Published: May 2, 2017

      Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Leadership Lead Graduate Teachers from the Graduate Teacher Program feasted and fraternized on April 7, 2017 during the program’s annual Capstone Event at the University Memorial Center.

The GTP hires representatives (or Leads) from some 50 departments on campus and trains them in college pedagogy, consultation of college teaching, academic management, leadership, and collegial teamwork. Departments in the arts, humanities, engineering, sciences, social sciences, and languages recommend students to become these representatives who work some 120 hours for their departments during the academic year.

            Leads gather in an intensive 3-day training session in May where they learn to perform Videotape Consultations (VTCs) with graduate student instructors, Consultative Microteaching, and discipline-specific workshops on pedagogy. Moreover, they receive training on college pedagogy, classroom management, and inclusive excellence in addition to attending workshops offered by the GTP. Such workshops add to their professional development and count toward the requisite twenty workshops for the GTP’s Certificate in College Teaching. Finally, Leads are tasked with carrying out a “legacy project” wherein they set up a program to help benefit graduate students in their department and a Capstone project they complete with Leads outside their departments.

            The Capstone Event is an opportunity for Leads to gather for the last time, hand in their Capstone projects, and discuss their written overviews of the work they have performed since August. This year featured several interesting legacy projects. Some of these include mentor programs for incoming graduate students, compilations of teaching materials, reading lists for research topics, brownbag workshop series on pedagogy, social hours, and writing groups, among others. Below are a few reflections from our leads:

From the consultative process [of Videotape Consultations], I learned about feedback and probing strategies, varied pedagogy, and inclusive teaching to counter implicit biases. Facilitating these types of non-evaluative peer consultations benefited me directly in two distinct ways (1) learning new approaches to self-assessment of my teaching and (2) developing questioning skills that lead others to probe deeper into their own thinking (a skill that has improved my feedback/questioning)” (French Lead Jessica Appleby).

Through the GTP program, I was able to learn about the common challenges that we, as graduate students, have with teaching, but I was also able to learn about differences between my department and others” (Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology Lead Tova Christensen).

Everyone [graduate students and coordinators] had opinions about how the micro-teaching session should look, but I was the only one with teaching consultation training, so it fell to me to explain the GTP’s methods and to create a streamlined version that could be used in a multilingual setting. Throughout this process I learned that, despite my lower status as a graduate student, I can leverage my knowledge and skills even when collaborating with people who occupy senior positions in various departments” (Spanish Lead Kelly Drumright).

I found it interesting to hear how differently problems need to be approached in different disciplines. Being conscious of other viewpoints and other experiences reminds me to not assume that everyone else has the same perspective and understanding I do” (Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Lead Evan Anders).

Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Leadership

Awards Presented

Linguistics Lead Jonnia Torres: “Most VTCs” (with 11) and “Best Departmental Attendance at GTP Workshops”

Dance Lead Arneshia Williams: “Graduate Teacher Program Lead Assistant MVP”

Philosophy Lead Jonathan Spelman: “Departmental MVP”

Music Lead Tessa Romano: “Most Office Visits”

Classics Lead Tyler Denton: “Excellence in Graduate Teacher Leadership”

History Lead Jennifer Cullison: “Excellence in Graduate Teacher Leadership”

Geology Lead Katherine Kravitz: “Excellence in Graduate Teacher Leadership”

Speech Language Hearing Science Lead Marcia Walsh: “Excellence in Graduate Teacher Leadership”


What They’re Doing Next:

Classics Lead Tyler Denton completed his oral defense and has advanced to ABD status

Asian Studies Lead Jonathan O’Leary was accepted to Princeton University’s PhD program in Chinese

Film Lead Ramey Newell is transferring to the University of British Colombia’s Visual Art MFA Program

Psychology Lead Katherine Jo Wolsiefer defended her dissertation and it moving to Tucson to start a Post-Doc at the University of Arizona

Japanese Lead Ashley Webber was accepted into an MA program for Educational Leadership and Societal Change at Soka University. She will be deferring to take a year to teach in Japan on JET.

Civil Environmental and Architectural Engineering Lead Kyle Shimabuku defended his Ph.D. and has taken a position at Corona Environmental Consulting

Jessica Appleby completed her Ph.D. in French and accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Central Oklahoma