their sharp and quick analysis in the form of jokes, GIFs, memes, and even a few tweets that went viral!

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the GTAP Associate Level, Connor answered: I would encourage peers in my department to start working on GTAP early in their program! The workshops I attended to complete the Associate Level were a great resource that focused on very specific aspects of pedagogy and gave me concrete ways I could improve my teaching that I was excited to go and try out with my students immediately. Additionally, it was a wonderful opportunity to talk to graduate students and instructors teaching in other departments and to learn and collaborate on pedagogy techniques outside of my own personal experience.

Sara ConradTeaching about Tibet provides many opportunities for students to connect not only with a different culture, but with the rest of the world. Tibet witnessed the the first Kings of Tibet, the rise of Buddhism from India in the 7th century, the arrival of Jesuit Missionaries from Italy in the 16th century, and today there are Tibetan monasteries throughout the world including in Bloomington, Indiana. Students want to know how Tibet fits within their worldview, and Sara Conrad’s courses help them grapple with these questions.

Conrad find students do the readings if points are attached to them, so she gives weekly multiple choice Reading Quizzes online. Students like the online component as they feel as though they can use their notes and the readings to find the answer. This is precisely the intention of the online quizzes, not to have the students memorize data points, but to read material, find answers to fundamental questions, and to think critically. For example, one such question asked students to link what was happening in 19th century Tibet with the rest of the world. Questions such as these involve the readings Conrad assigns, knowledge of the world, and critical thinking. All of her pedagogical strategies are dedicated to facilitate learning with cross-disciplinary materials, multiple ways to engage with the course material, and final projects that will remain with the student long after he or she leaves Conrad’s classroom.

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Conrad answered: CITL is a valuable resource if you are looking to expand your teaching skills. So many times we get stuck in our ways or teach the way we want to learn, but that doesn’t always work for our students. The pedagogy workshops I attended gave me new skills and reignited my passion for teaching.

Kimberly SkinnerKimberly Skinner taught online courses prior to moving to IU to pursue a PhD in speech in hearing sciences. She has taught three course in the audiology doctorate program at Indiana University: advanced hearing aids, introduction to audiologic assessment, and business practices. She was an audiologist in private practice for a number of years before beginning her studies at Indiana University. 

Skinner’s favorite teaching moments are when a student very clearly understands a difficult concept that they were struggling to understand. She loves how they put the effort into understanding, and finds it awesome to be part of that process.

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Skinner answered: I would point out that just because we have expertise in particular subject matter does not automatically mean that we have expertise in how to teach that subject matter.  I would share what I learned in the various workshops and course observations and encourage them to check it out! (I have already done this more than once.)

Kristy AndersonKristy Anderson began her teaching career at the McCall Outdoor Science School during her master’s coursework at the University of Idaho. During that time, Anderson taught across grade levels (elementary to college) and served diverse student populations (students from low-income communities, students with disabilities, Native American students, and many more student populations). Field ecology instruction was deeply fulfilling but Anderson also truly loved seeing students develop a relationship with the natural world around them. During that time, she also taught an introductory Environmental Science class at the University of Idaho, where she was one of three Teaching Assistants charged with all day-to-day instruction. At IU-Bloomington, Anderson has guest-lectured in several courses and she will be co-teaching her first class—R314 Data-Based Decision Making—in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies during Spring 2019.

One teaching moment Anderson has treasured occurred during a two-week long, summer field intensive ENVS 102 Field Activities in Environmental Science as part of a vocational training program for students with cognitive disabilities. While this specific group of students required more accommodations and were deterred by traditional methods of instruction like lecture and writing-intensive assignments, Anderson developed activities to spur their interest and still achieve course objectives. One such experience was the day focused on biodiversity. As an instructional hook—a tool she had learned worked well with this group—she asked students to collect 15-20 small stones along the trail during a hike into the field. Over the course of several hours (while other lessons were being delivered), students selected stones, often loudly exclaiming their special attributes, and continued to express curiosity about the “rock project.” At the end of the day, Anderson revealed that the stones would simulate individuals of different species; and students worked in groups to analyze their collective stones and group them by their own defined characteristics, (e.g, color, shape, size). Finally, Anderson led students in using stone counts by attribute to 1) calculate and compare biodiversity richness and relative abundance and 2) to engage in a critical discussion about how best to determine biodiversity as well as risk factors for species extinction. Thus, what would have been an abstract concept became tangible for these students with cognitive disabilities, and throughout the remainder of the course, students often correctly discussed and made connections from biodiversity to other topics.

