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Fellows 2008-2009

Building Your Own Comfortable Room in the Ivory Tower

Lerone Banks

Graduate study provides students with a rare and unique opportunity to thoroughly immerse themselves into intense academic study. Unfortunately this enriching experience is marred by a seemingly myriad of challenges. Some of these hurdles are consequences of the pursuit of the highest level of academic achievement in a field, such as the processes of identifying interesting problems and demonstrating a high level of academic competency while others stem from the process of graduate school itself (e.g. navigating mentor relationships). More...

Equally unfortunate is that many of these challenges are unknown, unexpected, or unappreciated by beginning graduate students until they are in the midst of graduate study. This poses a unique situation where graduate students are forced to address these challenges while simultaneously performing their academic duties at a very high level. This circumstance represents a small sample of what they will face as professionals, but perhaps with the opportunity to explore these issues and prepare for them; graduate students can ease their transition into graduate school which in turn should clear the path to graduation and a successful career.

My project is to teach a quarter-long course to provide such an opportunity. This course, to be taught in the fall of 2009, has a primary goal of helping incoming students plot a deliberate course through graduate school. Along the way, students will explore the culture of graduate school and academia in general and within their disciplines. Students will also explore the processes of graduate school by discussing questions such as, how do I complete a research project? And what does teaching or being a teaching assistant entail? Also, in this course students will analyze themselves holistically. Through their holistic evaluations, each student will be better able to make decisions that will increase their chances for success. For example, by clearly understanding their learning and working styles, students will be in a stronger position to make good choices regarding mentors and work schedules. Finally, the course will encourage explicit planning for the upcoming years by exposing students to the various resources available on campus and some of the options that will be available upon completion of their degrees. These plans will be designed with flexibility in mind to serve as a guide on their journey through graduate school.

Through this project, I hope to help increase the retention and matriculation rates of graduate programs at UC Davis while exploring some of the unwritten rules of graduate education.

Creating a UCD Seminar Newsfeed

Elizabeth Carroll

To engage effectively in interdisciplinary research, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers must broaden their ability to communicate with colleagues in other disciplines. More...

This kind of informal learning can be done through department and graduate group seminars and colloquia. Despite the extensive interdisciplinary research conducted at UC Davis, it can be difficult to find information on seminars in outside departments, particularly special interest or student-organized seminars. The goal of my project has been to develop a resource to facilitate campus-wide sharing of seminar information and lower the barriers to communication between disciplines.

My project integrates several internet-based tools to create a seminar announcement service based on RSS (Really Simple Syndication). RSS is a web protocol for publishing frequently updated content, such as news headlines and blog entries. An RSS service generates a “feed” that other web pages can bookmark and check automatically for new content. An advantage of using RSS for a seminar advertising service is that content is distributed automatically - once an original seminar announcement is created on a department website, this content is broadcast to any web page subscribed to the feed.

To implement the “UCD Seminar Newsfeed,” I first identified who holds seminars and how they were advertising. Eight of the approximately 40 departments that advertised seminar information on the web maintained Google calendars for this purpose and could readily be published as RSS. Four departments used some other kind of RSS service. With several departments already using RSS-compatible formats, the next step was to compile the feeds into a single resource. This was achieved with a web tool called Yahoo Pipes, which can aggregate and manipulate RSS feeds.

Finally, I developed a SmartSite worksite where users can generate a customized newsfeed. The SmartSite currently covers over 20 different seminar series in the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Arts & Humanities. To gain access to the Newsfeed service, users login to SmartSite (https://smartsite.ucdavis.edu), find their Membership section, and search for “UCD Seminar Newsfeed” under Joinable Sites.

With the first public version of the UCD Seminar Newsfeed now launched, I am hopeful that the service will help researchers stay up-to-date on seminars happening on campus both in their home departments and in outside departments, and thus facilitate interdisciplinary learning and research at UC Davis. I also hope that, with some aspects of their seminar advertising automated, departments can focus on creating and enriching their web content.

Graduate Students and Mentoring: A Guide for Getting the Support You Need

Cynthia Degnan

​Graduate education, whether in a Doctorate or Masters level program, involves growing into a profession and developing as an original and independent thinker. Faculty mentors play a crucial role in guiding graduate students through this process. Mentoring has clear functions and benefits. More...

