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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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!




January 25
9–10:30 am
February 29
9–10:30 am
March 28
9–10:30 am
April 18
9–10:30 am

Impostor Syndrome

Facilitating Discusion

Student Motivation

Teaching Philosophy

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. Teachers are often concerned that students might not learn what they need to through discussion. Some students hang back while others dominate, the discussion can get off topic, and as the teacher it can be hard to know what role to take in the conversation. In this workshop, we will introduce different ways of structuring discussions, and discuss strategies to encourage and maintain student involvement, respond to individual contributions, and use questions as a teaching tool. The emphasis of this meeting will be an exploration of strategies and techniques for facilitating discussion and encouraging balanced student participation. As graduate students, it can sometimes be a struggle to understand why our students aren’t motivated by the same things that seem important to us. In this meeting, participants will learn about motivators that affect student engagement and discuss how challenges to motivation are shaped by our course context. Participants will develop a game plan for overcoming these challenges including easy to implement strategies that can be applied immediately and throughout the semester. 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.

Leah Hoops

Leah is a Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education and Student Affairs. She is interested in how student success interventions – such as instructional practices, student success courses, and summer bridge programs – influence students’ sense of belonging, motivation, and academic success. Leah’s favorite part of teaching is students. She loves getting to know them and helping students realize their own potential. Leah is a Christian and spends much of her time studying the Bible and is a member of Calvary Bible Baptist Church in Westerville.

Megan Sanders

Megan is a Ph.D. candidate in educational psychology in the Department of Educational Studies. Her research focuses on what makes school content feel valuable and relevant to students’ lives outside of school. This interest also translates into the classroom, where Megan’s favorite part of teaching is helping students recognize ways that educational psychology can help them understand the world differently. In whatever time is left in the day, she enjoys seeing movies at the Wex, hiking, and learning how to actually cook.

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.

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.