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Graduate Teaching Fellows Program


Each year we hire several Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs) as part of the CFT’s efforts to mentor and train graduate students, including those serving as teaching assistants or instructors of record here at Vanderbilt and those interested in developing teaching skills for future faculty careers.  The GTF Program is a valuable professional development experience for graduate students interested in a career that involves teaching and/or faculty development.

Our GTFs consult with graduate students, many of whom are participants in our Teaching Certificate program; design and facilitate workshops for graduate students at GradSTEP and during the semester; lead graduate student working groups; and assist the CFT senior staff in various ongoing and short-term projects, including liaison work with campus partners like the Graduate Student Council and the creation of various online resources for the Vanderbilt teaching community.

GTF Program Goals

  • Peer-to-peer interactions are often more effective for the development of teaching skills.
  • The GTFs provide the CFT with strong connections to their home departments.
  • We’re able to offer more programs and services with the help of the fellows.
  • The position provides a unique professional development experience for graduate students.

The program helps the GTFs understand the broader world of educational development, how CFT fits into it, possible career / professional development paths (if interested).

Current Graduate Teaching Fellows

 Lydia Bentley is a 2016-2017 Graduate Teaching Fellow. She is in the dissertation phase of her program in the Department of Teaching and Learning, focusing on issues of Learning, Development, and Diversity- particularly on STEM education and underrepresented students at the post-secondary level. Among other things at the Center for Teaching, Lydia helps with leading the Certificate in College Teaching (CiCT) program.
 ryan-bowenRyan Bowen has been a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for Teaching since July 2016. He received his Master of Science in Chemistry from Vanderbilt in May 2016. Upon graduation from the Chemistry department, Ryan transitioned over to the Department of Teaching and Learning to pursue graduate work in education. Ryan was a BOLD Fellow for the CFT from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016, and he continues to work with this program in his capacity as a GTF. Additionally, Ryan facilitates a section of the CiCT Practicum and is available for consultations. His research interests include promoting student metacognition in STEM classrooms, as well as curricula development for STEM programs.
Michael-r-fisher-jrMichael R. Fisher, Jr. is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for Teaching and a Ph.D. candidate in Ethics and Society in the Graduate Department of Religion. He completed both the Certificate in College Teaching (CiCT) and Certificate in Humanities Teaching and Learning (formerly the Mellon Certificate in Humanities Education) programs and currently facilitates the CiCT Practicum. Outside of the CFT, Michael’s research lies at the intersection of religion, ethics, and urban studies in the United States. His dissertation, titled “A City Set on a Hill: Race and the Secular Soteriology of Neoliberal Urban Redevelopment,” critiques the ideologies that drive processes of urban redevelopment within cities in the United States.
Alexis-mcbrideAlexis McBride is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for Teaching and a Ph.D. student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College. She completed the Mellon Certificate in Humanities Education and facilitates the Certificate in Humanities Teaching and Learning program during the 2016-2017 academic year. Alexis holds a M.A. in Hispanic Language & Literature from Boston College and has previously taught Spanish language and literature courses at several colleges in the Boston area, and also here at Vanderbilt University. In May 2016, Alexis earned the E. Inman Fox Award at Vanderbilt University, an award given for teaching excellence. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, second language acquisition, and teaching language minority students bilingually.

Become a Graduate Teaching Fellow

The online application for graduate teaching fellows can be found here.


  • Passion for teaching and graduate student development
  • Extensive classroom or lab teaching experience as a TA at Vanderbilt (or elsewhere) with evidence of teaching effectiveness
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong writing, communication, and planning/organizational skills
  • Flexibility, imagination, energy


Ideal candidate would have:

  • Completed one or more programs at the Center for Teaching
  • Have a well-developed, reflective teaching philosophy
  • Have experience planning events or programs
  • Have mentoring or consulting experience (formal or informal)


  • Develop and present workshops for TA Orientation (TAO) as well as in response to special requests from departments
  • Conduct small-group analyses in TA sections and labs
  • Observe sections and labs of TAs (live or via video recordings)
  • Consult with TAs on their teaching
  • Assist with new and ongoing Center for Teaching projects


20 hours/week beginning July 1st:

  • Mid-May: Organizational meeting
  • Summer: Responding to e-mails
  • July: Training for CiCT, CHTL, consultations, and TAO.
  • Early August: TAO Training
  • Mid-August: TA Orientation
  • Shortly after TA Orientation: Debriefing activities and compiling materials from TA Orientation
  • Time off for Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks.


  • $26,000 ($2,166/month), paid monthly July-June*
  • Graduate student health insurance paid (if needed)


*this is NOT a service-free stipend