Polich named Knaphus Fellowship Recipient

January 20, 2016

Ph.D. candidate, Rebecca Polich, was recently named the recipient of the George Knaphus Fellowship for 2016.

The George Knaphus College Teaching Fellowship provides an opportunity for graduate students to teach Introductory Biology (BIOL 101) for non-majors. For about two hours a day, every weekday for a month, the fellow lectures, administers activities, and conducts learning assessments. All the materials are of the fellow’s own design and provide 20-30 undergraduates with a general understanding of biology.

The students that take the course range from incoming freshmen to graduating seniors majoring in diverse fields such as business, engineering, exercise science, or performing arts. Thus, the experience can be quite a challenge for the fellows. However, the fellow is not alone on this venture.

Since 2001, Dr. Jim Colbert has mentored 12 Knaphus fellows. Prior to the beginning of the course, Dr. Colbert meets with the fellow once a week to discuss aspects of pedagogy, such as lecture planning and instructor and student responsibilities.

The mentoring Dr. Colbert provides is what makes the Knaphus Fellowship unique and noteworthy. While graduate students have many opportunities for teaching, very few garner this level of feedback on the effectiveness of their teaching efforts.