Instructor-of-Record, Department of Religion, University of Georgia
Graduate students in the Religion Department at UGA often teach introductory courses as part of gaining teaching experience before applying for their next program or entering the job market. Potential courses include: "Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam", "Introduction to the Religions of India, China, and Japan", and "Introduction to Religious Thought". In special instances, graduate students may also teach upper-level courses.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to religion, including various theological perspectives and the philosophy of religion. Instructors go about this in various ways, so I chose to draw on my personal research and address it through the perspective of Religion and Literature. As such, we spent time looking at the history of the subfield of Religion and Literature and then applied some of that thinking to several of the Percy Jackson books. We interpreted these works using different theories of religion, such as Victor Turner's Ritual Process, Mircea Eliade's Myth of the Eternal Return, and Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey/Monomyth. We also considered ethical questions raised by the series and religious influences on the imagery of the books. Thus, we became acquainted with theology, philosophy of religion, and how we think about the field through engaging with the Percy Jackson series.
Teaching Assistant, Writing Intensive Program, University of Georgia
Through this program, I assisted professors in the Religion Department at UGA in writing intensive courses to help improve student writing. The Writing Intensive Program focuses on developing writing practices to better learn the material, teaching students to write as a process, and transferring basic writing skills to the standards of various disciplines. The goal is not to act as an editor, but rather to help students develop their arguments and better convey their thoughts through writing. I served in this program from August 2018 – May 2020.
See a blog post I wrote about my first year with the Writing Intensive Program.
RELI 4300: Island and Its World with Dr. Alan Godlas (Spring 2020)
My primary responsibility in this course was to help students refine a major paper in which they were comparing/contrasting their beliefs with those of a Sufi author. We worked on this paper through stages (a thesis and outline and three drafts with online conferences and peer feedback), to help develop a strong paper when they turned it in at the end of the semester. I also assisted the professor in moving the course online due to the spread of COVID-19.
AFAM 4520/RELI 4600: Religion and the Literature of Toni Morrison with Dr. Carolyn Medine (Fall 2019)
This course focused on Toni Morrison's Beloved Trilogy including Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise. We had a more traditional research paper in this course, asking students to write about a theme in two of the three books, with reference to five critical sources. As such, I worked closely with some of the library staff to provide research opportunities for students, and used exercises to get students thinking specifically about how an article would fit in their final paper and making/updating research plans as the semester developed. This culminated in a final paper, which we did a peer review on as well as conferences with myself to help students finalize their project.
RELI 4611: Canon with Dr. Baruch Halpern (Fall 2019)
For "Canon" we explored the development of Canon and what it means for something to be canonical. My primary responsibilities consisted of offering feedback to students on multiple short papers which eventually build into a final paper about the scholarship on Deuteronomy as its own canon.
AFAM 2000H: Introduction to African American Studies (Honors) with Dr. Carolyn Medine (Spring 2019)
We approached this course with a different attitude towards writing, primarily using creative writing assignments, such as slave narratives, to put students in the position of the Other and better engage with the ideas we were reading about. As such, I would often offer feedback on these writings, as well as writing a lot of the prompts. We then moved towards thinking about the course readings and what the students learned in writing their own narrative and engaging those together through academic writing, which I also gave feedback on.
RELI 4600: Religion and the Literature of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien with Dr. Carolyn Medine (Fall 2018)
In this course, I offered feedback on several shorter essays, focusing on having a clear thesis and justifying the use of details/text in relation to that thesis. I also would assist another TA in leading a discussion section once a week where we go more in depth into the text and talk about themes--for example, one week I spent a few minutes summarizing the Great Chain of Being and helping to relate that to Lewis's hierarchy in Out of the Silent Planet. I also had an opportunity in this time to address common trends present in the students' writing and offering some advice for everyone. One example of this is when I gave a short lesson on writing clear thesis statements which direct where the rest of your paper is going, which I did through examples pointing out key elements in each example.
RELI 4303: The Sufi Way with Dr. Alan Godlas (Fall 2018)
My primary responsibility in this course was to help students refine a major paper in which they were comparing/contrasting their beliefs with those of a Sufi author. We worked on this paper through stages (a thesis and outline and three drafts with conferences and peer feedback), to help develop a strong paper when they turned it in at the end of the semester.
Colloquy Leader, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
This program invited students who performed well when taking a course to return the following year and serve as a colloquy leader for a new group of students. Since much of the class was a large lecture hall, we had weekly breakout groups led by former students to give more individualized attention. To hold the role, one had to receive an A in the course and be recommended by their colloquy leader. I completed the program as part of my Professional Development, gaining practice in teaching theological studies and completely a short paper on the use of technology in the classroom. I was a leader for HC 501: The History of Early Christian Thought with Dr. Philip Reynolds (Fall 2017)
Substitute Teacher, Gwinnett County Public Schools
To gain early experience working with students in a classroom setting, from September 2016 – May 2017, I worked as a substitute teacher with my local school district. This was a formative experience in terms of learning classroom management, practice engaging with students, and gaining experience with public speaking, especially offering clear instructions to guide learning.