CTL Graduate Fellow’s Reflections 2023-2024

Jacqueline, Katherine, Zoe, Nicole, Sophie and Emily reflection on their experiences as CTL Graduate Fellows this past semester and year.

CTL Fellowship Fosters Mentorships and Interdisciplinary Collaborations 

As the spring semester ends, the current six CTL Fellows reflect on the mentorship they received from the Educational Development Team at the CTL, co-mentorship received from other fellows, and the benefits of interdisciplinary discourses.  

Zoe Clapacs, Biomedical Engineering:  

Since the 2023 Fall semester I have grown immensely as an educator and a professional through the CTL graduate fellows program. During my year as a fellow I have had the opportunity to learn from incredible mentors like Lisa Kuehne, Sally WU and the rest of the CTL educational development team, asnd I have had the chance to collaborate with some of the most outstanding graduate educators as my peers. This experience has given me an intimate understanding of the operation of a center for teaching and learning at a top university and a deeper appreciation for the work that goes into creating an academic environment that supports outstanding education. I have grown as an educator and as a practitioner of the scholarship of teaching and learning, through developing the skills needed for qualitative methods research and for the writing and submission of an IRB proposal.  

The support of my peers has been instrumental in my development, I have found the graduate fellows team to truly be greater than the sum of its parts, bringing expertise from fields as varied as social work, data science and language, each fellow had contributed to my development as a teacher in ways I could not have done without their collaboration. 

I feel deeply grateful for the opportunity to work as a CTL educational development fellow over the past two semesters, and I am excited to see the program develop in the future. 



Jacqueline Garnett, Anthropology: 

Lisa Kuehne and Sally Wu, with their deep expertise and commitment, have been instrumental in my growth throughout this academic year. Through their constant support, I was given the freedom to explore my interests in educational technology and artificial intelligence–areas that are rapidly transforming the landscape of higher education. They helped me navigate the complexities of project design and implementation, and encouraged a reflective practice that was crucial for my personal and professional growth. I owe many of the accomplishments and growth that I have experienced this year to their unwavering support and guidance. 

Additionally, the co-mentorship from other fellows added a rich layer of peer learning to my experience. This unique form of mentorship, grounded in shared experiences and mutual goals, fostered a collaborative environment where we could exchange ideas and insights.  

Reflecting on the past year, the mentorship and collaborations at the CTL have been pivotal in broadening my perspective on educational development. As I continue in my career, I am grateful for the foundations laid during this fellowship and am excited to apply what I have learned here to future projects. 



Katherine Tilghman, Hispanic Studies: 

These past two semesters as a CTL fellow have been incredibly rewarding. Under the incredible mentorship and support of Lisa Kuehne, this fellowship has helped me develop a variety of professional and academic skills, and the opportunity to collaborate with such an interdisciplinary group of peers has helped me expand my perspective and consider how other disciplines’ ways of teaching and learning factor into the projects I’ve pursued with this fellowship.  

I have worked with CTL fellow Jacqueline Garnett, Sally Wu (while she was still at WashU’s CTL), Eric Fournier, and the WashU Libraries Scholarly Communications and Digital Publishing Services to develop an online repository for teaching activities using generative AI, an Open Scholarship repository where any WashU instructor can upload an activity and share how they’re using AI in the classroom with the WashU teaching community. Such a project would have been impossible without the support of such a wide range of coworkers and scholars, and I have every hope that the repository will grow to include many more activities across all of WashU’s disciplines.  

Additionally, I have been incredibly fortunate to collaborate with the pilot and planned launch of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Network for Inquiry, Teaching, and Engagement (IGNITE), a program for graduate students and postdocs who want to continue interdisciplinary peer feedback and pedagogical development beyond the EPiC program. I’ve wanted to create such a program since I joined the CTL as a fellow last fall, and thanks to guidance from Lisa, planning and feedback from Zoe, and the hard work, dedication and insights of Nicole and Emily, we were able to successfully pilot IGNITE this semester and plan to launch it in the fall. The success of IGNITE so far is a testament to how much graduate students and postdocs value interdisciplinary connection, and nothing feels more appropriate for this fellowship than to foster collaborations like these.  

Finally, I cannot thank Lisa Kuehne enough for all her unbelievably hard work running the graduate fellowship program, and I am also eternally grateful to Sally Wu for starting this program and being so influential for how it’s grown in its initial stages. 



Nicole Strombom, Public Health Sciences:  

I joined the CTL Fellows this spring and have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the insights of the CTL’s Educational Development Team. Lisa Kuehne provides a welcoming environment during Fellows’ meetings, offers useful feedback that is actionable for the projects we are working on, and is supportive of the work we are doing to enhance CTL programming. I am grateful for Sally Wu and Lisa Kuehne’s guidance and mentorship.  

Additionally, I was able to help cofacilitate the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Seminar with Rick Moore, Lisa Kuehne, and Elina Salminen. Through this, I learned about the passion our Educational Development team has for enhancing evidence-based learning. Further, my fellow Fellows, from diverse disciplines, have been a pleasure to work and learn besides this semester. I gained great insights into seeing academia and areas of learning from new perspectives; for instance, I learned that some disciplines utilize class spaces in a very different way than I am used to because of the nature of the learning outcomes the discipline is trying to achieve. I have enjoyed our collaborative efforts. I look forward to continuing to serve as a CTL Fellow in the fall.  




Sophie Su, Psychology and Brain Sciences: 

This spring fellowship has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m particularly grateful to Lisa and Sally for their warm welcome. Despite having limited prior knowledge of the CTL, they introduced me to valuable collaborations, such as the work with the Classroom Services team. This allowed me to apply my data analysis skills in diverse and impactful settings. 

I’m also thankful for Rick and Lisa’s constant feedback throughout my LLM for survey response project. Their insightful and constructive critiques, along with their thought-provoking questions, not only helped me complete my analysis efficiently but also significantly contributed to my growth as a researcher. 

Finally, my fellow CTL peers deserve immense recognition. Their willingness to offer insightful feedback on various aspects of my work, both through accountability partnerships and written reviews, has been invaluable. Their support created a truly enriching learning environment. 



Emily Thompson, Mark S. Weil and Joan Hall-Weil Professional Development Fellow, Art History: 

Starting in January of this year I began my six-month fellowship with the CTL working with the Educational Development Team. This full-time position has been generously funded by the Weil family and supported by my home department, Art History and Archaeology. Coming into the fellowship as a full-time member of the EdDev Team has been a truly rewarding experience. From my first day the entire team, Eric Fournier, Sally Wu, Lisa Kuehne, Rick Moore, Denise Leonard, and Elina Salminen have made me feel welcome and as a colleague despite my position being temporary. Throughout the semester I have worked with them all to develop resources and workshops, discuss new CTL innovations, facilitate graduate student and postdoc communities, and so much more. I have been blown away by their generosity of spirit and time as I learned the ins and outs of CTL life and I am constantly impressed by their commitment to working with WashU instructors in all stages of their teaching journey.  

I am also grateful for the mentorship I received from Meg Gregory, who helped facilitate this opportunity for me, and Sally for her guidance as I transitioned into this new role. In the last few weeks, I have been graciously mentored by Lisa, who has been instrumental in my continued professional development. Moreover, my fellowship experience has been immensely enriched by collaborating with the other CTL Graduate Fellows. Throughout this experience they all have provided me with invaluable insights and skills. Working alongside the talented staff and graduate students at CTL has been incredibly rewarding, fostering both personal and professional growth. It has truly been a pleasure to see the many ways they share their teaching philosophy, values, and excitement with WashU instructors.  

I am excited to continue in my position here at the CTL until the end of June!