Teaching

I summarize my teaching philosophy as “rigor with support.” I expect vigorous effort and extremely high-quality work from my students, and I do all I can to help students meet these high expectations.

Courses Taught

“Effective Speech”
    • I spent the majority of my time as a teacher working with students in “the basic public speaking course,” teaching it almost 30 times. As at many universities, this course is a graduation requirement. Therefore, I had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of students. My classes contained students from almost every major and from every grade.
    • I am dedicated to instructing students in this important (and so often feared) life skill. Watching my students overcome their fears and accomplish their goals over the course of the term is very rewarding.
    • I also served as the Assistant Director of the Basic Course in Penn State’s Communication Arts & Sciences Department for the 2015-16 school year. My top achievement was running and expanding the Semi-Annual Public Speaking Contest. I also assisted the Director in overseeing the 80+ sections of speech each semester. Additionally, I worked with Information Technology Services to create a website for the Contest.

“Message Analysis”
    • I served as the instructor of record for one section of “Message Analysis,” an introductory rhetorical criticism course. Students learned how to analyze texts using various critical methods. As the sister-course for “Effective Speech,” students also learn the basics of public speaking (learn more here).

“Persuasion and Propaganda”
    • I was the teaching assistant to two different instructors of this course before becoming the instructor of record three times.
    • As a TA, I learned how to work within a “chain of command” and how to norm work standards within a team environment.
    • As the instructor of record, I performed a major update on the course. The students now begin by learning the theories behind persuasive and propagandistic messages. Then, they apply these principles to case studies. Each case study combines historical and contemporary events to pursue the thesis that “the ‘what’ doesn’t change, but the ‘how’ sure does.”

“Speechwriting”
    • My role in this course was a combination of auditing and informal Teaching Assisting. “Speechwriting” improved the way I teach the speech drafting process in “Effective Speech” and how I assist others in public speaking when called upon for advice and instruction.

Sample syllabus documents available upon request.

Student Testimonials

  • You have been such an amazing teacher and that is one of the main reasons as to why I wanted to perform so well on my speeches. I knew the standards you held us to and I always wanted to try and either meet those standards or surpass them. You made this class that could have been quite a drag into one that was engaging every single day. You have made us all more confident speakers and I could never thank you enough for that, Dr. C.”

 

  • “I think Dr. C was an outstanding teacher who was easily relatable and approachable, qualities that unfortunately are forgotten or missing with more professors on campus than you would expect.”

 

  • “The instructor really wanted the students to succeed. This was not an easy course by any means but the instructor was fair in her grading and her end-goal was always student improvement. I feel nearly every student improved in their public speaking abilities and there were so many opportunities to help deal with these issues. She truly worked hard to help the students and it was very clear by the end of the course that she did so with great success.”

 

For more information on my teaching and scholarship, see my Penn State CAS “On the Market” profile. Check out this link to see or download my CV.