Bruce Lenthall is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning 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 received her B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. For her doctorate, she investigated the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity at the developing neuromuscular junction in Guo-li Ming’s lab. After graduating, Julie came to the University of Pennsylvania as a postdoctoral fellow, working with Rita Balice-Gordon, investigating the neuron-glia interactions involved in developing inhibitory circuitry within the brain. As a postdoctoral fellow, Julie participated in the Penn-PORT program, which seeks to to develop instructors and enhance diversity in the sciences. As a Penn-PORT fellow, Julie taught both introductory biology and introductory neuroscience at Rutgers University-Camden. She teaches in 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, 2012–2013
Eric Bellin is a third-year doctoral student pursuing his PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Design. His research deals primarily with practices of architectural detailing and their relation to techniques of design and construction in the 19th and Early 20th centuries. Before coming to The University of Pennsylvania, Eric earned Masters degrees in both Architecture and Architectural Pedagogy from the University of Florida, and was honored with the Graduate Teaching Award for extraordinary teaching service. At Penn, Eric has served as an instructor for graduate architecture studios and as a teaching assistant for a course in architectural theory. He has also held positions of visiting lecturer and adjunct professor at several other institutions, and has taught courses in architectural design, architectural graphics, and materials and methods of construction.
Derek Blackwell is a fourth year doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication. His research focuses on the impact of digital media on romantic relationships, with a special emphasis on the issue of infidelity in the digital age. Before coming to Penn to pursue a Ph.D., Derek taught Media Technology at the high school level for two years. During this time, he received the Educator of the Week award from the Victoria Independent School District in Victoria, TX. While at Annenberg, Derek has served as a teaching assistant for a number of courses, and in the summer of 2012 he will be teaching COMM 123: Communication and Popular Culture. He was also the recipient of Annenberg’s James D. Woods Award for Outstanding Assistance in Teaching in 2010 and the Fontaine Society’s Excellence in Leadership and Academic Service award in 2012.
Education and Sociology
Carolyn Chernoff is an ABD joint PhD candidate in Sociology and the Graduate School of Education (Education, Culture, and Society). She is currently writing her dissertation, “Experiencing Diverse Cities: Community Based Arts, Social Interaction, and Progressive Politics,” an ethnography focused on the use of community-based art as a social intervention. At Penn, Carolyn has taught a graduate-level School and Society class for the past 4 years to Master’s candidates and to Teach for America corps members. She is also a longtime TA in the Graduate School of Education’s Ethnographic Methods course. Carolyn has taught sociology, education, and community-based arts courses to undergrads at Ursinus College and Moore College of Art and Design. Outside of higher education, Carolyn is a longtime community-based educator, having worked with K-12 students and adults in museum settings, violence prevention nonprofits, and a variety of arts organizations, including The Girls’ DJ Collective, of which she is co-founder.
Wiebke Deimling is a graduate student in the philosophy department in her fifth year. Her research focuses on early modern philosophy and aesthetics. She has been a teaching assistant at Penn and the University of Munich since 2008, leading sections for Introduction to Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Ethics and Aesthetics. In 2011, Wiebke won the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students and she will be teaching Aesthetics in the spring of 2013.
Emily Gerstell is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in English Literature, focusing on issues of gender and sexuality in Renaissance England. Her dissertation, “The Widow’s Estate: Staging Gender, Marriage and Property in Early Modern England,” highlights the role that financial and legal concerns play in the portrayal of widows and remarriage in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. Emily has previously taught a writing seminar on Shakespeare and has served as a TA for courses in the English department; in 2011 she completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching. Prior to teaching at Penn, Emily taught classes on the SAT, SSAT, ACT, GRE, and GED, and she continues to work as a freelance editor and writer. She also serves this year as the coordinator for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Graduate Student Colloquium.
Bryan Jones is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Hispanic Studies Department. His research focuses on contemporary Latin American literature and film, with particular emphasis on the trans-national connections of these works and how they reshape ideas of Latin America going beyond former national cultures. He is also interested in literary theory and critical thought on Latin America, especially concerning the new challenges that globalization represents for “Latinamericanism.” He was awarded a Commendation for Excellent Teaching in Spanish (2011) and a Certificate of Excellence in Teaching (2011) by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, Bryan has taught classes on Spanish language, as well as on Hispanic culture and film.
