Engineering Teaching Consultants

Who are the Engineering Teaching Consultants?

The Engineering Teaching Consultants (ETCs) at the College of Engineering (CoE) are a group of experienced Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) who serve as consultants and teaching mentors to the rest of the GSI and IA population in the CoE. The ETCs at the CoE are centrally organized through the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and are trained and supervised by staff from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering (CRLT-Engin).

The ETC program in the CoE was founded on the belief that developing GSIs could benefit from the unique guidance, support, and experience that peer mentors provide. While all GSIs have access to mentoring from their advisors or other professors in their department, the peer mentor relationship provides a safe venue for the exploration of teaching strategies and discussion of teaching initiatives and issues. ETCs in the CoE are trained to mentor in a facilitative way, a model that appeals to their own sense of their role, and approaches the collegial style of supervision preferred by most GSIs. Additionally, the nature of the peer mentor-mentee interaction is such that it benefits both individuals and becomes a valuable learning experience for the ETCs as well.

Alyssa DeSimone

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering. My research focuses on studying the effect of temperature gradients in structural systems that develop during a fire. I have been a GSI for a variety undergraduate courses: CEE 303, Computational Methods for Scientists and Engineers; CEE 312, Structural Engineering; CEE 402, Professional Issues and Design. These courses have given me experience in developing course materials, leading lab sections, managing student group dynamics, guest lecturing, office hours, and grading. All classrooms are unique, and I am particularly interested in finding productive ways to incorporate the latest engineering education research into personal teaching styles.

Ashley Jian

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering. My research focuses on design, modeling, and fabrication of IIIOxide ultrawide bandgap materials and devices for high power applications. I have been a GSI for EECS 215 (Introduction to Electronic Circuits) here at UM, where I have designed and lead lab sessions, held office hours, and developed assignments. Additionally, I have taught courses on programming languages and signal processing at other institutions. I am excited to serve as an ETC and help GSIs and IAs to develop teaching philosophy and strategy.

Robert Loweth

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering. In the past, I’ve been an instructor for ME 489 (Sustainable Engineering and Design), ME 499/599 (FrontEnd Design), and ENGR 100 (Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering Design). In addition to my GSI experiences, I also work as a Graduate Facilitator for UM’s Center for Socially Engaged Design. My research explores engineering students’ perspectives on the nature of engineering work as well as the design practices that students employ as part of their curricular and co-curricular design projects. I am always happy to support GSIs and IAs in their teaching, so feel free to reach out if you have questions or would like to talk through your experiences.

Emily Sheetz

I am a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering. My research focuses on artificial intelligence and robotics, specifically how to improve robot manipulation through more advanced reasoning over actions and robust action execution. As an undergraduate at Monmouth College, I helped run computer science labs and served as the general computer science subject tutor. At the University of Michigan, I have served as a GSI for EECS492 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence and EECS203 Discrete Math, and I tutor undergraduate mathematics and computer science courses through the Academic Success Program. I believe STEM education needs to be more diverse and inclusive, specifically for underrepresented groups of students, in order to provide the best educational experience that allows students to succeed. We as student instructors can affect these positive changes for our students, and as an ETC, I am looking forward to providing support for GSIs so we can provide a better educational experience.

Hafiz Sheriff

I am currently a PhD student in the Applied Physics program at U-M with research focus in the area of Optoelectronic Components and Materials. Specifically, I work in the field of Organic Photovoltaics [stuffs that turn sunlight into electrical energy]. Teaching has always been my passion. I have taken the full ChE 580 course (also called ENGR 580) that covers all of the main aspects of dispensing tertiary STEM education and have served as a mentor for the Postgraduate Short Course on teaching. Previously, I taught a couple of undergraduate courses in physics, mathematics and chemistry at the University of Liberia. I am excited to serve as an ETC since I will have the chance to share a valuable mixture of the experiences I have gained here and the learning and teaching experiences I have had in Liberia – my country of origin. My past experiences provide me with some unique perspectives on STEM education that can become useful references to share as we all learn from each other in the effort to make STEM education better.

Andrea Ventola

I’m a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. My research focuses on image analysis techniques for various geotechnical engineering applications. I have been a GSI for CEE 345: Geotechnical Engineering, as well as a Peer Advisor for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). These two experiences have helped me gain a breadth of teaching and mentoring skills that I’m excited to pass onto other student instructors. I have experience designing and leading lectures and laboratory sections, holding office hours, grading, and creating assessment tools. Collaboration, inclusivity, and accessibility are always the core of my teaching.