Congratulations to Mike Sebastian, a graduate assistant in the OTLT Center for Teaching, who recently received the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network’s Career Development Grant. The grant is sponsored by POD's Special Interest Group in Graduate, Professional & Postdoctoral Development.

After a competitive application process, Sebastian was selected as one of 30 recipients. The grant covers registration to the annual POD conference and a year-long POD Network membership. Founded in 1976, POD is “devoted to improving teaching and learning in higher education” and “exists to provide professional development and a community of practice for scholars and practitioners of educational development.”

“The conference will provide me with opportunities to hear about the work of other centers for teaching and learning, gain a better understanding of the future of educational development, and network with others in the field,” says Sebastian.

As part of the grant, Sebastian will be paired with a mentor for the duration of the conference and will be officially recognized during the event.

“I’m incredibly excited to attend the conference, especially since I hope to work in a center for teaching and learning, like the University of Iowa’s Center for Teaching,” says Sebastian.

Sebastian joined the Center for Teaching in fall 2021. His educational development work so far has included facilitating a session for the 2021 New TA Orientation and assisting with several center programs, including TILE and the Early Career Faculty Academy. He’s also developing support materials related to grading and feedback in the fine arts, active learning, and course design. He has an MFA in studio art and is currently enrolled in the master of arts in teaching program for art education.