JR is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Management Department at Wharton. He received his MA in Adult Education from Indiana University and his BA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. JR’s research focuses on the factors shaping worker mobility, including the use of alternative employment arrangements, hiring decisions, and executive recruiters. At Indiana University, he taught a course on career planning and development for undergraduate business students, designed and launched a university-wide online career planning course, and the Business Learning Community course. At Penn, he has taught MGMT 101, the capstone course for business undergraduate students, and has TAed for multiple courses in the MBA and Executive MBA programs.
Matthew is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the History department. His dissertation “The Susquehannock War: Native Americans, Bacon’s Rebellion, and the Forging of the Covenant Chain Alliance,” focuses on the early Indian slave trade in the colonial Southeast and its connections to political disorder within several English colonies. As a teaching assistant at the University of Oregon and the University of Pennsylvania, Matthew has taught the history of early America, 19th and 20th century U.S., and the American South, as well as European cultural history and Latin American history. In 2012 he received the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching.
Computer and Information Science
Peter-Michael Osera is a fifth year doctoral candidate in the Computer and Information Science department. He received his B.S. in Computer Science and B.A. in Applied Computational Math Sciences and the Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington His research involves the development of provably safe low-level programs, language interoperability, and program synthesis. Peter-Michael served as an undergraduate TA coordinator at UW where he received the Bob Bandes Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching. At Penn he has taught multiple courses, including CIS 110 which attracted over 250 students from across campus. In addition, he co-organizes the CIS education seminar, and currently he is running the semester-long CIS introductory TA training program.
Olivia Padovan-Merhar is a third-year graduate student in the physics department where she studies biophysics. Her research focuses on investigating cytoplasmic mRNA density on a single-cell level. At Penn, Olivia has taught introductory physics labs and was a teaching assistant for the physics portion of the Integrated Studies Program. She led teaching workshops during SAS TA Training in 2011, and she is a graduate coordinator for the TA Training program in 2012.
History of Art
Will Schmenner is a fourth year doctoral student in the History of Art Department. His research is primarily in motion pictures, especially their relation to art history and the way movies intertwine time and motion. His dissertation explores whether there is an inherent meaning to cinematic motion, especially in regards to the human body before a stationary camera, and whether that type of cinematic motion can be historicized. He has served as a TA in a wide variety of courses, including surveys of architectural history, 19th-century European art, and contemporary art.
Max Topaz is a third year doctoral student at the School of Nursing and a Fulbright Fellow from Israel. His research area is healthcare informatics and he focuses on the use of technology in healthcare practice and education. Max is especially interested in using new participatory technologies to engage students and enhance learning. Max has a diverse international teaching and TAing experience. He has taught topics such as Evidence Based Practice, Chronic Illness, Fundamentals of Nursing, Quality and Outcomes Measurement, and Healthcare Organizations’ Management. While at Penn, Max has been a teaching assistant for a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Introduction to Nursing, and Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology. Max has also been invited to give guest lectures on International Nursing Theory by academic institutes across the U.S.
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Madeleine Wilcox is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Pennsylvania’s East Asian Languages and Civilizations studying Modern Chinese literature and film. She is currently writing her dissertation on the impact of the architectural form and spatial practices of Shanghai’s alleyway houses on the development of Chinese film and literature. Madeline has served as a TA for courses such as “Topics in Chinese Cinema” and will teach “Fictional Shanghai” in the Critical Writing Program in the fall of 2012. She has also taught Chinese literature at Bryn Mawr College and Chinese language with Penn’s STARtalk High School Academy.
Ursula Williams is a 4th year graduate student in the department of chemistry. Her research focuses on the synthesis of novel lanthanide coordination compounds for the purposes of exploring the magnetic properties of late lanthanide compounds and the redox chemistry of cerium compounds. At Penn, Ursula has taught recitation and laboratory sections of Introductory Chemistry, and has also taught recitation sections of Inorganic Chemistry I. In addition to her work as a TA, Ursula has mentored several undergraduates in the research laboratory. Ursula completed the CTL Certificate in College and University Teaching in 2012 and received a Department of Chemistry Teaching Assistant Commendation in 2010 as well as a Department of Chemistry Teaching Assistant Award in 2012.