Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

Letter of Support from David Schneider, Ph.D.

Engel lecture eval_schneider eval


BY123- Introductory Biology I lecture. Jan – May 2014.

Instructor: Dr. Peggy Biga | 182 undergraduates | majors and non-majors

There are 2 regular attendees to my help sessions. Evaluations received n=2.

Student 1= “nope”

Student 2= “She is very helpful. She breaks complex ideas down into simpler ideas. If we don’t get the concept she will try to think of a different way to present the idea. She also draws the concepts on the board to further break down the idea. I really enjoy these sessions.”


Theodore Busby, graduate rotation student. Nov 2013-Feb 2014.

role: mentor | PI: Dr. David Schneider

Strengths: Ms. Engel is takes the time to make sure students and mentees understand a given topic. In the lab, she explained concepts and procedures to in a clear concise manner. If I had any question about anything she would find a different way of explaining and worked with me until it was clear that I understood the solution. For example, she drew out multiple diagrams depicting the Longtine system in yeast as well as providing an explanation of how she had previously used the system.

Krysta provides adequate feedback and positive constructive criticism in order to make students reach their potential. She provided a feedback on my overall performance with strengths, weaknesses, and positive solutions to strengthen any shortcomings. In doing so, she explained why the suggestions were critical to my growth. Furthermore, she gave her own background for importance.

Weaknesses: At times Krysta is a micromanager. Granted, as a rotation student, I needed someone with experience to explain things to me. There were a couple of times she provided a protocol but would incorporate an updated optimized method later suggesting that the protocol should have been performed according to the updated version. However, this was not an often occurrence.

Overall: Krysta Engel has been the best assigned student mentor that I have had as a rotation student. If someone needed advice about science, class, or life I would recommend they talk to Krysta. At the bench she has high, achievable expectations of her mentees.


RNA Biology. Feb 2014

role: guest moderator | Course master: David Schneider | 12, first-third  year graduate students

Below are selected evaluations from the students, please feel free to ask for the rest.

Question: Please take a few moments to comment on the guest course master, Krysta Engel.

Student 1: Krysta was very helpful. She asked some questions that made us think not only on the nature of RNA, but of general chemistry as a whole. Most of her questions weren’t “There’s a definitive answer and I want to see if you know it.” Instead, her questions were more along the line of “Would you think this or this… why would you think that?” One question, focused on the difference between Deoxyribose and Ribose, and if an action that happened on the 2’ hydroxyl of ribose would happen to deoxyribose. And we actually had to think about that to realize that the 2’ hydroxyl – required for the reaction – wasn’t present on the deoxyribose, so the reaction couldn’t happen. Questions like that help to reinforce both the foundation of knowledge we have from basic sciences, and the new knowledge presented to us during the class.

Student 2: Krysta was great as the course master, she asked a lot of good question and provided insight in areas of confusion or that lacked background from the presenters. She also initiated good discussion which introduced new perspectives that I had not previously thought of.

Student 3: Krysta would make an excellent course master. She gave helpful insight and she was very knowledgeable of the subject matter. She also asked good questions at the right time to drill the presenter and us similar to Dr. Schneider.

Student 4: I thought she did very well. She asked engaging questions like Schneider does and she was able to provide insights and clarifications to the topics.

Student 5: She did a splendid job moderator and asked insightful question—DAS better look out if he wants to keep his job.


Methods to characterize ribosome biogenesis defects.   2013

role: invited lecturer | course: Biochemistry and Structural Biology Methods  | Course master: David Schneider | 12 first year graduate students

Engel ribosome lecture eval eval of Engel ribosome lecture_Schneider


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