Yet graduate students often experience a good deal of stress, from occasional worry to persistent feelings of powerlessness, as a result of lingering mysteriousness that surrounds mentoring relationships. Little formal information addresses what a mentoring relationship might look like, how grad students can advocate for their needs in a relationship, and how faculty also benefit from these relationships.

My Professors for the Future project addresses these issues through a guide for graduate students that encourages proactive approaches to mentoring relationships. While mentoring relationships are highly individualized and therefore resist formulaic models or comparisons, this guide will give graduate students an idea of how they can find and develop a relationship that works for both them and their professors. By making this process more explicit, I hope to empower graduate students to create the mentoring relationships that will contribute to their success in graduate school and beyond.

During the year, I have spoken with graduate students both informally and formally about mentoring. This spring, I hosted two workshops entitled “Getting the Most out of Mentoring: A Conversation Among Graduate Students,” one for students in sciences and engineering and one for students in the humanities and social sciences. These provided a casual environment for students to discuss their concerns and share ideas for improving mentoring relationships.Furthermore, I have conducted individual interviews with numerous faculty who have won mentoring awards or otherwise demonstrated their commitment to mentoring graduate students. I will anonymously compile the information I've gathered and complete a draft of the guide during the rest of my tenure as the Graduate Student Assistant to the Dean and Chancellor.

These conversations of course revealed a wide variety of ideas about and approaches to mentoring. One unexpected result is the consistent call, from both faculty and grad students, for grad students to consider a variety of relationships as potential sites of mentorship. The guide will stress this option to students in an effort to broaden the scope of graduate students' definition of mentorship. By encouraging students to work with multiple faculty, department staff, and campus resources beyond their department, I hope to decrease the amount of isolation that graduate students sometimes feel and to improve their graduate school experience.

Behind the Scenes in the Work of a Professor

Chantal Frankenbach

The cost in years and financial resources to obtain the training to become a professor is one of the highest of any profession. Many students do not get to the academic job market until their thirties, having spent a full decade on their educations. Yet many graduate students enter that job market with little knowledge of what their job satisfaction as a professor will be, of how suited they are to the work of a professor, or of how successfully they will advance in their careers. More...

My project was designed to give graduate students a better idea of what the work of a professor involves and how the job differs at different institutions. I planned and hosted two workshops with guest speakers from each of the three tiers of higher learning in California. The first workshop, titled, “Behind the Scenes in the Work of a Professor,” was a panel discussion between three professors followed by a question and answer session for the audience of grad students. Professors from a range of disciplines came from UCD, Sacramento State University and Solano Community College and spoke to a group of 18 graduate students on April 21st. Animated discussion between grad students and the panelists provided an atmosphere in which honest yet encouraging advice and information was shared. Grad student participants and panelists alike shared with me that they found the conversation both stimulating and informative.

On May 5th, I hosted a second workshop with a more specific focus: what grad students in the humanities need to know to get their work published and to continue to publish successfully as their careers advance. Professors from UCD and Sacramento State University participated in a candid, nuts-and-bolts discussion of questions surrounding the issues of publication as “currency” for academic success. Twenty graduate students attended and left with practical ideas and professional advice on how to get their first publications rolling and how to manage their future publications as well.

Teaching with Interdisciplinary Awareness

Jessica Howell

Many graduate students and postdoctoral scholars face the challenge of leading discussion sections or independent courses in their own fields that are required for undergraduates, but may not be in the undergraduates' own major or even interest area. How do we as instructors make our required courses relevant to the students? The goal of this project has been to help graduate student and faculty instructors incorporate awareness of other disciplines' methods of research, analysis and evaluation of evidence when teaching their undergraduate students. More...

I completed six interviews with faculty members from Animal Science, English, Law, Art and Anthropology, as well as with graduate students from Epidemiology, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. In the interviews, I asked each person the following questions: 1. How do scholars in your field formulate research questions? 2. Gather data? 3. Evaluate and present information? 4. What role do skills such as clear writing and critical thinking play within your discipline? 5. What are the unique skills students must develop to be effective in your discipline? 6. How do you see your discipline's methodology as different from others?

Through the interviews, several trends emerged. All interviewees agreed that clear writing and critical thinking were crucial components to students' success in their disciplines. Posing well-conceived and important questions, examining an archive of material or running experiments, and then writing essays or articles or creating artwork were also important components of all disciplines. Interestingly, most of the subjects I interviewed, admittedly a subset of instructors receptive to my project on interdisciplinary instruction, hold similar ideals about the goals of undergraduate instruction. Namely, they feel that students should be astute and careful “readers” of the culture around them, not just of relevant facts presented to them in classes for their major. In this sense, then, a successful teacher does not just transmit information but also teaches students to analyze how information is produced and to connect what they learn in their coursework to the “real world.”

