Benjamin is a fifth year PhD candidate in Screen Cultures who is currently preparing a dissertation on spectacle and disgust in contemporary film and television comedy. His research interests include gender theory, postmodernism, postwar media culture, and media historiography. Prior to serving as teaching assistant in the Department of Radio-Television-Film, he has tutored and substitute taught at the high school level. As an instructor of film and media studies, he is particularly invested in exploring methods of developing visual literacy, given the proliferation of digital screens and content in the contemporary era.
Stephanie is a doctoral candidate in American religions, studying religion, media, and popular culture in contemporary American life. Her dissertation work focuses on humor and religious identity and authority, combining methodologies from ethnography, history, cultural studies, and media studies. She has taught as a teaching assistant and co-facilitator in a wide variety of environments at Northwestern University and Miami University of Ohio, and will be teaching her own 300-level seminar at Northwestern in Spring 2016. Stephanie has a Certificate in College Teaching from Miami University and has completed the Teaching Certificate Program at Northwestern. Through the Searle Center, she has also been a NTAC Workshop Leader and a Teaching Consultant.
Tracy is a Ph.D. candidate in Learning Sciences (in the School of Education and Social Policy) focusing on issues of motivation and equity in mathematics education. Her dissertation focuses on middle school students' perceptions of the usefulness of mathematics. Tracy has served as Teaching Assistant for a variety of courses including Methods of Observing Human Behavior, Learning Philanthropy, Identity & Motivation, and Social Contexts of Education. She is especially interested in thinking about diversity in the classroom and ways to make learning relevant and engaging for a wide range of students. This is Tracy's second year as a Graduate Teaching Fellow.
Renee is a 6th year Ph.D. student in Earth and Planetary Sciences studying tectonic features on the Moon and crustal magnetization of Mars. While at Northwestern, she has served as a TA for a variety of courses and has participated in K-12 education outreach. Her teaching efforts have been awarded by her department, by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Last year, she completed the Teaching Certificate and Teaching As Research programs at the Searle Center and has participated in various CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning) network opportunities. Renee also volunteers at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago as an experienced Development Assistant. She is particularly interested in the overlap between effective leadership and effective teaching.
Matt is a Ph.D. candidate in History, specializing in 20th century United States politics and society. His dissertation on the 1960s examines how liberal efforts to reform narcotics laws and protect consumers from dangerous medicines created the foundation for today’s “war on drugs.” He has worked for many years as a teaching assistant at San Diego State University and Northwestern University. In summer 2015, he designed and taught the History of the Sixties for Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies. After completing the Searle Center’s Teaching Certificate Program, he served for two years as a Graduate Teaching Mentor, working with other graduate students in the program. As a Graduate Teaching Fellow, Matt plans to host workshops and other events that will encourage an open dialogue among History Department faculty and graduate students about all aspects of teaching and learning.
Grace is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Psychology Department studying the effects of emotional synchrony within close relationships. She has been a TA at Northwestern for both graduate and undergraduate courses in Psychology, including Linear Models, Research Methods, Social Psychology, and the Psychology of Gender. She participated in the Searle Center’s Teaching Certificate Program this past year, and is especially interested in exploring strategies for scaffolding critical thinking through activities and assessments.
Polina is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her dissertation explores some of the aspects of Vampilov’s metaphysical theater, where she examine the ways the aesthetics of the holy foolery shaped this dramatist’s art and life. Last year, Polina participanted in Searle Center’s Teaching Certificate Program and, overall, has been teaching Northwestern courses in both literature and language for four years. She aspires to become a great communicator at Northwestern, to actively participate in each student’s learning process, and consciously foster inclusive and validating classroom climate, which she believes to be at the heart of the academic success.
Ashley Paz y Puente
Ashley is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Materials Science and Engineering specializing in metallurgy. Her dissertation involves combining traditional ex situ experiments with more novel in situ 3-D visualization techniques to study diffusion and phase transformations in metallic wires. Ashley has served as a TA for several years, including at the University of Central Florida during her masters and at Northwestern. Her enthusiasm for teaching extends beyond the college classroom to several outreach programs that focus on exposing younger students to science and engineering. Ashley is particularly interested in promoting the use of active learning strategies in STEM courses to enhance student engagement and critical thinking.