Teaching Experience


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

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

  •    Even though the class was very large, Dr. Biga instituted group work to help facilitate problem solving, teamwork, and retention of information.
  •    I helped the students if they had questions during these group activities.
  •    I also held a study help session weekly and prepared materials to go over during these study sessions.
  •    My views align with Dr. Biga’s and I agree that group based problem solving is a real life skill that should be fostered, and that critical thinking exercises performed in a group broadens everyone’s perspective and furthers each individual’s propensity to transfer the information to novel settings.

Research Mentor:

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

role: Mentor | PI: Dr. David Schneider

  •    Guided Theo on a daily basis and helped him in the areas of forming hypotheses, experimental design, experimental technique and theory, and interpretation of results. Experiments included western blots, yeast cell culture, standard yeast cloning, plasmid construction, and oligo design.
  •    I also informed him of background information using a very informal discussion style. These sessions included sketching out ideas, introductions to specific primary literature, and showing examples of my previous work.


Alireza Khodadadi, PhD; a bioinformatician. July –Aug 2013 | PI: Dr. David Schneider

  •    I mentored and collaborated with Alireza to perform a novel type of analysis on RNA-seq data. My expertise is molecular biology and general transcription, while Alireza was a skilled programmer and had experience analyzing next generation DNA sequence data. We worked closely on a daily basis for 2 months to help each other understand the separate fields. These two different perspectives were essential to the project and we learned very much from each other.


Buhmika Patel, undergraduate. 2012-2013 | PI: Dr. David Schneider

  •    Buhmika was an undergraduate pre-med student. I helped her form and understand hypotheses, design experiments, and experimental technique and theory.
  •    I also offered advice concerning career choice, application preparation, and how to navigate the stresses of being a college student.


Guest Lecturer/Moderator:

RNA Biology. Feb 2013

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

  •    David requested that I fill in for him to moderate the course due to his absence. The course design consisted of the students researching and presenting a 1 hour seminar on specific topics related to RNA biology. The topics were ‘snoRNA’ and ‘RNA-seq’ the day I moderated.
  •    My responsibilities included generating and enriching discussion, asking the speakers questions, giving insight to the students, and evaluating the speakers to report back to David.


Methods to characterize ribosome biogenesis defects.   2013

role: invited lecturer | course: Biochemistry and Structural Biology Methods  | Course master: David Schneider | 8, First year graduate students

  •    My responsibilities included designing and preparing for the lecture. The class was composed of 12 first year graduate students.


Spt6 is Essential for rRNA Synthesis. 2013

role: guest seminar speaker | Oakwood University, Huntsville, AL. | 25 undergraduates

  •    Oakwood University holds seminars in which graduate students, post docs, or faculty members are given the opportunity to share their research with the undergraduate science majors. The goal is to give the students insight into what it means to do research and hopefully get them excited about potential career options in the sciences. About 25 undergraduate students attended.


Putnam, AL 7th graders. Sep 2013-Dec 2013

  •    I mentored a group of seven 7th grade students at Putnam middle school in Birmingham, AL to prepare them for the science fair. I visited the school once per week for two hours each visit. The children I worked with were from an underprivileged background and did not have easy access to many resources; such as a comprehensive library, up to date textbooks, and a manageable student to teacher ratio. I helped the students understand the scientific method, form hypotheses, test the hypotheses, interpret results, and develop conclusions.
  •    I also provided general instruction concerning topics related to their projects. I also set aside time to teach them skills such as how to look up books in a library and how to write references.
  •    The children successfully completed their projects and presented them at the schools’ science fair.
  •    This was a very challenging experience. Through this mentorship opportunity, I learned how much I cared about each individual person.


Lily, 7th grader. Aug 2005-May 2006

  •    Lily was a 7th grade homeschooled student who was struggling in mathematics. Her parents went through the high school administration and sought out a tutor and the counselor directed them towards me.
  •    As her parents requested, I met with Lily 1-2 times per week.
  •    Lessons were taken from workbooks and textbooks and included fractions, decimals, percents, negative numbers, measurements, scientific notation, and introductions to geometry.
  •    I assigned her homework, graded it, and determined which ideas were the most challenging to provide further instruction on the difficult topics.
  •    In the end I was able to successfully prepare her to pass Louisiana state’s required standardized test (LEAP test).



6th grade girls’ pee-wee basketball team. June- August 2004

  •    I had the wonderful opportunity to coach a girls’ pee wee basketball team. The group was composed of 7 girls. We held practices 3 times per week and competed in pee wee games and tournaments.
  •    I taught the girls that the record or score is not what was important, rather team work and respect for each other was of utmost importance.
  •    At the end of the season, they surprised me and all signed a basketball and gave it to me as a gift.


teaching experience_Engel


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