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Anderson answered: I would remind my peers that while we all value teaching and learning, the teaching training required of PhD students is typically fairly minimal. Consequently, the Associate level of GTAP helped me meet attainable goals through its many learning activities. It also helped me identify gaps in my knowledge that I did not even know existed!

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Eyink answered: Although the psychology department provides formal pedagogical coursework, this training occurs during the first two years of graduate school and is focused on preparing students to teach a laboratory section of a methods course. As I prepared to teach my own course several years later, attending CITL/CIRTL events was incredibly beneficial to refresh the concepts learned in my earlier coursework as well as to learn practical techniques and strategies to design an effective syllabus, communicate concepts clearly, create assessments that directly tap my learning goals, and how to navigate the classroom. After completing the associate level of the program, I feel I have more of the skills necessary to be an effective teacher.

Jane NewmanJane Newman started teaching during her undergraduate education in biochemistry, and her very first course that she taught as an associate instructor was a biochemistry and organic chemistry course for non-majors. This was particularly fun and challenging because most of her students were not very interested in the content, but rather just had to pass the course to move onto their nursing or athletic training coursework. Newman enjoyed getting students excited about material that they normally would shy away from, especially as organic chemistry is traditionally a class that students tend to strongly dislike. Since coming to IU for graduate school, Newman has taught introduction to biology lab (L113) and microbiology (M250) for microbiology majors as an associate instructor. She has been fortunate enough to be able to teach in the classroom and in her lab, where she mentors undergraduates in research.

Newman’s most rewarding teaching moment was in her lab when the undergraduate that she mentors was able to do an entire experiment by herself without direct help from Newman. Her student was able to purify a novel mutant protein and successfully crystallize it by herself. This process is challenging even for graduate-level students. She came into the lab to gain research experience, despite being solely interested in medical school. Newman’s student now is very interested in possibly pursuing an MD/PhD or PhD program because she has been able to feel personally invested and rewarded by the research she has done in Newman’s lab.

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the Associate level of GTAP, Newman answered: I would encourage them to complete the Associate Level of GTAP because it has given me a better working knowledge of pedagogy and good teaching strategies. This has allowed me to make smaller, more achievable goals for my teaching each semester. I have also learned a lot about how to talk about my teaching and analyze my teaching evaluations to make my teaching more student-centered. I think that having the GTAP on my CV will help boost my teaching credentials and improve my interviewing skills for my future desired teaching job.

Daniel MyersDaniel Myers recently moved to Indiana from the great state of Michigan to become a PhD student in the Geography Department. Myers didn’t know much about being a PhD student, being an instructor, or the academic job market. He joined CITL’s Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship Program about a month into his first semester. Myers explained that he really appreciated the opportunity to network with other graduate students who were very wise and in the later years of their programs. He learned a lot about how to create effective assignments and how to begin preparing for academic jobs. He’d never heard of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a diversity statement, or a teaching portfolio before joining, but now he feels he can confidently use each to teach classes and (when the time comes) apply for academic jobs.

Myers explained that his teaching history is very brief; he has one semester as an Associate Instructor for a lab. He can say his favorite moments though are when a student is struggling and he is able to help them understand the solution to their problem. Myers is looking forward to expanding his teaching repertoire in the coming semesters.

When asked what he would tell other graduate students about the GTAP Associate Level, Myers answered: I encourage my peers to learn the ropes of building a teaching portfolio and learning how to do a teaching demonstration through GTAP. These are covered in the Talking About Teaching learning community, which is one of the ways to fulfill Associate Level requirements. It will make things much easier when they’re applying for academic jobs later on!

Image of BhurosyTrishnee 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.

Image of CheraWith 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 GarciaFernando 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).

Image of KimmittAbigail 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.

The Practitioner Level

Headshot of KristyKristy Anderson is a PhD Candidate in Leisure Behavior in the School of Public Health with a minor in Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. Her research is guided by a core belief that in order to maintain a healthy, thriving global ecosystem for all living things, individuals’ personal relationship with the natural world around them is pivotal. Her dissertation seeks to illuminate the complex social-ecological impacts of legacy soil lead contamination on urban families’ protective health behaviors, environmental attitudes, and outdoor leisure behaviors.

