STAR is a group for all first- and second-year TAs at Ohio State to socialize with, learn from, encourage, and grow alongside each other. At each of our monthly meetings, we will provide refreshments and yummy snacks for you to enjoy. We will also have some structured activities or discussions, often based on topics suggested by group members, to help you in your TA role. Finally, we will have time for you to casually chat with each other and ask your teaching-related questions to your fellow TAs and to the graduate consultant facilitators.


STAR Meeting: Creating a Teaching Portfolio

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


 Younkin Success Center 150

We invite you to join us for a conversation on creating a Teaching Portfolio and Teaching Statement

Identifying a personal philosophy of teaching can be challenging. Reflecting on your practice as a teacher as you create a teaching statement and teaching portfolio, however, is a process that can foster professional and personal growth. In our meeting you will find out about some of the benefits and uses of Philosophy Statements in academia and your teaching practice and discuss strategies for creating an effective teaching portfolio . You will have the opportunity to start working on your own Teaching Philosophy with the support from your peers and UCAT's graduate consultants.

During this session we will
  • discuss the components and the value of a Teaching Portfolio
  • start the process of creating your own portfolio
  • talk about strategies for continuing the development of a teaching portfolio
  • create a game plan for collecting supporting materials at the end of the semester
There will also be an opportunity
  • to (re)connect with STAR facilitators and TAs from different departments.
  •  to discuss and get answers to your teaching related questions from UCAT graduate consultants or peers
  • to share teaching experiences — successes and challenges — with other new TAs.
We will have snacks and coffee/ tea, but you are also welcome to bring your own lunch to eat during the session.

We hope to see you!

Also join us on

CarmenThe STAR page on Carmen has lots of great reference materials for new TAs, including the materials that were distributed on the flashdrives at the UCAT new TA orientation. There will also be discussion forums where you can chat with and ask questions to your fellow TAs. Everyone who attends a STAR event will automatically be registered as a participant on our Carmen page. If you would like to be added to our Carmen page but are unable to attend one of our events, please send us an email.

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about upcoming meetings, to get information about other teaching events and resources, and to connect with other new TAs!



STAR will meet on the last Wednesday each month in the Younkin Success Center for Lunch. While we will have refreshments and snacks you are also invited to bring your own brown bag lunch. You are welcome to come to as many meetings as you are able to attend. Here are some details about the upcoming meetings. Hope to see you there!

Click here to register.

Date & Time Location On the Agenda
Wednesday, Aug 28 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, Sep 25 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Active Learning
Active learning is anything students do during a class session other than passively listen to a lecture: i.e., read, write, discuss, or engage in problem-solving. These activities can replace lectures as a means of conveying information or they can supplement lecturing. We will explore a range of structures for class activities.
Wednesday, Oct 30 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Managing the ClassroomWe will explore a range of appropriate classroom behaviors across disciplines and strategies that can help promote civility in the classroom through the use of effective classroom management skills.
Wednesday, Nov 20 @12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Gathering and Making Sense of Student Feedback 
Are you curious about the value of different types of student feedback? Have you thought about how feedback can assist you in teaching your courses? We will explore strategies for obtaining and interpreting student feedback, including the SEIs and beyond.
Wednesday, Jan 29 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Leading DiscussionClass discussion can be an effective method for getting students involved in most types of classes. In this workshop, we will introduce different of ways of structuring discussions, and discuss strategies to encourage and maintain student involvement, respond to individual contributions, and use questions as a teaching tool.
Wednesday, Feb 26 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Impostor SyndromeMany faculty and graduate students feel that they are impostors, fearing that at any moment their students or colleagues might perceive them as “frauds.” Participants will discuss common causes of feeling like an impostor in academia with the goal of helping participants identify concrete steps to recognizing their competence as teachers.
Wednesday, Mar 26 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Teaching PhilosophyThe process of identifying a personal philosophy of teaching and continuously examining it through teaching practice can foster professional and personal growth. In our meeting you will find out more about the benefits and uses of Philosophy Statements in academia and your teaching practice. You will also have the opportunity to start developing your own Teaching Philosophy.

STAR will be facilitated by UCAT’s team of graduate consultants. All of us have years of teaching experience at Ohio State in many different departments, and we’re excited to get to know and work with all of you.

Claudia Cornejo Happel

Claudia is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Growing up in Germany, she developed a passion for travelling that ultimately brought her to the United States in 2001. Claudia frequently performs a balancing act trying to find the right equilibrium of work and play(time) with her 2 kids; she also loves to read silly books and dance to loud music. In the classroom, Claudia enjoys keeping the students actively involved and inciting a passion for expanding their intellectual and cultural horizons.

Elizabeth Brewer

Elizabeth is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department, and she studies rhetoric, composition, and disability studies. She loves Ohio State so much that she came here for undergrad and never left! One of the things Elizabeth most enjoys about teaching is creating multiple ways for students to participate and engage with the course. In her free time, Elizabeth likes to bake cookies and cupcakes and go for walks.

Sarah Holt

Sarah is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology researching the ways stress during gestation and infancy affects dental development. In the classroom, Sarah loves watching students develop the ability to ask challenging questions and find good answers on their own. When she’s not busy with teaching and research, Sarah is reading endless picture books to her toddler, devouring questionable YA literature, and playing keyboards in a local indie band.

Michael Murphy

Michael is a PhD candidate in Comparative Studies exploring how certain American and Austrian modernist novels represent and enact principles of American Pragmatism developed by William James. Michael came to Columbus from Durham, NC, where he had developed software for a technology start-up company and also run a pool hall. These days he makes time to walk dogs from a local shelter, and wishes he had the space to resume the many half-completed clay sculptures that fill his closets. What he finds most rewarding about teaching is stimulating a sense of wonder and awe about our everyday tragedies and triumphs that come alive through great literature.

Wonneken Wanske

Wonneken is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and she studies representations of birthing in late nineteenth-century German literature by women writers. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing her students’ reactions to watching a foreign film for the first (or fiftieth) time, and discussing their reactions to great works of world literature. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, going for a run, and playing with her giant, adorable cat.