I invited three of the professors to speak at a workshop on “Incorporating Interdisciplinary Awareness in Undergraduate Instruction”, held in April. We had a small and select group of attendees, who expressed strong interest in future events. There was also a great deal of lively interchange between the speakers, who were excited to connect with one another and spoke of keeping in touch about future curricular endeavors. My future plans are to write up my findings in the form of an essay and share it in the most appropriate venue (as an article or conference paper). This project succeeded in both inspiring participants to enliven their teaching and starting to build a strong cohort of instructors interested in interdisciplinary pedagogy.

Networking as a Graduate Student

Keir Keightley

Students are used to the role of being assigned work, completing it and turning it in. However, the relationships they have with professors are ‘two-way streets' that they can use to speed their progress toward finishing their degrees. The University of California has clear guidelines about how professors will support students and these guidelines extend beyond the relationships graduate students have with their advisors. More...

It is unusual for one professor to have all the resources one will need to complete an advanced degree while at UC Davis whether it is money, space, equipment or encouragement. Therefore it is likely, if not assured, that one will need to approach other professors to help get what is needed to finish. In my case, it is from a chance, tenuous opportunity that the main creative portion of my dissertation was developed. This, among numerous other professional mutual circumstances has facilitated my academic progress.

My project was to advise graduate students on how to go about making the best of the professional network that has been created around them through their participation on campus as a student. This was be accomplished through a series of workshops that addressed a) maximizing the student-advisor relationship, b) getting help or resources from the professors who are teaching your courses, c) learning about campus resources created to help your progress and d) getting help from outside the university. These workshops featured discussants such as professors, university administrators and staff. Those invited to speak were recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award (both undergraduate and grad/professional), student advocates from Graduate Studies and staff representatives from the Internship and Career Center.

The information compiled for the project is organized and published as a freely accessible internet resource through SmartSite. This resource contains a distillation of advice, tips and resources for students as presented in the workshops and provides links to campus and off-campus resources that help students to take advantage of their professional network.

In order to assess the project, I asked participants of seminars to respond to some questions about the material. This involved a number of simple questions in the form of a short questionnaire. Their responses are presented in summary on Smartsite.

Honoring the 40th Anniversary of the Third World Liberation Front: Ethnic Studies as a Doorway for Students of Color in Higher Education

Jennie Luna

Overall, in the state of California and beyond, the number of students of color in graduate school, across all disciplines, is staggering.

According to the 2000 census and other educational data resources, out of 100 Chicana and Chicano students who start elementary school, only 46 graduate from high school, eight receive a bachelor's degree and only two earn a graduate or professional degree. Less than one earns a doctorate. In California, only 5% of the faculty in the U.C. system are people of color. There are a total of 328 Latino tenured professors and 28 Native Americans. More...

As a Xicana and PhD candidate in Native American Studies, the future of Ethnic Studies is critical. For this reason, it is important to find places of support and encouragement on campus. The importance of creating a network and connection to a pipeline for graduate students of color can not be understated. It can often be difficult for a graduate student to step outside of their academic field and meet other colleagues or students in other disciplines that could perhaps provide support and understanding to the needs and particular struggles that graduate students of color face.

My PFTF project had two main components. The first one is to honor and educate the university community about the 40th anniversary of the Third World Liberation Front (twLF) student movement which was the impetus towards the creation of Ethnic Studies and opened many doors for students of color in higher education and for professors of color in academia. Ethnic Studies continues to be a site that allows for faculty of color to thrive and emerge in their research. Pedagogically, Ethnic Studies is grounded in community-based research and teaching which has played a role in creating some of the most lasting grass roots and non-profit service institutions.

For my project, I organized a panel of former 1969 twLF student organizers who are now PhDs/JDs, professors in Ethnic Studies at both four-year institutions and community colleges. They are also founders of non-profit community organizations and continue to pursue social justice and scholar activism. Having these panelists give their “testimonios” and share their lived experiences offered the audience a glimpse of history and vision of how future scholars must continue to transform not only the institutions of higher education, but society in general.

