Megan Lorenz

As the 2018–2019 academic year comes to an end, the Center for Teaching would like to thank our fellows for their invaluable work during the past year. We asked each fellow to share their next steps in their academic journey and a memorable experience from their fellowship.

Megan Lorenz:

Megan Lorenz, a seventh-year psychology PhD candidate in the Developmental Science program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, will graduate this month and will soon start her position as an assistant professor of psychology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

“I loved being able to start my workshop with ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey because I felt like I found a way to hook my attendees while simultaneously demonstrating a way that they might be able to hook students in their own classrooms.

“I also thoroughly enjoyed our discussion of what it means to be a novice in the classroom; even though I had some ideas of different ways we can be ‘novices,’ my attendees BLEW me away with their reflections, and it expanded my understanding of all the different hats we can possibly wear as educators. It really was the highlight of the fellowship!”

Elias Hasenecz
Elias Hasenecz:

Elias Hasenecz, a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Chemistry, plans to focus on wrapping up his research, writing his dissertation, and beginning the job search and application process in the upcoming year. In addition, he looks forward to implementing many of the teaching strategies he learned to his teaching opportunities next year.

“For me, the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with graduate fellows from diverse backgrounds was the most valuable. Engaging with an interdisciplinary group whose prior experiences and background knowledge are so varied was a great experience and enabled many interesting and educational discussions.”

Hassan Rafique
Hassan Rafique:

Hassan Rafique, a fourth-year PhD student in the Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences program, plans to continue to work on his teaching portfolio and be ready for the academic job market next fall.

“I had a challenging teaching experience, which motivated me to look for professional development opportunities such as this teaching fellowship. I was particularly looking for a community where we can discuss different aspects of teaching pedagogy, learn from others’ teaching experiences, and reflect on  current teaching challenges. Usually, it is hard to find a community where everyone is equally motivated to engage and discuss. I was fortunate to find that community at the Center for Teaching, which included other teaching fellows and the staff members.”

Alejandro Perez
Alejandro Perez:

Alejandro Perez, a second-year PhD student in theDepartment of Teaching and Learning, will focus on his research, which entails collaborating with instructors, and on promoting new opportunities for professional growth—perhaps a community of practice—within the department where he teaches.

“The most valuable experience as a fellow was having the opportunity to provide two workshops during the year. I found the feedback from Erik and the other fellows through the design of the workshops extremely useful. Additionally, reflecting on the outcomes and challenges of each workshop made me identify strengths and weaknesses in my abilities as a presenter/facilitator and designer of professional development opportunities within an institution like the University of Iowa.”

We wish our fellows the best of luck in their future endeavors.