Other Teaching Experience
Graduate Writing Tutor
In the 2013-2014 school year, I served as a graduate writing tutor at the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking at Stanford. As a writing tutor, I help students with everything from freshman composition essays to the introductions to their biophysics PhD dissertations. It gives me the opportunity to connect with students one-on-one and meet them where they're at. That may mean that we spend the entire session brainstorming until we have an outline that they can go home and use to write their essay; it may also mean reworking the essay structurally so that the argument builds toward a logical conclusion or simply reading through the essay together for sentence structure and diction. Working as a graduate writing tutor has given me a lot of insight into undergraduate academic culture at Stanford, and it has also helped me sharpen my non-directive teaching skills.
From 2011-2013, the Teagle Foundation sponsored a project on collaborative faculty-graduate student teaching at Stanford. As the project's coordinator, I was responsible for helping organize and facilitate meetings, but in Spring 2013 I also had the opportunity to co-teach an undergraduate seminar on the topic of "War and Warfare in Germany" with Professor Russell Berman. The course focused primarily on modern warfare in the 19th and 20th centuries using a wide variety of texts, including military theory, literature, and film, and our students had majors ranging from international relations to military history to the humanities. For me, it was a great opportunity to get to teach some famous texts (such as All Quiet on the Western Front and Mother Courage), as well as some personal favorites (Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon), and to observe Professor Berman in an undergraduate classroom. Team-teaching can be challenging, even as it seems to alleviate some of the burden, but the Teagle Project has convinced me that it is one of the best ways for graduate students to improve their own teaching.