There were over 30 students in attendance, both graduate and undergraduates interested in this topic. The second part of the event was a social gathering where students were invited to the C.N. Gorman Museum, the Native American Art Gallery to continue to dialogue and network.

By the end of the forum, students walked away knowing they are not alone on this campus and with a renewed sense of the importance of Ethnic Studies and for future professors in the discipline.

Tools to Successfully Navigate the Transition From Qualifying Examination (QE) and Dissertation: Carving a Path Towards a Career

Sophia Papageorgiou

​​Inspiration for this project arose among my graduate group peers when students described feelings of inertia and uncertainty about how to approach their PhD. To effectively navigate the qualifying oral examination, trek through the dissertation process, and venture down the path towards a professional career seems daunting. The topic of graduate student persistence has been investigated, but I evaluated two specific time points along the trek to a PhD for potential risk factors that may contribute to motivation during one's PhD: 1) after the qualifying exam and 2) after the dissertation. More...

A survey was sent electronically to all PhD candidates and PostDocs at the University of California Davis (UCD) campus in late April, and a seminar was held in May that included a panel discussion with three professors. The seminar provided tangible tools for graduate students to break away from the post QE/dissertation doldrums and offer insight to thrive during graduate training.

The hypothesis for the questionnaire was two-fold: 1) students with supportive mentors and/or 2) students with adequate funding, maintain motivation after taking the QE until they complete their dissertation. Based on the responses from the survey, my hypothesis was incorrect. One-hundred twenty-eight individuals attempted the survey and 97 completed the survey. Results show that: 59% had a very good to excellent relationship with their professors; 50% were not motivated to pursue a PhD before taking the QE; 46% of the 68% that were not motivated to pursue a PhD after taking the QE, were not sure of the next step or felt a lack of structure to progress; approximately 33% had support from their major professors to get back on track with their PhD, but 55% reported getting support from their peers. Seventy percent were funded as teaching assistants (TAs) or graduate student researchers (GSR) from other than their major professor; yet 50% of the respondents indicated funding themselves working outside of UCD. Scholarships and grants were funding sources for almost half of the respondents for a variable number of quarters. Comments relating to motivation for completing the PhD included: 1) completing it because ‘…the years prior to the QE would have been a waste of time'; 2) they wanted to finish the PhD for the degree; or, 3) family/professor pressure to complete the PhD.

The panelists for the seminar were Dr. Kauzlarich, a professor in Chemistry, Dr. Miller, an adjunct professor with Comparative Pathology, and Dr. Grivetti, Emeritus, from Nutrition and Geography. Collectively all three panelists provided the attendees with inspiration, sage advice, and personal vignettes. They encouraged students to diligently chisel at their dissertations, and mark their goals by summing daily accomplishments over time. The panel advised that compiling realistic lists and setting realistic goals is integral to working through the day; allowing time for family and friends, research, and just one more interest is all that can be managed well in graduate school; writing daily builds a dissertation; and maintaining communication with your professor and dissertation committee are all requisite tools that help PhD candidates succeed. If you motivate and implement some combination of the tools listed, navigating to the next phase of your journey will transpire. Finally, the panel emphasized that this is your dissertation, it is a rite of passage, requires hard work to complete, and by implementing some of the basic tools recommended above, you may enjoy the trek along the way.

Based on the results from the survey and the seminar, my conclusions are that financial and moral support from one's major professor are goals for any graduate student, but not necessarily integral to completing a PhD. The motivation to complete the journey that is a PhD emerges from the candidate.

Academic Inclusion: Undoing Marginalization on Campus

Sumer Seiki

Graduate student teaching assistants and instructors often teach and mentor diverse undergraduates cross-culturally and cross-experientially. Over the past decade, the ethnic diversity of the undergraduate and graduate student population at University of California, Davis, has increased. More...

Pan-Asian Americans are now the largest undergraduate minority group, and 21% of all graduate students are from outside the United States (http://www.ucdavis.edu/about/facts/). With such large current and projected increases in diversity, UC Davis expects their campus educators to practice interpersonal tolerance, respect, and dignity as described in their Principles of Community (UC Davis Dateline, 2006). To apply these core multicultural principals, graduate students must be able to practice inclusion in their own teaching and mentoring.

