During my undergraduate studies in Biomedical Engineering, I often observed a disconnect between my engineering and life sciences courses. The former embodied critical thinking and collaborative, open-ended problem solving, while the latter seemed to emphasize rote memorization of anatomy and complex biological processes. These experiences have shaped my teaching philosophy to engage my students in big-picture questions that bridge theory and literature with real-world biomedical applications, fueling those “aha” moments in the classroom and motivating inquiry-based science.
As an aspiring faculty member, I am dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive learning environment to support the needs of my students. Throughout my academic career, I have actively sought out experiences to discover new strategies for engaging students, further my knowledge of pedagogical tools to elevate classroom instruction, and give back to the community by facilitating workshops to promote best teaching practices and dialogue.
Course: Statics | Fall 2015 (109 Students), Spring 2016 (37 Students), Fall 2016 (87 Students)
Course: Engineering Physiology Lab | Spring 2017 (53 Students)
"SI provides free, collaborative-group study sessions for students taking historically difficult courses. These sessions are hosted by a SI leader who has previously taken the course. SI sessions encourage active, collaborative learning based on critical thinking and transferable study skills."
During my undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), I served as the first Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for two Biomedical Engineering courses: Statics and an Engineering Physiology Lab. I planned and led 75-minute SI sessions twice a week to reinforce course learning objectives. These sessions were removed from a traditional classroom setting and strongly discouraged lecture-style instruction. Instead, I implemented different active learning activities that built on elements of Bloom's Taxonomy and encouraged peer-based instruction, including:
Jeopardy! Tournaments to recall key concepts and equations
Relay race/Mario Kart-themed competitions to complete a series of practice problems
Taboo to identify and set up the necessary framework to solve student-created practice problems
Concept mapping, K-W-L (Know, What, Learned) charts, Think-Pair-Shares, and small group debriefs
Attendance at my SI sessions fluctuated anywhere from 1 to 40 participants. To address this challenge, I customized my lessons to be readily adaptable for different audience sizes and provided regular opportunities to collect immediate student feedback. As a result, I fostered meaningful peer-peer relationships and established a group of regulars each semester, many of whom volunteered as co-facilitators for my SI sessions!
Cornell University: Graduate Teaching Assistant
Course: Biomolecular Thermodynamics | Spring 2018 (50 Students)
During my spring 2018 semester at Cornell, I served as a graduate teaching assistant (TA) for a sophomore-level Biomolecular Thermodynamics course in the Biomedical Engineering curriculum.
Under the mentorship of Prof. Jan Lammerding and my co-TA (Dr.) Ashley Earle, we coordinated a team of undergraduate TAs and graders to implement a "Two-Stage Homework System."
During Stage 1, students submitted a draft of their assignment with their problem-solving framework (e.g. unknowns, knowns, necessary assumptions, relevant equations and/or theories, predictions, coding parameters). Assignments were given subsequently graded with full marks if each problem was completed with an adequate attempt at rationalizing their approach; any calculations and/or solutions resulted in point deductions. At this time, we also provided extensive feedback to address any incorrect steps, misconceptions, or knowledge gaps
During Stage 2, students incorporated feedback from Stage 1 to perform calculations and solutions
Through the adoption of this Two-Stage Homework System, we lowered the stakes by encouraging students to engage with the course material with fewer repercussions towards their final grade. Uniquely, all grading was conducted using Gradescope, an grading software that expedites grading efficiency (e.g. uploading assignments and exams as PDFs, simultaneous grading of documents by multiple individuals, adjustable rubrics and re-usable feedback) while minimizing bias.
In addition to my grading responsibilities, I led weekly office hours with practice problem sets and designed quiz and exam problems. Notably, I also developed and delivered four lectures, which included a three-day module on physical kinetics. Initially, I was intimidated by the rigorous theoretical nature of the subject, especially since it was outside of my own research expertise. However, I redirected this uncertainty into my lesson plans and began each lecture with learning objectives that contextualized these concepts in terms of biomedical applications. To this end, I designed problems in MATLAB to model impaired transport mechanisms in cystic fibrosis patients and demonstrate the principles of Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). As an aspiring educator, it was incredibly fulfilling when I had students asking whether they could apply this code to their undergraduate research projects!
Fall 2019 - Present
I currently serve as a Cornell CTI Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year. As a Cornell CTI Fellow, I design and implement teaching programs, events, and resources that foster teaching excellence and innovation.
In October 2019, I co-facilitated a 75-minute GET SET workshop entitled "Role of TAs in Cultivating an Inclusive Classroom" for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers at Cornell. During this workshop, we covered how to recognize the diversity that exists in the classroom and identified strategies to promote an inclusive learning environment.
In November 2019, I did an interview with Cornell CTI as part of the university's upcoming Online TA Orientation Project to share my TA experience and advice for future TAs!
More Information Coming Soon