I am currently a 2nd year PhD student in Biomedical Sciences (Infectious Diseases) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL. I am currently performing my dissertation work in Dr. Herve Roy's lab where we focus on characterizing a tRNA dependent pathway for lipid modification that is conserved in bacteria and is a cause of increased antimicrobial resistance in many pathogens. I have been involved in higher level education (both undergraduate and graduate) for over 8 years now. Through my own successes and particularly my failures (yes I've had my fair share) in courses I've taken throughout my career, I am very aware of what it takes to be a successful student in various subject areas.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Molecular and Microbiology
Graduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Current Grad Student, Biomedical Sciences
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Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Focus on your strengths and make your weaknesses just good enough to get by. It is perfectly ok to not be interested in every subject you take. The role the teacher-student relationship takes in that process is collectively identifying that distinction.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first session would include: 1) talking about current courses and academic goals 2) sharing of syllabi for the courses we will be working on 3) gaining insight to students, past successes and failures academically, and 4) tailoring our future sessions to meet the goals outlined in our first session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Gaining insights into the student’s past success and failures by speaking with them and relating my own experiences to theirs (since I've been in higher education for over 8 years now) to figure out areas that may need improvement to becoming an effective independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I have experienced both failure and success as a student. No matter what they are experiencing in their classes during the time we work together, I will make sure they know it will all pay off in the end and to be patient.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first ask the student what it is about the concept they are struggling with. Once identified, I would use alternative approaches to better relay the information and help them understand better.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would work with the student to identify the content they are having trouble understanding, in particular the words or phrases they are not familiar with. I would give synonyms of the word to help with comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Going over past successes and failures in courses to gain insight into their academic history has proven to be effective. This helps to tailor their experience to optimize our time spent together.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find out what subjects or activities they enjoy, and relate those concepts to the subject they are struggling in to make it more enjoyable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would design short written and/or verbal quizzes each week based on their class materials, and from our previous week's material to ensure they are understanding the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would start by showing the student they most likely understand the broad concepts, and that it is just a matter of applying those broad concepts to better comprehending the specifics. If you keep the big picture in mind when studying, the fine details seem less like memorization and gain a much more significant importance.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The initial session will help give insight into the student's needs for future sessions. I will take great consideration in the student's introspective opinion on what their weaknesses may be, and build off that.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Through my experiences teaching courses, I have encountered many different learning types. I am prepared to switch gears when necessary, whether it be a more visual and/or auditory approach vs. a more interactive approach.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have access to a lot of primary literature as well as my own textbook archives. I would use those as supplementary materials if need be, but the primary materials would be those supplied by the student.