Robyn Gittleman Graduate Teaching Fellows

Named in honor of the ExCollege’s Director Emeritus, Robyn Gittleman, who devoted her professional life to furthering the cause of university teaching, the Graduate Teaching Fellows program launches in the Fall of 2016.  The inaugural class of eight Fellows were selected from applications and course proposals by advanced graduate students at Tufts. The Fellows will each teach a course of their own design in the ExCollege, and will meet with Director Howard Woolf as part of a regular roundtable discussion and teacher training seminar. The Teaching Fellowships are funded by a Tufts Innovates Grant, with additional support from the Janover Family (who support the ExCollege’s Voices from the Edge lecture series), and by gifts from friends and alumni made in celebration of Robyn’s career and passions.

2016-2017 Robyn Gittleman Graduate Teaching Fellows:

Laura Darnieder has been involved in science education in several settings in the greater Boston area, working closely with area college students as they undertake Organic Chemistry I and II, helping as a lab instructor in a joint Pathways to PhD program with UMass Boston and Tufts University, and assisting local IB Biology students at Josiah Quincy Upper School. She is currently a fourth year graduate student in the Neuroscience Department of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, and previously taught a course in the Experimental College on Biased Bodies: The Exclusion of “the Female” in Science and Research.

Laura will be teaching EXP-0022-GF Decoding Science

Elana McDermott is a PhD candidate in the Department of Child Study and HumanDevelopment at Tufts University, and a Doctoral Research Assistant at the Center for Promise at Boston University.

Elana will be teaching EXP-0040-GF Race in Human Development

Amy Meyer has performed professionally in Boston with numerous small companies and is an artistic associate with the physical theatre troupe, Imaginary Beasts. Amy is also an aspiring acrobat, and for the past five years has been training in various circus arts, including aerial silks, static trapeze, flying trapeze, and partner acrobatics. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Drama at Tufts University and has presented work for the American Society for Theatre Research, the American Theatre and Drama Society, the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies, and the Mid-America Theatre Conference.

Amy will be teaching EXP-0061-GF Circus and Society, which was successfully taught in the Fall of 2015.

Luke Mueller has a long relationship with lying, from his Catholic childhood fraught with guilt for lying, to his work at a financial regulator following the 2008 recession, where he learned much about the ubiquity of deceptions. He is a PhD candidate in the English department at Tufts, where he is writing his dissertation on lying in modernist literature and philosophy.

Luke will be teaching EXP-0002-GF Lies: From Plato to Politics

Brian O’Connell owns and operates PaperBots®, a product line dedicated to enabling K-12 students to create paper and craft material engineering projects. Prior to returning to grad school, O’Connell worked as a Mechanical Engineer and Project Lead at Kollmorgen Electro-Optical designing periscopes and optical masts for submarines. He is currently a PhD student at Tufts University, a research assistant at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, and manager of Jumbo’s Maker Studio.

Brian will be teaching EXP-0024-GF Creation, Fabrication, and Problem Solving, which was successfully taught in the Fall of 2015.

Christine Payson is a PhD student in English and American Literature at Tufts. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on representations of 17th century America in fiction and drama. She has co-taught with Prof. Heather Curtis of the Tufts Religion Department, and has independently taught First Year Writing courses at Tufts since 2012.

Christine will be teaching EXP-0062-GF American Witches

Katherine Swimm is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Drama and Dance at Tufts. Her dissertation examines performances of madness in the broader context of nineteenth-century medical discourse. Katherine has served as Assistant Director for the Department of Drama and Dance’s production of Rent, and as Director for Torn Ticket II’s production of Into the Woods. She works as a Graduate Writing and Public Speaking consultant for the Academic Resource Center, and has taught courses in Acting at Tufts and Public Speaking at Dean College. She was also a fellow at the Tufts Graduate Institute for Teaching in the summer and fall of 2015. She earned her MA in Literature from Northwestern University, and a BFA in Theatre Performance/BA in English from Niagara University.

Katherine will be teaching EXP-0058-GF History of Mental Illness on Stage and Screen

Irina Yakubovskaya is a PhD candidate in the Tufts Drama department whose research and interests include theatre pedagogy, stage performance, directing, archival research and dramaturgy, as well as multicultural translation and adaptation.

Irina will be teaching EXP-0005-GF The Little Prince: The Book and Beyond

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