Fellows

Representing multiple disciplines, the Graduate Fellows present sessions for other graduate students and participate in various programs pertaining to the scholarship of teaching and learning. The Faculty Fellows are respected academic leaders who work to spread enthusiasm about the importance of good teaching. Click on a Fellow's name for more information about their teaching philosophy and research interests.

Graduate Fellows

Mohamed Abdellatif

Mohamed Abdellatif

Computer Science

Teaching Philosophy: I think of teaching as a two-way process and find it more effective to engage the students in interactive discussions rather than one-way lecturing. So my teaching philosophy is for the students to become active participants, and the teacher to coordinate, motivate, validate, facilitate and be a time-keeper.

Research: Computers see pictures as bunches of numbers. My research focuses on making computers gain higher-level understanding of pictures.

Sarah Barriage

Sarah Barriage

Communication

Teaching Philosophy: My approach to teaching is consistent with my approach to research, in that I am committed to respecting the students and their lived experiences and making use of diverse non-traditional methods in teaching the curriculum in an engaging and empowering way.

Research: My research focuses on young children’s information practices in everyday life settings, and makes use of child-centered research methods that privilege children’s perspectives and experiences.

Jennifer Blake-Mahmud

Jennifer Blake-Mahmud

Ecology & Evolution

Teaching Philosophy: Learning occurs when our old understanding of how the world works encounters new information. My job as an educator in the sciences is to frame new data in engaging stories to help students integrate them into their background knowledge, forming a more complex and nuanced model of the natural world.

Research: I study the ways in which the environment may affect the sex of individuals and what that means for sex ratios, mortality, and population persistence.

Matthew Charnley

Matthew Charnley

Mathematics

Teaching Philosophy: Even in mathematics, teaching is a conversation. In order for one to learn anything, the student must be engaged with the material, and the easiest way to do that is by having a back-and-forth discussion about the material. The instructor and the student both play a necessary role in making this happen.

Research: My research is in Partial Differential Equations and Inverse Problems. In particular, I am looking at the detection and analysis of small inhomogeneities in material, with potential applications to cloaking.

math.rutgers.edu/~mpc163

Michelle Cheng

Michelle Cheng

Psychology

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy stems from a theory from infant development research called “natural pedagogy”—that is an infant innately expects to be taught by others. I believe as instructors we must cultivate students’ natural curiosity for both topics of interest and topics that may seem bland at first sight.

Research: My research focuses on the development of young children’s understanding of naïve psychology. More specifically, what is the depth of their reasoning of others’ minds?

Eva Erber

Eva Erber

German

Teaching Philosophy: My goal in teaching German is to excite my students for other languages and cultures, and to help them successfully navigate in the multicultural world we live in. By using various media, I strive to create an authentic environment, wherein questions as well as discussions are welcomed and encouraged.

Research: My transdisciplinary research currently focuses on the hand as motif and metaphor in early 20th century art, literature, film, and design.

Lauren Frazee

Lauren Frazee

Ecology & Evolution

Teaching Philosophy: My goal as a teacher of the ecological and biological sciences is to not only encourage students to think about nature in their everyday lives but also to be a guide in learning about the diversity of life and how ecosystems function from multiple points of view.

Research: My research focuses on determining how urbanization impacts the characteristics of wild plant communities and populations in cities, suburbs, and other disturbed landscapes.

Rita Grunberg

Rita Grunberg

Ecology & Evolution

Teaching Philosophy: I teach science as a progression of ideas to facilitate the understanding of research methods and concepts in ecology. My lessons encourage creativity and critical analysis of scientific paradigms to promote confidence and literacy in the realm of science learning.

Research: My research uses the metabolic theory of ecology as a framework to explain patterns in parasite abundance, distribution and energetics based on life history attributes.

rci.rutgers.edu/~sukhdeo/

Maria Hernandez

Sarah Hlubik

Anthropology

Teaching Philosophy: I believe in learning through action and bringing this into the classroom through work-shopping activities in writing courses and interactive activities and thought experiments in anthropology classes.

Research: My research focuses on the origins of fire use in the human lineage.

Kristina Howansky

Kristina Howansky

Psychology

Teaching Philosophy: I believe in the importance of fostering an environment where students feel capable of success and where the material they learn directly applies to their lives. Finally, I believe that students will focus and learn more quickly and thoroughly when the process is enjoyable.

Research: My research explores perceptual and attentional routes to prejudice and discrimination. I also explore perceptual biases in the way people view themselves.

ramplab-rutgers.com/people

Janna Kline

Janna Kline

Psychology

Teaching Philosophy: I believe in fostering a mutually respectful community between myself and my students, recognizing that we each bring valuable and unique contributions to the learning environment. I also encourage students to make real-world connections with course material; this engages them more deeply and they become more motivated to succeed.

Research: Why do people give in to temptations? My research explores the factors that contribute to successful self-control in goal pursuit.

ramplab-rutgers.com/people

Ariel Otruba

Ariel Otruba

Geography

Teaching Philosophy: The words engaging, transformative and humanizing characterize my approach to teaching and learning in geography. These words translate into the development of a problem-based curriculum centering on burgeoning social and environmental justice issues, which challenge students to think about the world in more complex, interconnected and compassionate ways.

Research: My research studies how (non)recognition politics influence the border geography and lived geopolitics of the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) of Georgia’s unrecognized territory, South Ossetia.

Agnesa Redere

Agnesa Redere

Ecology & Evolution

Teaching Philosophy: It is my view that a student’s role is to come to class willing to learn. The instructor’s role is to take inventory of the types of learners in the classroom and to inspire them to learn more about the material as well as their particular style of learning.

Research: I use an economic framework to answer questions relating to the utility of novel traits in the distinct systems: epigenetics, disease and behavior.

Darcey Searles

Darcey Searles

Communication

Teaching Philosophy: One of the many reasons I am passionate about teaching about language and communication is that every student has communicated in his or her life; it is a topic matter that can and should be made relatable to student’s own experiences. Exposing students to ideas and research that may challenge their native theories about how communication works is one of my teaching goals.

Research: I am interested in Language and Social Interaction with a specific focus on young children's communication. My dissertation will examine the interactions of families with young children (ages 3-6).

Kevin Sigerman

Kevin Sigerman

Literatures in English

Teaching Philosophy: In the teaching of literature, I seek to reward demonstrations of interest in, and commitment to, the material. I utilize teaching methods that provide students with the tools, strategies, and, most importantly, the opportunities for creative and independent thinking, rooted in the close reading of literary texts.

Research: My research uses both formal and historical approaches to examine how the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English novel represented urban, regional, and national spaces.

Chloe Urbanski

Chloe Urbanski

Mathematics

Teaching Philosophy: In any level of mathematics course, my underlying philosophy is the same—instead of focusing on the technical content details, focus on engagement and motivation to encourage deep understanding of the core topics. When students understand the core material, the technical details will follow more easily.

Research: My research area is in Several Complex Variables and Complex Geometry, though I have not yet started on a specific project.