Texas Tech University

New Teaching Academy Members

Julie Chang

Julie Chang

My inspiration for teaching is my students and my passion in the field of fashion and retail. I truly enjoy mentoring my students to find what they love to do and supporting them to navigate their journeys. I am happy when I can provide them with the skills necessary to succeed not just in their professional pursuits, but also in their personal growth. Thus, my teaching goal is to help my students discover knowledge for themselves and be confident, yet humble for what they are learning.

Jenny Dees

Jenny Dees

“One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
This sums up my teaching philosophy. As a teacher educator, creating and fostering a safe environment which values all learners is something I strive to achieve. These safe spaces allow future educators to develop their own teacher identities and ‘voices.' Humans whether two years old or twenty-two years old can be motivated learners when a playground is set for them to find and strengthen creative and meaningful connections.

Jeffrey Harper

Jeffrey Harper

I find myself drawn to the challenge of teaching some of the Rawls college's large lecture introduction to marketing courses, which are often courses that students are not initially excited about, but are required to take before moving forward in their academic career. I strive to engage students in creative ways to enjoy learning and to take accountability and ownership of their own education. I am humbled by the opportunity to inspire students to be their best and perform at their best, and by being an active partner in building the foundation for their future, helping them achieve their own academic, professional and personal goals.

Breanna Harris

Breanna Harris

Biology is fun, engaging, exciting, and relevant to our lives. As an educator, I want to help my students get excited about science, about using the scientific method and critical thinking, and about appreciating evolution and the shared ancestry of life on earth. I strongly believe that teaching, especially engaging, active teaching, is paramount for the success and reputation of a university, thus I want to do my part to make TTU an exceptional place.

Matthew Hart

Matthew Hart

Over the course of each semester, I am motivated and inspired by developing camaraderie with the students I teach. As we cultivate a positive learning environment together, I enjoy the challenge of making the material interesting and even fun for the students. Ultimately, I find great satisfaction in seeing students put forth great effort to master the material and achieve the confidence that comes with their newfound expertise.

Carla Lacerda

Carla Lacerda

Past great teachers of mine have helped mold the person and professional that I am today. Based on that sentiment I want to play a similar role for my students, being their ally, advocate, and role model during their academic careers. When students graduate, what they take with them is knowledge, but also a piece of us that inspired them to become successful professionals. Teaching always comes full circle.

Mellinee Lesley

Mellinee Lesley

Teaching is learning. It is shaped by that moment when you dare to ask, "What else is there?" and are pulled deeper into the realm of possibilities. Safeguarding the potential of all students to learn is equally important. Classrooms are a site for social justice where students cultivate their intellectual voice and imagine making a powerful contribution to the world. These ideals are at the core of my instruction and inspire me to teach.

Stephanie Lockwood

Stephanie Lockwood

Opening students' eyes to the beauty of the natural world around them inspires me to teach. I want to make biology accessible and enjoyable to everyone, especially students who may think they do not like biology. With a solid foundation students can evaluate scientific ideas and formulate their own points of view and make knowledgeable, healthy, and environmentally sound decisions.

Michael Mayer

Michael Mayer

I'm fascinated by what we are made of, the way we work, and how we have come to understand such things. To gain understanding is to become empowered. In others I find the same fascination and desire to understand, nascent and outright. Thus, in turn, I love to stoke fascination and I love the vicarious thrill of helping others through their own struggles to grasp insight, gain understanding (both broad and deep) and attain empowerment.

Sylvia Niehuis

Sylvia Niehuis

I feel honored to share with students some of the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years. The topic of dating, courtship, and marriage – which forms the bulk of my teaching and research – has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Back when I was a college student in Germany, I was thrilled to learn that one could make a career out of studying and teaching about romantic relationships. I feel inspired by what I learn from students (from whom I often find out the latest dating trends!) and by how my studies of dating and newlywed couples, in turn, inform students.

Walter Smith

Walter Smith

The Enlightenment lives today and continues to make the world a better place. I have great faith that humans can improve their individual and collective lot. I hope my teaching can add to the knowledge, skills and dispositions of my students to strive for a better life for themselves and families but more importantly for all of humankind.

Blair Williams

Blair Williams

I am inspired by my students, my colleagues, my former teachers, and my family who together guide my life's journey. I am humbled to "stand on the shoulders of giants" and to lift up my own students, knowing that our time together is just a small part of the greater impact they will make on this world. I know their contributions will not only be through music and education, but as leaders and cultivators of our society's futures.

 

 

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