Graduate TA Professional Development


Since 2014, we have been running the annual Cottrell Scholars Collaborative National Teaching Assistant Workshop, where physics and chemistry departmental teams composed of one experienced TA and one faculty member create an action plan for improving the graduate TA professional development program in their home department.  Teams are supported through their initial implementation stage and generally report good outcomes.  The U has sent both Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy teams to this workshop multiple times, which has led to significant improvements in our TA development programs. 

People and Roles:

  • Prof. Mike Schatz:  Mike is a Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech.  Mike and I co-founded the TA workshop project in 2012, and Georgia Tech hosts the workshop annually.  Mike served as the PI on an NSF IUSE Workshop grant that helped fund a couple years of the workshop.
  • Dr. Emily Alicea-Muñoz:  Emily studied aspects of the workshop as part of her PhD thesis and has served as the workshop coordinator since the first offering in 2014.  Emily has also served as a workshop facilitator since 2015.  Emily works tirelessly to ensure the workshop follows evidence-based best practices and provides a positive and formative experience for all participants and facilitators.
  • Prof. Jacqueline (Jackie) Chini:  Jackie is an Associate Professor of Physics (PER) at the University of Central Florida.  Jackie has served as a workshop facilitator since 2017.
  • Prof. Justin Carmel:  Justin is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry (CER) at Florida International University.  Justin has served as a workshop facilitator since 2017.
  • Prof. Ken Heller:  Ken is a Distguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota.  Ken has served as a workshop facilitator since 2014.
  • Prof. Melanie Cooper:  Melanie is the Lappan-Phillips Chair of Science Education and Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University.  Melanie served as a workshop facilitator from 2014-2016.
  • My role:  I co-founded the National TA Workshop with Mike Schatz in 2012 with seed funding from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.  We led a planning team composed of Melanie CooperKen Heller, Luis EchegoyenBrian Saam and two additional Cottrell Scholars, Sara Skrabalak (Indiana) and Linda Columbus (Virginia). We offered our first workshop in 2014 and have been offering it annually since when funding and personnel are available - we have utilized a combination of institutional funding from Utah and Georgia Tech and also from the NSF IUSE program.
© Jordan Gerton 2019