Monday, January 13, 2014

What can the TACs do for you?

We've put together a new video highlighting some of the consultation services we offer TAs and Associate Instructors.  Check out our video and schedule a consultation today!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

TAO Success!

We just want to extend a big thank you to all the TAs that came to the TA Orientation this year.  We had a lot of fun meeting with you and discussing teaching related topics at UC Davis.  Good luck with your teaching, and remember to schedule a teaching consultation in the future!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TA Orientation!

The new school year is finally here!  Classes start on the 26th, and the TACs will be hosting the TA Orientation on Monday and Tuesday (23rd and 24th).  If you're TAing sometime this year, be sure to sign up and attend the orientation!

Monday, April 8, 2013

TAC Member: Mai Thai

I’m very excited to join a supportive teaching community through the TAC program.  I am passionate about this work because I believe the educational site has the potential to be a transformative space for anyone involved.  My teaching style has been influenced by Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Ira Shor, and my past educators who have committed to critical and feminist teaching philosophies—I want to challenge the common practice of “banking” knowledge, where students are seen as empty vessels for teachers to deposit information; rather, I believe students and instructors can be mutual teachers and learners and that students learn better when they have creative agency.  

Aside from teaching, I am also passionate about working on issues affecting low-income immigrant communities.  Before coming to UC Davis, I worked with high school students in various programs and organizations to empower youth towards higher education and to engage in social and political advocacy.  Working with youth has encouraged my sociological research on gender inequalities in K-12 education, particularly in Asian American communities.

TAC Member: Leilani Serafin

Hello!  I'm a second-year TA Consultant, and am very excited to continue my teaching education.  I'm a fourth-year Ph.D student in the English department, and have started work on my dissertation, which will focus on theatrical adaptations of sensation novels.  For the rest of this year, I will be teaching English 3: Introduction to Literature, which gives me a lot of opportunity to be creative with my teaching.  Before coming to UC Davis, I taught various levels of introductory writing at Cal State Los Angeles, where I also worked in a Writing Center.  While I was there, I loved interacting with students from a wide variety of academic disciplines, and I have fun to continuing that exchange now, as a TA Consultant!

As a teacher, I'm currently interested in student motivation, and in designing assignments that will help students blend creativity with critical thinking skills while also inspiring them to think more deeply about their own interests.  My students have taught me a lot interesting things so far, so I'm looking forward to another fun and educational year!

TAC Member: Tracy Quan

¡Hola! My name is Tracy and I am one of the new incoming TA Consultants. I am really excited to have the opportunity to not only help and support my fellow graduate students through the TA orientation, consultations, and workshops, but also to learn from all of you as we all embark on our journeys as instructors.

I am a third year PhD student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, specializing in Hispanic Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. At UC Davis, I’ve been a T.A. of Spanish 1,2, 2V (a hybrid course), 3 (UC Davis Extension) and 21. Before that, I have taught English and Spanish to children and adults in San Francisco, Marin, and Madrid, Spain. As an instructor, I believe in the importance of promoting student autonomy, in making learning engaging, and developing a teacher-student relationship based on respect and understanding. Since all of my experience has been confined to the foreign language classroom, I look forward to expanding my horizons in other departments and exploring teaching approaches from other disciplines.

Aside from teaching and anxiously preparing for my upcoming qualifying exams, I enjoy doing yoga, running, being outdoors, and traveling.

TAC Member: Kelly Neil

I’m excited to continue my work as a TA Consultant this year and look forward to meeting more TAs from across campus! I am a PhD candidate in the English Department working on a dissertation that focuses on suicide, politics, and gender in sixteenth and seventeenth century drama. I have taught various composition courses for the University Writing Program, as well as introduction to literature courses and a survey course of Medieval and Early Modern literature for the English department. I have TA’d for courses such as Chaucer: Minor Poems, Shakespeare: The Early Plays, Renaissance Prose, and, for the Religious Studies department, Non-Western Religions. Before coming to UCD, I taught composition at a community college in North Carolina.

One of my goals as a TA Consultant is to help instructors provoke their students to engage more deeply in the course material. This includes getting students to speak more often, do more things in the classroom, and to demonstrate real interest in the course material. In fact, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “student” comes from the Latin studium, meaning zeal or affection. Thus, the very concept of being a student is premised on passionate states of being – to be a student is, according to the word’s etymology, to be in a state of excitement about a topic of study. When instructors strive to create exciting classrooms, students learn more effectively, a connection that seems to have emerged in ancient Roman “classes” just as it emerges today.

