International TAs Forge Connections

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is pleased to recognize this year’s cohort of International TA Liaisons for CTL (scroll to middle of page to learn more. This CTL initiative offers experienced international graduate teaching assistants (ITAs) a significant leadership role in their colleges and the opportunity to create a support network among their peers. (For more information on the ITA program, visit the middle of this page.)

“Creating this partnership with international TAs is an extension of the hub-and-spoke model that CTL created with the Provost Teaching & Learning Fellows (PTLFs) and the Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs),” says Joyce Weinsheimer, Director of CTL. “We believe this initiative will strengthen the voices of ITAs in our campus conversations and give greater visibility to the diversity and contributions they bring to our campus. I am excited about this connection between CTL, the ITAs, and the Colleges.”

The 2021-2022 cohort represents five colleges–Design, Computing, Engineering, Ivan Allen, and Sciences– seven schools, and a variety of national cultures. In addition, eight of the ITA liaisons have completed CETL 8802, Special Topics in ITA Development, and all have already successfully served as teaching assistants. The program is facilitated by Sarah Kegley, ITA program manager for CTL.

“We are excited to work together in this initiative; we can support each other and incoming ITAs in distinctive ways that may not occur to others,” says Ximena Pizarro, a Ph.D. student in Public Policy.

Along with their collaboration within the cohort, ITA Liaisons are engaging as leaders in their own schools. Each member of the cohort is working on something significant to him/her and addressing a need that she or he chooses to highlight.

Tinomutenda Chikate, a graduate student in Cybersecurity, adds that “By contributing our diverse experiences…, we have an opportunity to lay a conducive foundation with relevant tools for prospective ITAs.” She reminds us of an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with, together.”

Congratulations to the following ITA Liaisons for CTL!

  • Genaro Soto Valle Angulo, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Yiming Chen, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Sourabh Kumar Choudhary, Industrial Systems & Engineering
  • Tinomutenda Chikate, Cybersecurity
  • Ellen Liu, Quantitative Biosciences
  • Fan Jiang, Robotics Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Robotics PhD
  • Yujin Kim, School of Building Construction
  • Mohammad Nikbakht, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Ximena Pizarro Bore, Joint PhD Public Policy
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