Virginia

Pull quote from Virginia: "As a new faculty member, I will be teaching two intro-level courses and anticipate drawing heavily on my experiences in Delta..."

CURRENT POSITION:
Assistant Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Breeding and Genetics Section at Cornell University

UW-MADISON CAREER:
Ph.D., Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics
M.S., Agroecology and Agricultural & Applied Economics

DELTA INTERNSHIP PROJECT:
“Inquiry-Based Learning in Introductory Agronomy”

What motivated you to start participating in Delta?
I knew I was interested in teaching, but the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences does not have many paid TA positions, and Delta seemed like a great way to learn more.

How did Delta prepare for the job market?
As a participant in several Delta courses and workshops, I developed teaching, mentoring, and diversity statements. I also consulted with a Delta affiliate during the development of my teaching demo.

How did Delta help you become a more effective and evidence-based educator?
I conducted a teaching-as-research (TAR) internship project, and used tools and approaches I learned in Delta programming to update curricula for three courses I TA’d.

What specific skills from the Delta Program do you use in your current role?
As a postdoc, I did not have teaching responsibilities, but have mentored technicians and undergraduates. The Mentoring and Teaching for a Diverse Nation courses in particular helped me to better understand and address communication challenges with my mentees. As a new faculty member, I will be teaching two intro-level courses and anticipate drawing heavily on my experiences in Delta, especially with backward design and inquiry-based learning approaches I explored in my TAR project.

How did Delta help you become a more inclusive teacher?
I participated in the Delta’s Educating a Diverse Nation and mentorship courses, through which I developed more inclusive teaching and mentoring philosophies and identified concrete tools and approaches to increase inclusivity.

How did Delta help you become a better mentor and advisor?
I was involved in the mentorship course as a participant and then as a facilitator. This course directly informed the approaches I took when resolving mentoring challenges in my subsequent role.