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Embarking on the graduate school journey can be a challenging experience, but it helps if you understand the major players involved in that experience. The “Link to Leadership” series features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know these leaders on a deeper level.


Q: Why did you accept this position within the Graduate School?

A: “I was recruited to join the Professional Development Program (PDP) at UAB because of my background working with International students and my experience teaching Academic Writing. It was a great fit to teach both cross-cultural communication, writing and professional speaking. As the needs of UAB graduate students have changed, my role has evolved to include teacher training and curriculum development for CIRTL.”

Q: What is your background?

A: "A teacher by training, my first academic position was teaching ESL in Bankgok. Later, I worked in Busan, South Korea, and as an Instructor and Writing Consultant at the University of Alabama before coming to UAB, where I’ve been developing graduate curricula for the PDP in professional communication skills and training future faculty."

Q: How long have you been in this role? What are your specific responsibilities?

A: “My current role started when UAB joined the CIRTL consortium in 2012. We built a series of Certificates in College Teaching based upon PDP courses that I taught and developed: College Teaching, TA Training and how to Develop a Teaching Portfolio. I teach the core CIRTL courses, design new workshops and act as manager for the program. Continually responding to the needs of graduate students and postdocs, I recently designed a new PDP course in Online Teaching, and I’m developing a Service Learning Practicum for CIRTL as well as a workshop on how to build an ePortfolio.”

Q: What drew you to this particular area of work?

A: “I love teaching. I derive great satisfaction from facilitating the growth and development of others to achieve their potential and realize their goals. Working with the PDP affords me the opportunity to deeply invest in my students, to equip them with the knowledge and experiences to be successful in their careers.”

Q: If you were talking with a group of incoming UAB students, what would you most want them to know about you and your hopes for their experience at the Graduate School?

A: “Build your skills and be proactive in your graduate education. Take advantage of all that UAB has to offer—collaborations, continued education, professional development.”

Q: Can you talk about your own approach to teaching and how it has or has not informed your work in your current Graduate School position?

A: "The cornerstones of my personal teaching philosophy, which inform all the classes that I develop include: active engagement, mentored experimentation, Personal Reflection and individually tailored feedback. I facilitate the building of both skill and confidence, set high expectations and we have a lot of fun through a balance of challenge and compassion."

Q: What influences have shaped you?

A: “Living abroad definitely changes your lens. My engagement with other cultures has helped shaped my worldview.”

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: “I’m an artist and an entrepreneur — I have a cottage business making upcycled textile art. I play the ukulele, I knit, and I love travel.”

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