As a graduate student Associate Instructor at IU-Bloomington, she has loved teaching and mentoring undergraduate students in her home state of Indiana. She has twice taught a course within her department’s core curriculum (an undergraduate research and evaluation methods course) as well as an elective in Outdoor Adventure Education. Her teaching practice is centered on experiential education principles, backwards design instruction, and incorporating the values of diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity in the classroom. Whether she’s teaching outdoor group management skills or research ethics, she seeks to actively engage students in learning and develop their critical thinking skills.

When asked what she would tell other graduate students about the Practitioner level of GTAP, Anderson answered: Just as we work to improve as researchers, I believe that PhD students should also be intentional about developing as instructors. The Practitioner level of the GTAP program provided structure to my development as an educator through its associated events, learning communities, and tasks (such as developing a teaching portfolio). To that end, not only did drafting and organizing the many components of my teaching portfolio aide in my readiness for the job market, but it also helped me intentionally reflect on my teaching practice and adjust my planning and pedagogy.

Photo of Julie EyinkWhen asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Eyink answered: Although the psychology department provides formal pedagogical coursework, this training occurs during the first two years of graduate school and is focused on preparing students to teach a laboratory section of a methods course. As I prepared to teach my own course several years later, attending CITL/CIRTL events was incredibly beneficial to refresh the concepts learned in my earlier coursework as well as to learn practical techniques and strategies to design an effective syllabus, communicate concepts clearly, create assessments that directly tap my learning goals, and how to navigate the classroom. After completing the associate level of the program, I feel I have more of the skills necessary to be an effective teacher.

Denisa JashariDenisa Jashari is a doctoral candidate in History at Indiana University. Previously, she received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Hispanic Studies from Trinity College, and her M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and History from Indiana University in 2014. Her dissertation project unites urban and social history with methods from critical geography, visual culture, and Geographic Information System mapping to illuminate the contested politics of the urban poor during the second half of the twentieth century in Chile. Denisa’s research has been supported by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, the Doris G. Quinn Foundation, the American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant, the Tinker Foundation, and various Indiana University awards.

 Denisa views teaching as an integral part of her scholarship. As an instructor, Denisa exposes students to the notion that history is a constant process of meaning-making, where multiple, competing interpretations exist. The assignments she creates resemble real-life situations and reveal how historical skills are transferrable across disciplines. Her classes combine textual analysis of primary sources with digital tools such as word clouds, concept mapping, and google mapping to aid students in expanding their geographical knowledge and spatial thinking. Her broad, interdisciplinary training (graduate minor in Latin American Studies and a History Dept. doctoral minor in Middle Eastern history) equips her to teach survey and advanced thematic courses in Latin American history, history of the Americas, and World history. She taught “World History in the Twentieth Century” for the History Department and she is teaching “Between Two Giants: Latin America during the Cold War” as part of IU’s Lifelong Learning Institute. During academic year 2019-2020, Denisa will be the Future Faculty Teaching Fellow at Butler University.

When asked what she would tell others about the Associate Level of GTAP, Denisa Jashari answered: I would encourage colleagues to complete the Practitioner level of GTAP because it provides graduate students with a clear set of guidelines that further both pedagogical training and academic-job preparedness. The pedagogy workshop on backward course design completely changed the way I think about student learning and designing syllabi. Working on teaching and diversity statements, as well as on a teaching portfolio, was incredibly useful in getting ready for job applications early on. I received productive feedback on such statements that greatly improved them, in addition to words of encouragement from CITL associates.

Abigail KimmittAbby Kimmitt is a Ph.D. candidate in the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Program in the Biology department. Her dissertation focuses on behavioral and physiological mechanisms of population divergence in small songbirds. She is also very enthusiastic about teaching and is interested in pursuing a career at a teaching-focused university. She has taught Animal Behavior as the lead instructor and has presented multiple workshops on effective lesson design and student-centered teaching. 

Abby actively engages students in her classroom using a student-centered teaching approach and active learning, using problem-based learning and literature discussions. Abby also creates clear learning objectives for her students in her syllabus as well as at the beginning of each class as she is a proponent of Bloom's taxonomy. 

When asked what she would tell others about the Practitioner Level of GTAP, Kimmitt answered: This level helps you to prepare and receive feedback on documents that you can use for your future job search. I attended workshops that were really helpful in helping me think about what was being asked of me in these documents (e.g., there is still so much unknown about the diversity statement!) It was really useful to be able to think critically about my teaching and write about it now while a lot of my experiences in graduate teaching were fresh. The most helpful part was receiving feedback from Katie (lead consultant at CITL) for ways to improve how I clearly presented my strengths as an instructor. 

Fernando Melero GarciaFernando 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.

