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 the 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. He teaches courses on the history of science and medicine in Asia in the History and Sociology of Science department.
Senior Associate Director
Catherine Turner is the 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.
Julie McGurk is 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 program.
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, 2013–2014
Computer and Information Science
Richard Eisenberg is a third-year doctoral student in the Computer and Information Science department. His primary research interest in how type theory helps programmers catch more mistakes earlier and thus reduce the appearance of bugs in released software. Richard graduated with a BA in Physics and an MS in Computer Science from Harvard in 2003. He then taught high school computer science and math full-time for 8 years, first at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts and then at The American School in London. At Penn, Richard has TAed for two semesters and taught the C++ mini-course in fall 2012. He will be teaching the Haskell mini-course in the spring of 2014.
Lindsey Fiorelli is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Philosophy department. Her research focuses on philosophy of language and philosophy of film, specifically this question: should we see film as analogous to language? She’s particularly interested in examining whether or not concepts like communication, expression, assertion, and implication have a place in our engagement with fiction films. Lindsey has been a TA in the philosophy department at Penn for two years, leading sections for Philosophy of Mind, The Social Contract, Introduction to Philosophy, and Modern Philosophy. She received the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students in 2012, and the SAS Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2013.
Jay Lucci is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Classical Studies department. His dissertation explores cross-cultural intertextuality in imperial Latin poetry, specifically the epigrammatist Martial’s ambivalent relationship with the earlier Greek epigrammatic tradition. Jay received an MA in Latin and a BA in History from Boston College. At the University of Pennsylvania, he has served as a TA for such courses as Greek and Roman Mythology and Scandalous Arts in Ancient and Modern Societies. In addition, he has taught a year-long class in intermediate Latin poetry and prose.
Rose Muravchick is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in the Department of Religious Studies. She is currently finishing her dissertation titled “God is the Best Guardian: Islamic Talismanic Shirts from the Gunpowder Empires” which explores the intersection between magical practices and sartorial expressions of personal piety. Prior to coming to Penn, Rose served as a curriculum developer for Opera Philadelphia’s award-winning Sounds of Learning education program. Rose is currently teaching Introduction to Islam, has developed and taught the introductory course Religion and Art, and has served as a teaching assistant for courses on Islamic Civilizations and the Mongols.
Sarah Nicolazzo is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature, where she is completing a dissertation on literary and legal representations of vagrancy in the eighteenth-century British Empire. Her research and teaching interests include eighteenth-century British literature, early American literature, the history of race, gender and sexuality studies, and the history of economic thought. Before coming to Penn, she was a peer writing tutor at Barnard College. At Penn, in addition to serving as a TA in courses on literary theory and history, she has taught a writing seminar and, most recently, the English department’s survey of British Romanticism. She earned the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching in 2012, led teaching workshops during TA Training in 2012, and is a graduate coordinator for the TA Training program in 2013.
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
Rebecca Pierce is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. Her research focuses on human-centered design that will better allow people to utilize robotic technology. Rebecca received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where she TAed two introductory mechanical engineering courses. At Penn, she has TAed Design of Mechatronic Systems, Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics, and Vibrations of Mechanical Systems. She was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in MEAM in Fall 2012. Rebecca also serves on Penn’s Advancing Women in Engineering Board and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient.
Irene Sibbing Plantholt
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Irene Sibbing Plantholt is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Before coming to Penn, she taught middle and high school in the Netherlands. She earned a Masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Leiden University and is currently writing her dissertation on Mesopotamian healing goddesses as divine representations of medicine and healing. At Penn, Irene has served as a TA for courses such as Origins of Cities and Myths and Religions of the Ancient World. She also leads tours at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and is involved with the museum’s educational program. Irene completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching in 2013.
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Bridget Swanson is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her research interests focus both on contemporary film studies, specifically the adaptation of German literary classics to the silver screen, and second language acquisition. At Penn, she has taught Elementary and Intermediate German, and currently co-teaches a course on Adaptation Studies in the Cinema Studies Department. In addition, Bridget is co-authoring an innovative textbook for introductory German language and culture entitled Augenblicke: An Introduction to German Language and Culture and has been assisting Dr. Christina Frei in the implementation of these materials at Penn for the past year. Bridget has completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching and received the SAS Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student in Spring 2013.
Bronwyn Wallace is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the English Department. Her dissertation, ‘Intimate Exegesis: Affect, Interpretation, and Early Modern Devotional Poetry,’ coordinates patristic theology and queer theory in a study of gender and eroticism in devotional poetics. At Penn, she has served as a Senior Tutor at the Writing Center and taught several courses in writing and the study of literature for the Critical Writing Program, the Liberal and Professional Studies program, the Pre-Freshman Program, and the English Department. In 2013, she received the SAS Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student.
Tanya Weerakkody is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Neuroscience. Her dissertation focuses on functional alterations to neuronal networks in rodent brain induced by stem cell transplants. At Penn, she has taught recitation sections of the Introduction to Brain and Behavior course. She has also mentored undergraduates in her research laboratory and high school students through several mentoring organizations in the Philadelphia area, including serving as both coordinator and lecturer for the Upward Bound Summer Neuroscience course. Currently, Tanya aids in organizing a departmental, teaching-focused workshop series titled, “Secrets of Successful Scientists.” She completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching in 2013.