In 2007, we developed a new series of courses for entering students called the First Year Inquiry Series. The pivotal course for the first year experience was in the area of Comparative Cultures taught by Professor Susan Setta, Chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department. She repeated the course again in the fall of 2008: Theology, Ethics and Practice in the World’s Religions. Seven upper-class students were Teaching Assistants in her course its first year. After wildly successful first and second years, we expanded our Teaching Assistantship opportunity to other First Year Inquiry courses. Each year, we have a number of students who assist faculty in these classes.
Being a TA offers an opportunity for undergraduate Honors students to work with a professor and peers, be part of the First Year Honors Program team, share knowledge and skills with entering students, and build their resume for graduate school or employment.
Our Honors Teaching Assistants attend all class lectures, facilitate/lead discussion groups, assist students in meeting class assignments, and are available to students in their classes during weekly conference hours among other responsibilities.
Look for the announcements for each semester’s teaching assistant slots or make an appointment with one of the Honors Advisors to learn more about this opportunity.
Spring 2013 Honors Teaching Assistants
Casey Ivanauskas: Professor Nicholas Daniloff, Department of Journalism
I am a sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Currently, I am majoring in Political Science and International Affairs while pursuing minors in Arabic and Global Social Entrepreneurship.
During the spring semester, I will be Professor Daniloff’s TA for HONR1205: Seeking Peace in Times of Terror. After personally taking Professor Daniloff’s course, I have aided in improving and modifying the syllabus in order to incorporate current events like the Arab Spring. In addition to research, I will assist Professor Daniloff and our guest speakers in the classroom, and partake in the grading process. Working as an Honors TA grants me invaluable one-on-one contact with an experienced Professor I would not receive otherwise. I am now able to study foreign affairs, religion, and terrorism alongside a professional, who also acts as my personal mentor.
Wanyi Jin: Professor Allen Feinstein, Department of Music
I am a second year majoring in international business with a concentration in management information systems and a minor in Chinese. This semester, I am a TA for Professor Allen Feinstein in his First Year Inquiry course, HONR: 1208 Making a Musical: Analysis, Craft, and Creation. Professor Feinstein’s course is an opportunity for first years studying a variety of disciplines to engage with the components and construction of a successful musical theater production. After examining the history of musical theater as well as the creative strategies of masterful productions, students apply their knowledge to writing an original musical. The course culminates in a complete staged reading of the original musicals by auditioned actors, allowing students to oversee the creative process from start to finish.
As a TA, I am responsible for organizing student meetings, coordinating audition and rehearsal schedules, and other various administrative tasks. Because I do not come from a musical background, the main benefit of this position for me is the opportunity to learn about the world of musical theater alongside the students and to witness the impressive creative work produced within the class. Becoming the TA for this course has also reinforced my respect for courses that venture outside the format of lectures and discussions, along with the additional organizational effort they require from the instructor.
Jennifer Lehmann: Professor Serena Parekh, Department of Philosophy and Religion
I am currently in my last semester as a Philosophy and Religious Studies double major and Art minor and this is my second semester as a TA for Professor Parekh in HONR 1209: Human Rights: Ideas, Institutions, and Laws. This course is unique because it looks at Human Rights from three perspectives: Law, Philosophy, and Current Events. The foundation that the students in this class get from studying the current law and organizations dealing with human rights and the philosophical roots of the idea of human rights, give them a great vocabulary and background for studying Human Rights violations today. I learned a great deal as a TA for this class in 2012, and I was very excited to be asked back for this semester.
As a TA for Professor Parekh, I am responsible for grading quizzes, organizing review sessions, and helping students when they have questions or need help with their papers. This semester, I also had the opportunity to give a lecture on my own on Kantian ethics. This was an amazing experience for me since I plan to go to graduate school to get my Masters in teaching after I graduate.