One of his greatest strengths as a teacher is that he is always looking for new ways to innovate and bring technology into the classroom. For instance, he creates online tutorials in his Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics course that his students use to learn how to analyze acoustically their own speech in order to reflect on questions about native vs. non-native accent. His students also learn how to use a specific free videoconferencing software that they use out of class on a weekly basis to discuss pre-arranged topics with a classmate in Spanish. Fernando also used virtual reality viewers in his First-Year Spanish courses in order to take "virtual trips" to different Spanish-speaking countries. Using this technology has allowed him to incorporate the latest technological innovations in his classrooms, all while engaging his students in new and different ways that they enjoy.

When asked what he would tell others about the Practitioner 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)

Maddie CheraWith 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.

One of the things Chera tries to emphasize in her teaching is student agency. Chera incorporates this emphasis in several ways, including having students design individual projects tailored to their interests, which they carry out step-by-step over the semester. On a day-to-day basis, Chera invite students to connect to their coursework and contribute to the knowledge building in their classroom by asking them to share their own relevant experiences during lectures and discussions. She incorporate activities into every lesson plan, to ensure integration and application of course content at every step. For example, in an upper-level seminar on Food and Culture, the students worked through weekly in-class activities in small groups, which they discuss together in the following meeting. One week, they were looking at socio-economic status in terms of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s book Distinction, and Chera walked the students through devising their own version of a chart of Bourdieu’s, mapping the “food space.” The charts plot different items based on cultural and economic capital. The students added value to the course by bringing up resonant examples and relevant insights Chera had not; they were active contributors to the education process. For example, one student’s chart of Mexican food included Chipotle and Taco Bell, familiar favorites of many college students, but it also included a hip local taco truck and a famously “authentic” family restaurant in Chicago. Moreover, in this particular activity and others like it, students interrogated the material and their own lives to illustrate the interplay between social systems and their own agency, which is shaped by those systems but can also shape society, in turn. For example, some of the students emphasized the importance and variability of context; about her peer’s chart of different types of coffee, one student noted that Starbucks might have more cultural capital in a rural place where the shops are few, and less in an urban setting where the chain is ubiquitous. The students also brought up the cultural value of sustainability and how values like these can change over time. These comments fed into discussion about our roles as consumers in shifting social values. Thus, the students reflected on their own agency in society, but also exercised their agency effectively in the classroom. Encouraging this informed but empowered sense of agency is a critical goal of Chera’s teaching work.

When asked what she would tell others about the Practitioner Level of GTAP, Chera answered: The requirements of this level of GTAP basically set you up to teach a course, improve the course mid-way, and explain to others how you have prepared for and grown in your role as an educator. Whereas the Associate level gives you the fundamental knowledge about teaching and learning you need to set a foundation, the Practitioner level activities are much more directly applied. They are a lot more challenging, and probably will take more than a semester to complete. However, I would encourage all graduate students to start this level early and continue to review the work required and completed in this level, because there is always room for improvement, whether in our course documents, our praxis, or our job documents.

The Specialist Level

Abigail KimmittAbby Kimmitt is a Ph.D. candidate in the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Program in the Biology department. Her dissertation focuses on behavioral and physiological mechanisms of population divergence in small songbirds. She taught Z460: Animal Behavior as the lead instructor and has served as the Associate Instructor for L111: Intro to Ecology and Evolution as well as L376: Biology of Birds. She has presented multiple workshops on effective lesson design and student-centered teaching.

Kimmitt really enjoyed engaging with teaching communities because she think the best way to learn is through teaching and this even applies to teaching about effective teaching. When leading workshops on teaching methods, she really had to engage with the ideas of effective teaching and utilize them in her workshop. Workshops, are also never facilitator-oriented but rather focus on discussion among all of the participants (much like a student-centered classroom). Kimmitt learned a lot about effective teaching through discussion on what has been effective in others’ classrooms or what issues other instructors have faced.

When asked what she would tell others about the Specialist Level of GTAP, Kimmitt answered: The Specialist level of GTAP enables to you apply the knowledge that you’ve gathered about effective teaching. By co-facilitating workshops, you’re able to share what you’ve learned about teaching but also engage in discussions with instructors of all levels about teaching. By observing instructors and serving as reviewer, you’re also able to apply what you’ve learned about teaching to critique others but also to learn from them. I believe the statement that to teach something is to really learn it, and this level of GTAP really helps you engage with all the information you’ve gained in the Associate and Practitioner levels.