Research supports these principles of community; teachers trained in cross-cultural instructional and communication methods are valuable, because such training positively affects student achievement (Au, 2003; Sleeter, 2001; Cabello, 1995). Cross-cultural teaching must consist of instruction that is responsive to student experiences, cultural perspectives, and developmental needs (Cabello, 1995), though these methods are important for student understanding they are often difficult for teachers to employ (Cabello, 1995). Like with any skill, teachers must have the opportunity to practice them and the symposium Academic Inclusion: Undoing Marginalization can act as a first step toward a deeper understanding of inclusion on campus.

The mission of Academic Inclusion Symposium is to provide graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty with an opportunity to present their experiences with marginalization on campus through art and small/large group discussions. Marginalization for our symposium is defined as excluded and existing outside the mainstream campus. These experiences of marginalization can be characterized as racism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, nationalism, etc. Through voicing these experiences we hope to understand what types of marginalization are currently happening on campus in order to improve our classroom instruction, strengthen our community, and raise awareness of how to change current forms of marginalization within our campus. We also hope to facilitate relationships between marginalized groups to work toward increased unity and awareness.

This symposium began with a weeklong art exhibit in the Memorial Union Art Lounge where campus wide artists displayed their experiences of marginalization on campus. The last one and half days of the exhibit culminated in a discussion series presenting and examining the experiences of marginalization on our campus. The first day of the symposium showcased personal experiences of marginalized groups on campus and began fostering community with participants. The second day of the symposium was a series of discussions on the types of marginalization on campus and how to create active change on campus. Laurie Lippin and Stephanie Puentes of Equity Action facilitated these discussions, in small group and large groups.

Negotiating Intercultural Experiences: Professionalism in Teaching and Research for International Graduate Students

Fei Shi

This project sought to meet the challenges and needs of international graduate students who are an increasing presence across different disciplines: not only in the fields of sciences and engineering, but also in the social sciences and the humanities. As international graduate students at University of California, Davis, and potentially future professors, researchers, scholars, administrators and policy-makers in higher education institutions both in America and around the world, we face challenges in adapting to and developing within certain institutional systems, academic environments and cultural situations, given our different educational and cultural backgrounds. More...

This project was composed of a series of workshops and colloquiums, addressing the relationship between the intercultural experiences of international graduate students and their professional lives of teaching and research in an American institution, and preparing them for their future professional careers in academia.

I organized a series of workshops with the Teaching Resource Center and the Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) office that addressed the cultural and professional concerns of International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) (who constitute a substantial part of teaching body at Davis) on various topics such as grading systems, professor-TA relationships, cultural differences and diversity in the classroom, accentedness, active learning and effective communication, and understanding American students. Equally important were the colloquiums, which brought together graduate students and professors from different nations and disciplines to carry out cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary conversations on professionalization in American academia, with a focus on conferences, publications, and research/travel funding. These discussions were aimed at familiarizing international graduate students with established institutional procedures, confines and parameters, and addressing the questions of how inter-cultural perspectives, which international students bring to bear through their presence and cultural identities, enrich university teaching and research while we actively and creatively engage with academia.

Patterns of TA Training Across the UC Davis Campus

Julia Svoboda

While many graduate students will go on to careers that involve teaching, opportunities for developing professionally as teachers during graduate school are often limited, and sometimes non-existent. In general, graduate students are expected to develop their teaching skills through trial and error experiences as TAs. Yet, research suggests that experience alone is not sufficient to improve teacher effectiveness. More...

At UC Davis, the Teaching Resources Center provides basic training for new TAs, as well as workshops throughout the year. These resources provide a good foundation, however, the extent to which TAs can find opportunities for extended discipline-specific teaching support in their home departments is unknown. The goal of this project was to compile a report summarizing opportunities for program-supported TA development across the UC Davis campus.

To do so, I sent out a survey to Graduate Program Coordinators and TA Coordinators to gather program statistics relevant to TA professional development. I then interviewed individuals from 15 programs to get a more detailed understanding of what TA training looks like in specific departments and graduate groups. The resulting report is based on responses from 44 graduate programs (56% of programs at UC Davis).

The findings of this report suggest that there are a diversity of TA training experiences on campus, ranging from no formal training of any kind to multi-quarter courses that include opportunities to both learn about and practice teaching techniques. One notable pattern that emerged form this work was that graduate groups are far less likely than department-based programs to offer formal training for their TAs. The full report will be distributed to the Teaching Resources Center, the Graduate Student Association, as well as each program on campus.*

This work suggests that an important next step will be to understand how the diversity of training on campus impacts graduate students in these programs: How supported do graduate student TAs in different programs feel? To what extent do they feel they have been able to improve as teachers? Do their teaching evaluations reflect this improvement? By connecting reports from TAs with the patterns of TA training across campus, we can begin to understand the impact program-specific TA development is (or is not) having on university instruction. Perhaps more importantly, such research can inform future efforts to support graduate student teaching at UC Davis.

