I have served as a teaching assistant in three courses at Cornell. The first was an introductory nutrition course of nearly 600 students. My responsibilities were limited to conducting office hours, creating tests and quizzes, and grading reports. I learned a lot about managing a large lecture course.
My second TA experience was for an upper level nutrition and development course that was team taught by two professors. I was responsible for leading two discussion sections per week and assessing my students’ performance. I was the contact person for my students whenever they had questions with the materials.
My third TA experience was as head TA for a food lab that was required for Dietetics students. I supervised 4 undergraduate TAs and 70 undergraduate students. I had to keep a close eye on everyone since labs included things like knife skills and stove top cooking. This experience provided a lot more interaction with students and the opportunity to directly help them learn the course materials.
I have since been invited to give guest lectures in two courses. One was about finding grant money and the other was about cultivating skills for success in graduate school. You can view that lecture on my Example Lecture page.
I traveled to Rwanda to conduct my dissertation research in 2013 and 2014. Living and working in Rwanda was a completely new experience for me. Part of my work involved training and supervising Rwandan research assistants. I taught them how to use an indirect calorimeter to monitor oxygen and carbon dioxide levels during exercise and how to use accelerometers to capture free-living physical activity. I also taught them how to safely conduct exercise tests.
Since English was not their native language, I had to explain complicated procedures very simply and in different ways and constantly assess their progress.
I have volunteered as a dance teacher for the Cornell Ballroom club for the past 3 years. I have team-taught a variety of dances including waltz, Viennese waltz, cha cha, and samba. Cornell Ballroom Club is open to the entire Cornell and Ithaca community and attracts dancers of all experience levels.
Teaching ballroom dance to the community is very different from teaching to a competitive team. I must constantly ask for feedback from the students so that I know if they are learning the steps or becoming discouraged.