When I'm not reading early modern plays or teaching, I'm usually spending time with my dog, Lucy, who is a Huskie/Greyhound/Border Collie mix, cooking, attempting to grow flowers in my yard, and tasting new wines.

TAC Member: Miki Mori

Hello everyone. My name is Miki and I am a returning TA Consultant. I am looking forward to working with all of you fellow graduate students and postdoctoral scholars on your endeavors and adventures in the classroom. I hope to not only enhance your teaching experience through consultations, workshops, and the TA orientation but also learn from you as an instructor and graduate student.

I am a PhD candidate in Linguistics with a Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition. My dissertation research focuses on academic writing development as it relates to the incorporation of outside sources, multilingualism, identity, and academic achievement. At UCD I mainly teach undergraduate and graduate ESL writing but I also TA for an introductory Linguistics course and taught English grammar. Through being an ESL instructor over the years, I have developed a passion for teaching while also enjoying collaborating with colleagues on lesson ideas, approaches to learning, and everyday issues of being an educator.

While being a graduate student consumes most of my life, when I do have free time I like to spend it outdoors, in the mountains or on the sea…and really anywhere in between.

TACC Member: Philip Matern

I can't believe it's a new year already!   I am really excited for the opportunity to be a TAC coordinator with Heather Dwyer.   I learned so much last year as a TAC, and can’t wait to continue working with new graduate students as we try to improve our approach to teaching.

This past year I tried to incorporate new technologies into the classroom and really focused on understanding how various technologies can be used to improve delivery of information and student learning.  I hope to continue using technology to incorporate active learning and student engagement both in and out of class.  I am excited to learn with our new TAC cohort and to continue working with the graduate teaching community at UC Davis.

Apart from teaching and the TAC program, I research the regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle mass.  When I'm not at school, I love playing with my daughter and enjoying family time.  I also enjoy growing a beard and being barefoot. I’m a big fan of barefoot shoes and you should be too. Free your feet!

TAC Member: Robert Lynch

Aloha and Welcome! My name is Robert Lynch and I am pleased and excited to be returning to the TAC for my second year as a fellow. Last year I enjoyed learning from both clients and fellow TAC’s and I look forward to even more this year.

I am a graduate student in the Physics Education Research Group here at UC Davis and greatly enjoy teaching. I’ve taught physics to many different students, from middle school science camp to upper division physics majors, to bio-scientists, pre-med’s and engineers. Out of these experiences I’ve formed my ideas about teaching and learning. I am thoroughly convinced of two things. First, baring grossly extenuating circumstances, no discipline, be it physics or art or anything in between, is truly beyond the grasp of anyone. And second, students learn best when they do the learning.

TAC Member: Henry Hao

Hello, everyone. My name is Henry Hao and I will be working as one of the new TA consultants this year. I am looking forward to not only supporting my fellow colleagues from different areas via consultations and workshops, but also improving my teaching skills in TAC program.

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Economics and doing research on Chinese processing export during the recent financial crisis. I have been a T.A. of various econ. classes such as intermediate microeconomics/macroeconomics, international economics, data analysis, and I currently teach economy of East Asia. My teaching philosophy lies in my interests in applying theoretical idea to real world scenarios. Instead of introducing abstract theoretical models as stand-alone modules, I prefer explaining the theory and applying it to real-world examples.

Aside from my research and teaching, I love cooking (I just finished my 100 dishes project), workout/running (I'm training for my first SF marathon in June), photography, and traveling.

TAC Member: Patrick Grof-Tisza

Academics are generally held to two expectations: generating and disseminating knowledge. As graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, we receive much training regarding the former but very little in the way of effective knowledge dissemination aside from composing scholarly articles. I look forward to working with the graduate teaching community to become more effective educators.

I am a 5th year graduate student in the Graduate Group of Ecology. My research concerns how trophic interactions vary across ecological gradients and how these interactions can structure populations across the landscape. I employ observational and experimental approaches using a day-flying tiger moth within the Bodega Marine Reserve as a model system.

When not on the northern California coast conducting field work, I am usually sinking my hands in splitter, granite cracks within the Sierra Nevada.