*For a copy of the full report, please email jmsvoboda@ucdavis.edu.

Promoting Environmental Research Collaboration Between UC Davis and the State of California

Martice Vasquez

Underutilized opportunities exist for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to be part of solutions to current environmental problems facing California. The close proximity of UC Davis to Sacramento should promote collaboration and allow regulators and students to share problems, solutions and ideas. More...

Environmental quality regulators can benefit from the collaboration of academia by introducing new approaches or technologies to solutions for difficult problems. Students and scholars are often not aware of the struggles and issues facing agencies mandated to protect and serve the environment. The goal of this project was to provide a round table forum for leaders of California state agencies and collaborators within the university to discuss environmental issues being addressed by the state. The discussion session also sought to provide an opportunity for the student community to learn about job positions within the state for which their expertise are required. As many students and scholars seek funding, which relies on broader societal impacts, it makes sense to be aware of current and future issues to maintain relevancy in a competitive scientific community.

The event, Promoting Research Collaboration between UC Davis and the State of California: Can we work together to achieve common goals in the environmental sciences?, was held on May 14, 2009. Guest speakers at the forum included Dr. George Alexeeff, Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) under Cal EPA, Dr. Julie Yamamoto, Scientific Branch Chief of the Department of Fish and Game's Oil Spill Prevention and Response and Dr. Julie Sze, Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis, representing an environmental justice component. Participants (approximately 20 people) in the discussion included both faculty and students, representing a wide range of environmental science perspectives, from epidemiology to veterinary medicine. The discussion provided valuable insight into how collaboration is initiated and what makes for a successful collaborative effort. This event provided a great networking opportunity for all the participants. Many phone numbers were exchanged and students were able to inquire about how to get hired in a state agency, especially in this economic time. It was revealed that OEHHA was having trouble finding toxicologists and they currently have 14 vacant positions. Dr. Ron Tjeerdema, chair of the environmental toxicology department (and member of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate group), participated in the discussion session and now has the ball rolling to get this type of information out to the relevant graduate student community. This project has taken on a life of its own, a tribute to networking and collaboration.

Beyond the Basics: Course Design, Syllabus Creation, and Advanced Teaching at the College Level

Michelle Yates

The Teaching Resources Center offers a wide range of support services to both faculty and graduate student teaching assistants. Yet, there are limited resources and support services designed specifically to meet the needs of graduate student associate instructors and graduate students who desire to learn the skills necessary to teach their own courses. More...

Thus, I designed and co-facilitated this workshop series to support graduate students seeking the development necessary for teaching their own courses, and making the transition from TA to professor required to teach courses. Graduate students completing all five workshops in the series also received a certificate of completion.

Workshop #1, Developing Course Objectives,” focused on laying the theoretical framework of the series, integrated course design, which emphasizes the importance of course objectives for mediating and determining the rest of the course, particularly teaching activities and assessment methods.

Workshop #2, “Syllabus Strategies,” emphasized strategies for developing a comprehensive syllabus and using the syllabus as a teaching tool.

Workshop #3, “The 1st and Last Day of Class,” offered concrete strategies and simple activities that instructors can employ on two significant yet often overlooked days of a course, the 1st and last day.

Workshop #4, “Hands-On Practice with Interactive Teaching Techniques”, emphasized several effective interactive teaching methods that enhance student learning. Guest facilitators Gary Sue Goodman from the University Writing Program and Leslie Madsen Brooks and Mikaela Huntzinger from the Teaching Resources Center offered concete tips and strategies for teaching with writing, teaching with technology (PowerPoint, blogs, and wikis), and facilitating discussion, respectively.

Workshop #5, Syllabus Peer Review”, offered participants the opportunity to receive and give feedback to strengthen a working copy of a syllabus.

Approximately 50 participants will receive a certificate of completion from the workshop series. The number of participants combined with the positive feedback from participants about the series shows that graduate students desire more teaching professional development that goes beyond the basics and offers more strategies for course design.

Thank you to my co-facilitator Sharada Balachandran-Orihuela.