I normally worked with a few select undergraduate TAs who demonstrated exceptional mastery in the course and desired to help fellow students perform their best. I also usually had a graduate TA who handled some of the higher-end responsibilities (such as grading) and mentored students and undergraduate TAs. We usually made a pretty impressive team!
My relationships with my TAs were (and still are) of utmost importance to me. Their jobs were not to just redirect students to the syllabus or respond to emails. My TAs went through a competitive selection process and were chosen only if A) we already had an established cordial relationship, B) they understood the difficult nature of the course content, and C) they had an explicit conviction to empower their peers.
"Dear Eevin, I was just looking over the TA evaluations and wanted to take a minute and thank you for being such a good TA supervisor. With the stress of switching to on-line classes and the stress of a pandemic it was so nice to see students praising the efforts of their supervising faculty members and seeing their TA experiences as successful. So- I just wanted to write to the faculty who were appreciated so much by their students and add my thank you. Hope that you and your family are well and safe."
-Laurie Chassin, Director of Graduate Studies, 2020
"I hope your summer is going well and that you've been both safe and healthy! I was just accepted into the program and will be working towards my PsyD this fall. Thank you again for all of your help along the way. I'm so glad that I ended up taking your class and that you then selected me to be your TA the next year. It was a highlight of my undergrad experience and taught me that I want to teach using my doctorate at some point in the future. I couldn't have gotten into this program without that position and your letter of rec. I'm so grateful for all that you've done for me!"
-Catrina, my first UTA
As a graduate of the TLPDC's TEACH fellowship, I participated in annual events to mentor new graduate teaching assistants who qualified for the Groundwork Program's 3-day intensive workshops. Some of my contributions included:
Serving as a panelist and speaker
Hosting teaching workshops for graduate student instructors
Providing personalized teaching feedback
Facilitating small-group discussions
Leading and managing research teams was one of the most rewarding parts of my graduate research experience, especially when they expressed interest in independent studies or started attending conferences with me. I learned how to lead people with varying backgrounds, found my management style, learned when to nudge/push back, and when to stand back and let failure take its course (which was admittedly VERY challenging for me). In turn, my RAs grew as scholars and young professionals. I was proud beyond words. Many of them are enrolled in graduate programs or work as researchers in industry today.
Here are a few snapshots of some of my researchers presenting posters at one of our annual conferences. For more examples of scholarship, see my Research page.