TA Orientation Summer 2014

Graduate TA Orientation, August 20th, 2014

TA Orientation Poster

2014 TA Orientation Agenda

CTAL and the Office of Graduate & Professional Education welcomed new graduate students to UD on August 20, 2014, in Clayton Hall. The day began at 8:00 a.m. and included specialized break-out sessions on teaching and career planning. Attendance was mandatory for new UD graduate students, and the afternoon TA Orientation was open to all new teaching assistants.

Following the morning session of New Graduate Student Orientation, the TA Orientation introduced new TAs to UD resources, policies, and best practices of learning and teaching, accommodated TAs across disciplines and with varied teaching responsibilities. Sessions on instructional topics were facilitated by TA Fellows across disciplines. The TA Fellows brought considerable teaching experience and knowledge of the UD undergraduate students to their sessions, and they modeled various ways of effectively engaging students.

TA Fellows & Conference Session Facilitators

 phillip_barnes Philip Barnes is a fifth year Ph.D. student in the School of Public Policy and Administration. He loves to challenge students to examine carefully, think critically, and write concisely.
Jon Bauer Jonathan Bauer is originally from Chicago and completed his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. He is starting his 5th year at UD as a PhD student in chemical engineering. His research focuses on the development of self-assembly routes using toggled external fields.
 Martha_Black Martha Black currently serves as a TA in Spanish for the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures where she is also an MA candidate in Foreign Language Pedagogy. She has experience with teaching Spanish as a Foreign Langauge and English as a Second Language in both the United States and abroad. Black has also facilitated various study abroad programs.
 Rachael Beyer - Museum Studies Rachael Beyer is a Hagley fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in history with a certificate in museum studies. She is interested in utopian communities and the mass media. Rachael has TAed for five semesters, and her favorite activity to do with her students is “Barbarian World Council” in Western Civilization I.
Samantha Brannick is currently a 5th year graduate student in Joseph Fox’s group in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department. She has been a teaching assistant for 5 semesters thus far. She has mainly taught the honors organic chemistry labs for chemistry/engineering majors. She has also taught bioorganic chemistry for nursing majors.
castillo Chris Castillo is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mathematical Sciences where he studies group representations using permutation polynomials over finite fields. Outside of academia, he remains active with the Boy Scouts in Baltimore as a staff member for various youth and adult leadership training activities.
DiTrani Andrea Di Trani is a 3rd year Biomechanics and Movement Science doctoral student currently serving as a teaching assistant in the Athletic Training (AT) Program, Coordinator of the Athletic Training Interest Program, and an academic advisor. Andrea received her BS in AT from Marist College and MS in AT from the Arizona School of Health Sciences.
Ashley Ashley Farmer is working towards earning her Ph.D. in Criminology and has been a TA for five semesters at UD. She has provided guest lectures on various topics in Disasters, Criminal Justice, and Sociology classes, was a lab instructor for social science research courses, and taught her own upper-level course during the summer.
Laura Finan Laura Finan is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Studies department at UD. Prior to entering the program, she received a master’s degree in Psychological Science from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her research interests focus on how family and community relationships promote adolescent adjustment. She has served as a TA for multiple courses and recently taught her own course.
 Isaac Harris Isaac Harris is a fifth year graduate student in the department of Mathematical Sciences. He graduated from Kean University in 2010 with a B.A. in Mathematical Sciences, Magna Cum Laude. He currently works with Dr. Fioralba Cakoni on Inverse Scattering and Analysis
Zachary Jackson is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, studying American Politics and Jurisprudence. He also teaches Introduction to Drama with the Department of Theatre, in addition to guest performing in other classes.
Ashutosh Khandha Ashutosh Khandha is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering. He has been a Teaching Assistant for multiple courses in the past, and during each course, has learnt something new. He looks forward to sharing his experiences with you.
Ashley Kilmer is working towards her doctoral degree in Criminology in the department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. She has completed training to become a qualified Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program instructor. Her research interests include understanding the impact of criminal justice policies and practices on formerly incarcerated individuals’ reentry experiences.
sophie le blanc Sophie Le Blanc obtained a B.A.in 2007 and an M.A. in 2010 in political science from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has been a graduate student at UD since 2010, working on issues of migration, entrepreneurship and the garment industry of Brazil. She has been both a TA and an Instructor of Record at UD.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Headshots Andrew Mercante received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from UDel in 2013. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering while working in Dr. Dennis Prather’s research group.
 Brock Overmiller Brock Overmiller is a PhD candidate in the field of Electrical Engineering. His research revolves around the design and operation of imaging systems for security and defense purposes.
Victoria Sanchez is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Her diverse teaching experiences have brought her to work with undergraduates at UD and the University of Georgia, international students at the English Language Institute at UD, gifted middle and high school students through a program with Duke University, and elementary students in Atlanta.
WBSchreiber Will Schreiber is a 5th year graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience division of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. He has served as a TA across many of the core class requirements for the Psychology and Neuroscience undergraduate majors, and will be teaching the class “Brain and Behavior” during Winter 2015.
 Jen_Snyder Jennifer Snyder is a second year PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Her current research interests include social media usage in missing children investigations, mass media, cyborg theory, and research methodology/statistics.
Patrick Spanninger Patrick Spanninger is a Ph.D student in the Department of Animal and Food Science. He graduated with a B.S in Animal Science concentrating in Pre-Vet Medicine. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked as a backcountry camp cook in Jackson, WY.  His Ph.D research is focused on experiments evaluating current food safety metrics regarding fresh leafy greens and tomatoes, investigating novel water filtration technologies, and monitoring foodborne pathogens in animal feces. His research findings have been presented at local and international scientific meetings.
 Nadia_Stepicheva Nadia Stepicheva is working on a PhD in Biological Sciences. She has obtained two Master’s degrees (Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology, 2008 and University of Arkansas, 2011) and has been a TA for 7 semesters. In 2014 she received an excellence in teaching award.
 jason_vermette Jason Vermette is a PhD student in mathematics doing research in spectral graph theory.
TanyaWhittle Tanya N. Whittle is a doctoral student in the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department. She is an Inside-Out Prisoner Exchange Program facilitator, and her research is on prisoner reentry, collateral consequences to felony convictions, drug policy, and street-level bureaucrats’ legal consciousness and discretion within the criminal justice system.
 Benjamin Wollet Ben Wollet is a second-year PhD-track student in the Department of History. He is also a fellow in the Hagley Graduate Program in History. He taught his own Western Civilization course in Ohio in Spring 2013 and served as a TA for the same course at UD in Fall 2013
Jackie_Yang Jackie Yang is a 5th year PhD student in the department of Mathematical Sciences majoring in applied mathematics with research interests in electromagnetic theory and inverse scattering problems. He has obtained a Master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach and has been working here at UD for the past five years as a teaching assistant for 8 semesters and as an instructor for 5 different math courses. He will complete his PhD degree by the end of next summer and pursue academic posts in mathematics after graduation.

Photos of TA Orientation


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