I strongly believe that teaching is at the core of a university’s mission, and that when done well is an essential part of research. The ability to clearly express new knowledge to a general audience is prerequisite for deep understanding, not a dumbing-down or afterthought. So it is not just the students (and whatever number among them may go on to become researchers themselves) who benefit, but instructors as well. The ideas that students are simply empty vessels who require a certain amount of an instructor’s precious time to have knowledge transplanted is actively harmful to learning.
Students have many things to offer in the classroom, all bringing their own experiences, and I aim to respect their time, personal experience, and personhood in my teaching. Students learn better when the processes of learning and assessment are communicated clearly with them, rather than being obscured as a magical black box whose keys are held by the magicians known as professors, so I try in my communication, grading, and expectations to be open, honest, and straightforward with students. I emphasize the fostering and testing of useful skills over memorization of a breadth of facts or assignments which are standardized and reusable but a few steps removed from what we actually expect of our students. The best assignments are those which are directly tied to and testing those outcomes and expectations, and the best learning experiences make students more aware of themselves and their own learning in addition to the subject material.
Current Graduate Teaching Scholar (Fall 2019-Spring 2022) at Virginia Tech:
- Six semesters of coursework and experiences in student-centered, research-based, inclusive pedagogy
- Spring 2020 – Teaching Assistant for Principles of Sensory Evaluation
- Spring 2021 – Co-instructor of Principles of Sensory Evaluation
- Spring 2022 – Instructor of record for Principles of Sensory Evaluation
- Principles of Sensory Evaluation (Virginia Tech, Spring 2020)
- Functional Foods (Virginia Tech, Fall 2019)
- Food Analysis (Virginia Tech, Spring 2019)
- “Sensory Evaluation of Foods for Product Development” in Product Development at Virginia Tech. 16 March, 2020.
- “Health Benefits of Cucumber Pickles” in Functional Foods at Virginia Tech. 4 November, 2019.
- “Pro and Prebiotics” in Functional Foods at Virginia Tech. 18 October, 2019.
- Independent Tutor
- Organic Chemistry (North Carolina State University, Fall 2015)
- Food Chemistry (Virginia Tech, Fall 2018)
- NCSU Undergraduate Tutorial Center (January 2015 – April 2016)
- Organic Chemistry
- General Chemistry