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.

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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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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!

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Date & Time Location On the Agenda
Wednesday, Sept 3  @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, Sep 24 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Navigating Multiple Roles as a GTA: Your Whole Self and the Classroom. GTAs occupy a unique position as both teachers and students themselves—not to mention as individuals with other roles outside of academia. We discuss strategies for managing the different responsibilities we all have and work with the concept of bringing one’s “whole self” to the classroom as a teacher.
Wednesday, Oct 29 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Fostering Student Engagement. Wish your students were more engaged with course materials or class activities? This session explores student-centered strategies to promote self-efficacy, improve communication, and build relevance into your course content.
Wednesday, Nov 19 @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 25 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Impostor Syndrome Workshop. Many 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, Feb 25 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Teaching Critical Thinking. It can be frustrating when students don’t demonstrate the critical thinking you expect in class. In this session, participants will learn about stages of student learning development and skills that develop critical thinking. We’ll explore ways teachers can support and advance critical thinking in our students and begin to develop specific activities for your course.
Wednesday, Mar 25 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Group Work in the Classroom. Group work often sounds like a good idea in theory, but how can you make it work for you? In this session participants will explore different ways group work benefits student learning and can increase student independence. We will discuss ways to overcome challenges to successful group activities and you will also have the opportunity to develop a group activity appropriate for your own class.
Wednesday, Apr 22 @ 12-1.30pm YSC Room 150 Teaching Philosophy. The 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.

Ana Casado

Ana Casado is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology focusing in forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology. Her research looks at sex differences between male and female skulls and the ways human skulls have changed in size and shape over the last few hundred years. Ana’s favorite part of teaching is helping her students become more scientifically literate and watching as they transform into critical thinkers who can apply science and anthropology to the world around them​. Aside from teaching, Ana enjoys dogs, peanut butter, and Netflix binges.

Sarah Holt

Sarah is a Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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.

Marissa Stewart

Marissa Stewart is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology, focusing on bioarchaeology.  Her research examines burial patterns in a medieval Italian cemetery and seeks to determine how sex- and status-based differences in lifestyle, health, and diet are reflected in the skeletons.  Marissa’s favorite part of teaching involves introducing students to anthropological perspectives that they can use when looking at new cultures, concepts, and species and encouraging them to also apply those perspectives to their daily lives.  In her free time, Marissa enjoys hanging out with her friends, watching TV shows on Netflix, and reading Harry Potter in Italian.

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.

Blake Wilder 

Blake is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English examining the representations of race, masculinity, and trauma after the First World War in the concurrent development of the Harlem Renaissance and American Modernism. He feels honored and humbled when his teaching can help students discover new understandings about themselves and their place in a complex cultural history. When he’s not working, Blake trains for the triathlon he may never actually do and collects musical instruments he can only sort of play.