The Center for Teaching and Learning is featuring profiles on new staff members so the WashU community can learn more about our team. This week, we’re featuring Sally Wu, assistant director of Educational Technology. You can also read more about Sally here.
What are your responsibilities at The Center for Teaching and Learning?
I work with faculty, postdocs, and graduate students on effective and innovative uses of technology that advance teaching and learning at Washington University. Specifically, I provide training, consultations, and pedagogic support for the use of the university-supported Ed Tech tools and advise instructors and departments on pedagogical uses of educational technologies in and out of WashU classrooms.
What drew you to the position?
This position is unique in that it focuses on teaching and learning with educational technologies, rather than on the support and implementation of educational technologies itself. It aligns with my background, which is also similarly unique in that I have researched, consulted with, and supported faculty on the use of technologies without necessarily designing and implementing the technologies myself.
What are you looking forward to as an assistant director of Educational Development at the CTL?
I’m looking forward to working with faculty, graduate students, postdocs, undergraduates, and departments on educational technologies. I am excited to learn from them and work together on ways to support their teaching, learning, and professional development goals. I am also looking forward to collaborating with others in the CTL, most of whom I have only met virtually thus far, but all have been welcoming, fun to talk to, and have done amazing work that contributes to instructor and student success at WashU.
What is your education and work background? How did it prepare you for this role?
My earliest jobs in education involved conducting observations of professors’ classes as a student consultant and serving as a technology aide in an undergraduate Education course. Since then, I have worked with instructors and students of all ages as a tutor, consultant, teacher, mentor, researcher, and program director, where technology plays a central role in student learning. In this work, I take a capacity building approach where I provide tools, resources, and coaching on effective practices on teaching and learning that can be customized, iterated, and scaled to other classrooms. These experiences, combined with my PhD in Learning Sciences, prepare me to provide evidence-based, personalized support for instructors on curriculum and pedagogy with educational technologies.
What is your favorite place to eat in St. Louis?
I have only made a few trips to St. Louis because I am starting this position remotely. So far, I have only explored the most well-known and unique St. Louis food options and loved them all! Particularly, I loved Imo’s pizza and Gus’ Pretzels. I am a foodie, so come back to me in a few months and I’ll have a longer list!
What are some of your favorite St. Louis destinations?
Forest Park is definitely a place I love to walk through and explore. In addition, I like to visit little quiet, quaint places, like Turtle Park. There is a large turtle named Sally! I also enjoyed exploring the shops in Dogtown and people-watching while eating ice cream in the small gazebo in the middle of the town.
What is a fun fact about you?
My hidden talent is that I can mirror write in cursive (writing that can be read correctly in a mirror). I learned it in the fourth grade because it was a key to solving cases in children’s mystery novels. When we switched to Zoom, I thought it would be useful for once, but alas Zoom mirrors your screen through its technology, so I’ll have to find another use for this talent!