I’ve held graduate teaching appointments at both Virginia Tech and Auburn University. These have spanned from teaching an introductory design course for first-year high school students, rotating week-by-week with other graduate students to teach a structures laboratory, and leading workshops for peer graduate students. This fall, I am slated to facilitate multiple workshops covering universal design and accessibility for a faculty inquiry group.
I am grateful for the many opportunities for teaching (more details available on this page) that I have been offered at Virginia Tech, as well as the recognition of the effort I have put into teaching. This past spring, I was elevated to the level of Fellow in the Virginia Tech Graduate Academy of Teaching Excellence (VT GrATE); I had previously been inducted as a Member of the Academy in the spring of 2015. This elevation relied in part on the sections of this ePortfolio that covered my teaching experiences, an application process, teaching evaluations, faculty recommendation, and interview. I look forward to working with the Academy as a resource to share a very specific issue related to pedagogical practices with a larger audience: diversity and accessibility within the learning environment.
Academic institutions not only have a socially-based obligation to provide for inclusive environments for all students, but a legal obligation as well. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that programs be accessible for disabled students. While the legal requirements of the ADA are met as “reasonable accommodations” at an individual level, the potential for universally designed educational practices that impact not only individual access needs but benefit society at a broad scale should not be ignored (e.g., curb cuts for wheelchair users benefiting those with strollers, wheeled carts/bags, or moving dollies). I will be working with my peers in GrATE to emphasize such education practices and continue to build on my own skill set.
At Auburn University, I co-taught 3 semesters of the Civil Engineering laboratory sessions for Structural Analysis (CIVL 3610). This post details my first major teaching experiences, working both with students and with course materials.