Executive Director, and Advisor on Educational Initiatives to the Vice Provost
Bruce Lenthall is the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Advisor on Educational Initiatives to the Vice Provost for Education, and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of History. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and his B.A. from Carleton College. Prior to returning to Penn, he taught in the history departments at Bryn Mawr College and Barnard College. In his own teaching and research, he explores 20th-century U.S. cultural, political and social history. He is the author of a book on radio in the United States in the 1930s, Radio’s America: The Great Depression and the Rise of Modern Mass Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Senior Associate Director
Ian Petrie is a Senior Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. He took a B.A. in History from Queen’s University and an M.A. in Chinese history from the University of British Columbia. He completed his doctorate in South Asian history at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. From 2004 to 2009 he taught Western Civilization, South Asian History, Islamic History, and African History at Saint Joseph’s University. His current research concerns the history of technology and labor history as viewed through the study of multinationals in late colonial India. With students, he is also researching the history of a ship which transported indentured laborers from India to Guiana. He teaches courses on the history of science and medicine in Asia for the History and Sociology of Science department and on the Indian Ocean for South Asian Studies.
Senior Associate Director
Catherine Turner is a Senior Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. She earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. From 1998 to 2007, she taught English and American Studies at College Misericordia where she also served at Honors Co-Director. Her teaching and research focuses on the business of publishing, taste, and public policy. She is the author of Marketing Modernism Between the Two Wars (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003) and co-editor with Greg Barnhisel of Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda and the Cold War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010). Her current research examines the intersections between the publishing industry, literacy programs, and public policy during the 1920s and 1930s. She teaches a variety of courses on American literature in the English department.
Emily Elliott is an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. She earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at University of California, San Francisco, and her B.A. in Biological Sciences at Connecticut College. As a graduate student, she researched the role of innate immune system in autoimmune disease. Emily served as an HHMI Science Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow at Iowa State University, where she researched early germ cell development and biology education, and taught introductory biology and an honors seminar, the Real Science Behind the News.
Julie McGurk is an Associate Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. Julie researched the molecular mechanisms of synapse formation in development as a graduate student in the lab of Guo-li Ming as well as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Rita Balice-Gordon at the University of Pennsylvania. As a postdoctoral fellow, Julie taught both introductory biology and introductory neuroscience at Rutgers University-Camden through the Penn-PORT program. She teaches Intro to Brain and Behavior and Developmental Neurobiology for the Biological Basis of Behavior (BBB) program. In 2013 she was honored as Teacher of the Year by BBB students.
Sara DeMucci is the Administrative Coordinator of the Center for Teaching and Learning. She is a long time employee of the University of Pennsylvania having previously held positions in the School of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Office, Perelman Quadrangle and the School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.
CTL Graduate Fellows for Teaching Excellence, 2015–2016
Osman Balkan is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science. His research focuses on the politics of immigration in Western Europe. His dissertation, “Death and the Demos” examines the funerary practices of Muslim minorities as a means to unpack the different registers through which symbolic, material, and affective ties to political and religious communities are constructed and performed. Before starting his graduate studies he served as a lecturer in Turkish at Cornell University and taught English at a public high school in Rennes, France. He earned his B.A. from Reed College in 2005. At Penn he has served as a TA for courses in political theory, comparative politics, and international relations in the Political Science department and the Lauder Institute. Osman completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching in 2012 and was awarded the Rubenstein Memorial Prize for Graduate Student Teaching in Political Science in 2013.
Katie Clonan-Roy is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Education, Culture & Society Division of the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and she is pursuing a certificate in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. Her research interests center on the relationships between Latina immigrant girls’ social, emotional, and sexual experiences and their identity development and experiences as students in the New Latino Diaspora. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University (2009) and her master’s degree in Secondary Science Education from American University (2011). Before coming to Penn, Katie taught high school biology and chemistry in District of Columbia Public Schools. At Penn, Katie has been a TA for a variety of courses in GSE and has been selected to teach courses focusing on gender and education in GSE and the School of Arts and Sciences. Katie is also Graduate Associate with Harnwell College House and serves as a Grant Advisor with the Graduate Student Center.
Mitra Eghbal is a PhD candidate in the Biology Department on the Cell and Molecular track. Her dissertation research is on the evolution of mutation rates in asexual bacteria deficient in mismatch repair. At Penn, she has TAed for Introductory Biology (BIOL101) and for Molecular Biology and Genetics (BIOL221). She has also served as a research mentor for several visiting high school students in her dissertation lab.
Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics
Naomi Fitter is a third-year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. Her research focuses on social-physical human-robot interaction for education, entertainment, and rehabilitation. Naomi’s teaching experience spans many education levels and topics; she has TAed Penn’s Introduction to Robotics and Introduction to Programming courses, taught local K-12 students about robotics through Penn outreach events, led learning communities for undergraduate engineering students, and lectured on special topics in Spanish and history. She received the National Science Foundations Graduate Research Fellowship and an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship and has also completed CTL’s teaching certificate.
Alison Howard is a sixth year PhD candidate in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation—entitled “‘Une réalité plus réelle que le réel’: The Efficacy of Myth in Postwar French and Italian Fiction”— examines mythic representations of World War II and seeks to rehabilitate myth as an ethical form of political engagement. She has TAed for courses in the Comparative Literature, German, and Classical Studies departments, in addition to teaching two semesters of French. She has worked with the TA Training program at Penn and completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching in December 2013.
Jin Woo Jang
Jin Woo Jang is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the department of mathematics. His main interests are in the fields of partial differential equations and harmonic analysis and his research focuses on proving the unique existence of the classical solutions to the relativistic Boltzmann equations without angular cutoff. Before coming to Penn, he graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in mathematics where he has served as a teaching assistant for a wide range of courses including Calculus I-IV and Linear Algebra. At Penn, he taught Calculus and Elementary Partial Differential Equations as an instructor and has served as a teaching assistant for Real Analysis I and II and Calculus II.
Dianne Mitchell is a 5th year PhD Candidate in the English Department. Her dissertation argues that many English Renaissance poems were actually sent in the mail, and that this had an important effect on how early modern readers understood verse. Besides serving as a TA in the English Department, Dianne has taught two semesters of Critical Writing. In her life before Penn, she worked as a substitute teacher at a state school in England.
Jake Morton is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Group in Ancient History. His dissertation examines the early Roman military presence in Greece. He received his BA in Latin from the University of Montana and MA in Classical Studies from the University of Colorado. Prior to his time at Penn, Jake taught cooking classes during his ten years as a professional chef in Montana, and then was a TA for Latin and Art History classes at the University of Colorado. At Penn, he has been a TA for history courses on Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. In 2012 he received a School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students.
Near Eastern Languages & Civilzations
Raha Rafii is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, where she is writing her dissertation on law and Islamic jurisprudence in the Ilkhanid period through the lens of modern legal theory. At Penn, she was a TA in courses in Arabic literary heritage and modern Middle Eastern cinema and has twice been the head instructor for the course Modern Middle Eastern Languages in Translation. She has also been a guest instructor in Persian and Arabic language classes at Penn and other schools. Raha completed the CTL certificate in College and University Teaching in 2015.
Kyle Smith is a third year PhD candidate in chemistry. His research focuses on the synthesis of high-valent iron complexes and the subsequent activation of relatively inert, strong bonds in an attempt to mimic the chemistry of cytochrome-p450. Prior to attending Penn, Kyle graduated summa cum laude from Albright College and obtained a B.S. in Chemistry with college honors and departmental distinction. While at Albright he served as a peer tutor, conference group leader, and laboratory assistant in general chemistry and organic chemistry. At Penn, Kyle has been a recitation TA for two semesters in General Chemistry (CHEM-102) and is the recipient of a Fontaine Fellowship (2013-2014), the Chemistry Department’s award for outstanding performance by a Teaching Assistant (2015), and the Penn Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching (2015).
Tim Sowicz is a fourth year doctoral student in the School of Nursing. His dissertation research explores the evaluation and use of health history data by primary care providers, and how the interactions between patients and providers influences the collection of such data. Tim has been a teaching assistant since 2012, and has been a lecturer in the family health nurse practitioner program at Penn for two summers. This past year, Tim received the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Teaching Certificate, and was awarded the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students.
Cell & Molecular Biology, Perelman School of Medicine
Kelsey Speer is a fifth year graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology graduate group at the Perelman School of Medicine. Her dissertation focuses on understanding early patterning events in the vertebrate embryo using Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog, as a model organism. She received her BA in Biology with a focus on Biochemistry from Macalester College. She spent a year working at the NIH before starting graduate school at Penn. Kelsey has served as the TA for Cell Biology and Biochemistry (BIOM 600). She will be the TA for Developmental Biology (BIOL 354) this fall. Kelsey also has many years of experience mentoring middle school, high school, undergraduate and masters-level students.
Kristian Taketomo is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of History. His research centers on the relationship between social scientific knowledge and American urbanization. His dissertation explores how population science informed and guided local planning and development in the late twentieth century. While at Penn, Kristian has TAed for four semesters. In Spring 2015, he won the History Undergraduate Advisory Board’s Teaching Assistant of the Year Award.