I am passionate about teaching first-year students and supporting faculty and future faculty in their efforts to teach undergraduate engineering courses. My experiences teaching have centered around supporting students in their first year at college and helping them develop technical and professional competencies. In addition, I believe it is important to support faculty members, and graduate students who will be faculty members in the future, and encourage these teachers to thoughtfully consider their pedagogical practices. To find out more about my experiences, see below.
First-Year Engineering Course
While at Virginia Tech, I taught both semesters of the first-year engineering program. This course covers engineering design and introduces useful tools including programming. This course is project-based where students are involved in group work that is complemented by in-class activities and individual assignments. For example, students had to examine an application of their choice that used energy, compare at least two energy sources for their application and make a recommendation to their customer (as the instructor, I served as the customer). Student teams had to update me on their progress weekly, create a final report of their findings, and present these findings to the class. In another project, students had to examine data collected from a local stream and analyze the water quality over an extended period of time. Each group of students focused on a different aspect of water quality, such as acidity. These projects allowed students to get experience working with tools such as MATLAB, while working in teams and gaining experience with different aspects and challenges of group work.
While working with the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, I taught a required seminar for female engineering students who were a part of the Hypatia Living-Learning Community. This course covered a range of topics including personal, academic, and professional development. In addition, I worked with students on choosing an engineering major, figuring out effective study strategies, and identifying opportunities to get involved. In particular, I met with students who were struggling academically after their first semester to identify ways to improve their academic performance during their second semester.
Faculty and Future Faculty
Contemporary Pedagogy (Graduate Course)
I am currently teaching a course for graduate students that helps them become effective teachers. This course covers topics such as attention, supporting diverse learners, and use of technology in the classroom. This course is discussion-based and we demonstrate different pedagogical approaches throughout the course. For example, we often have students engage with different resources, such as articles and videos, before class and then write a blog that is related to the readings in some way. After writing their blog, students have to read and comment on their peers’ blogs before class. This informs the discussion that we have during class. This approach demonstrates one way to incorporate technology into the classroom, which is one of the topics of the course. In addition to engaging in discussions, students create a student-centered syllabus, write a teaching philosophy, and create a project-based learning exercise that they can incorporate into their own classrooms. This allows students to have a portfolio of useful resources at the conclusion of the course.
Professional Development Workshop for Visiting Faculty
Virginia Tech has partnered with USFQ, a University in Quito, Ecuador, to create an institute focused on faculty development at USFQ. This institute consists of several faculty members who regularly engage in discussions on teaching practices. Over the summer of 2017, the faculty members who are a part of this institute visited Virginia Tech to participate in a week-long professional development program focused on a variety of topics related to teaching and learning in higher education.
I developed, organized, and coordinated the week-long program while working with the Dean of the Graduate School, faculty members, and other graduate students. In this role, I developed sessions that covered topics that the visiting faculty members identified as relevant and also determined additional topics to cover. In addition, I identified and reached out to faculty members at Virginia Tech who could lead the sessions and facilitate discussions. Additional responsibilities included scheduling lab tours with a variety of labs across campus, scheduling spaces for the sessions that took advantage of the variety of educational spaces on campus, and coordinating the logistics for the week including food and coffee.