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Learning Assistants Program

 What is a Learning Assistant?

Learning assistants, or LAs, are undergraduates who serve as peer educators in courses that they have previously taken. They facilitate small-group discussions, listen to students’ ideas, and prompt students to think deeper about challenging content. They often help in implementing active learning components of a course, helping students think through exercises in which they answer work in groups to answer conceptual questions, work on problems, discuss different scientific models/perspectives, or summarize/organize complex material. Thus, LAs’ role within the course is to promote student discussion and understanding in class; they do not grade or fill other administrative roles.

How are LAs prepared and supported?

LAs enroll in a 2-credit Learning Assistant Pedagogy course. In this course, LAs learn about both theories of learning and the practice of teaching, preparing them to interact with students and support productive discussions.

In addition, LAs  participate in 1-hour weekly prep sessions led by the instructor(s) of the course in which they’re serving as an LA. In these sessions, the group reviews the week ahead, discussing challenging concepts, developing and engaging in upcoming lecture activities, and reflecting on student learning.

LAs also receive a stipend of $1500 per semester. This support is provided jointly by the College of Arts & Science and individual departments.

Different scenarios in which an LA can work

LAs can facilitate clicker questions and other short exercises that are interspersed during lecture. They can also facilitate longer problem-solving sessions at the end of lecture. They can also work with a supervising graduate TA with a recurring small group in recitation sections.

 

People

VU LAs

Fall 2021Spring 2021Fall 2020Fall 2019
BSCI 1510:
Intro to Biological Sciences

Cassandra Atzrodt
Faith Connally
Jennifer Du
Hanwen Feng
Emilia Ferreira
Joseph Fontana
Tristen Gittens
Melissa Goldin
Pei Cing Ho
Natalie Loveridge
Robert McCarthy
Olivia Pembridge
Maya Reddy
Mary Screws
Kenny Ta
Hongkai Wang
Yuhan Wang
Isabella Wetzka
Zhizhu Zhang
Henoc Zinga

CHEM 1601:
General Chemistry

Sophia Gerberg
Alex Grace
Miya Hugaboom
Weixi Kang
Alex Ruemmler
Chloe Tzau
Sai Soumya Vytla
Ashley White
Daniel Yakubu
Arthur Yu

EES 1510:
The Dynamic Earth

Jennifer Franklin
Easton Maxey
Nadia McGlynn
Ana Stringer
Lauren Wong

NSC 3269:
Developmental Neuroscience

Malak Elmessiry
Carson Flamm
Tamara Naidoo
Grace Pulliam
Kelia Saiegh

PHYS 1501
Intro Physics for the Life Sciences

Gayatri Aluri
Kolapo Dairo
Isabella Paldrmic
Katie Preisinger
Bennett Schneier
Jack Slatton
Jack Yarnall
Sandra Zaki

PSY 2100:
Quantitative Methods

Yi Liu
Pan Lu
Bryson Rorie

BSCI 2520:
Biochemistry

Tony Chen
Jennifer Du
Sophia Gerberg
Michael McGuire
Katie Radulovacki
Jaszmine Simmons
Maureen Ubani

BSCI 3252:
Cellular Neurobiology

Quenten Lakey
Jared Plotkin

BSCI 2205:
Evolution

Sarah Saxton Strassberg
Ellen Y

BSCI 2210:
Genetics

Anoop Chandrashekar
Margaret Clement
Olivia Pembridge
Bennett Schneier
Liraz Stilman
Anna Young


BSCI 1510:
Intro to Biological Sciences

Sarah Commaroto
Kolapo Dairo
Hanwen Feng
Emilia Ferreira
Melissa Goldin
Anica Mohammadkhah
Cindy Nwokedi
Aashvi Patel
Olivia Pembridge
Jared Plotkin
Katie Radulovacki
Jaszmine Simmons
Sarah Saxton Strassberg


BSCI 1510:
Intro to Biological Sciences

Jamie Dyvig
Hanwen Feng
Abigale Harrelson
Laurie Lapp
Anica Mohammadkhah
Jared Plotkin
Grace Pulliam
Jaszmine Simmons
Sarah Saxton Strassberg
Emily Vega

Faculty who have incorporated LAs into their course(s)

Fall 2021

 


Thomas Clements, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510
Instructor and LA Director in Biological Sciences


Katherine Friedman, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510
Instructor and Vice Chair of Biological Sciences


Todd Graham, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510
Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences

Jim Patton, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510
Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences

Tara Todd, Ph.D.
CHEM 1601
Principal Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Lily Claiborne, Ph.D.
EES 1510
Principal Senior Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Savanna Starko, Ph.D.
PHYS 1501
Senior Lecturer in Physics & Astronomy
…………

Adriane Seiffert, Ph.D.
PSY 2100
Senior Lecturer and Research Assistant Professor of Psychology
………….

Elizabeth Catania, Ph.D.
NSC 3269
Assistant Professor in Neuroscience and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience

…………


………….

Spring 2021

Nicole Creanza, Ph.D.
BSCI 2205 Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences


Jessica Gilpin, Ph.D.
BSCI 2205 Senior Lecturer of Biological Sciences


Thomas Clements, Ph.D.
BSCI 2210 Instructor and LA Director in Biological Sciences


Katherine Friedman, Ph.D.
BSCI 2210 Instructor and
Vice Chair of Biological Sciences

Hemant Badgandi, Ph.D.
BSCI 2520 Senior Lecturer in Chemistry …..
…………

Lars Plate, Ph.D.
BSCI 2520 Assistant Professor in Chemistry and Biological Sciences

Kendal Broadie, Ph.D.
BSCI 3252 Stevenson Professor of Neurobiology

Doug McMahon, Ph.D.
BSCI 3252 Stevenson Chair in Biological Sciences

 

Fall 2020


Thomas Clements, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510 Instructor and LA Director in Biological Sciences


Katherine Friedman, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510 Instructor and
Vice Chair of Biological Sciences

Fall 2019


Thomas Clements, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510 Instructor and LA Director in Biological Sciences

Todd Graham, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510 Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences

LA Leadership Team

Thomas Clements, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510 Instructor and LA Director in Biological Sciences

Katherine Friedman, Ph.D.
BSCI 1510 Instructor and
Vice Chair of Biological Sciences

Cynthia Brame, Ph.D.
Associate Director,
Center for Teaching

Jessica Watkins, Ph.D.
Pedagogy Course Instructor, Faculty member in Department of Teaching & Learning

Heather Johnson, Ph.D.
Pedagogy Course Instructor, Faculty member in Department of Teaching & Learning

Learn more!

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