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Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

TAR Impact


What our previous TAR Fellows have to say about the program:

PhD students in the STEM field are often not afforded the opportunity to explore teaching. Participating in CIRTL gave me an insight from the professor's point of view, including major areas that need to be improved in order to better support students early on in their studies. I  strongly encourage graduate students to take advantage of any courses, workshops or seminars offered by CIRTL, whether you are interested in teaching or not, as CIRTL is also a great source of networking. - Letitia Jones, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

My CIRTL mentors have welcomed me into a learning community to understanding the influence of teaching practices on student outcomes. As I prepare to enter the academic job market, it will be important to illustrate the ways in which I stand apart from my peers. My work with CIRTL and the Teaching-As-Research (TAR) Fellowship will serve as a means for me to demonstrate my distinctiveness. I will be able to articulate the ways in which my TAR project represent my commitment to teaching and how I have sought to understand more about the profession. - Mechelle Sanders, Department of Public Health Sciences

The TAR project helped me to determine what career path I should pursue. I was both interested in research and industry, but after conducting research in engineering education, I further confirmed that academics is my future. - Alexander Kotelsky, Department of Biomedical Engineering

When I first heard about CIRTL I thought it might be helpful. But it turned out to be a life-changer. - Murat Guner, Department of Mathematics

My participation in CIRTL as a TAR Fellow has allowed me to explore additional educational experiences that I would not have had in my graduate program. It has also been a large selling point as I go on job interviews and helps me stand out from other post-doctoral candidates.The mentors in CIRTL are amazing and truly want the best for me, both personally and professionally. I highly recommend participating in CIRTL programming for any graduate student! - Heather McGrane-Minton, Department of Public Health Sciences

The CIRTL TAR Fellowship Program afforded me the unique opportunity to explore learning in higher education from a research perspective. I enjoyed investigating how social interactions (ie: via social media) might influence the level to which students perform in a college level science course. We found a number of great interesting preliminary results that suggest that social interactions may impact academic performance in college-level science courses. Even though I was only able to gather preliminary results, I look forward to learning how other groups will define how social interactions influence students' learning in higher education. - Lesley Chapman, Translational Medical Science

CIRTL, and the TAR Fellow program in particular, has been a unique opportunity to blend my passion for teaching with my research interests. The networking and collaboration opportunities afforded by the TAR program have greatly facilitated my research project and the potential impact it can have within the education literature. - Brett Peters, Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology

Involvement with CIRTL as a Teaching-As-Research Fellow provided us with the resources, network, and support to study how re-appraising pre-exam stress may influence students' learning outcomes engagement in STEM classes. - David de Jong, Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology

As doctoral students, we do not receive any formal training in teaching. As a TAR Fellow, I was exposed to many different teaching philosophies and tools that I would never otherwise had exposure to, all while applying this new knowledge in a research setting. - Annalynn Williams, Division of Epidemiology

As a Teaching-As-Research (TAR) Fellow, not only was I given support to conduct educational research, but I enjoyed working with the ever-encouraging CIRTL staff. I was also able to present my TAR research findings at the first annual Teaching-As-Research Conference at Cornell. Attendance at this and other CIRTL-sponsored conferences provided me a professional forum to share my work, to network, and to learn about other relevant research. Overall, I had an excellent experience as a TAR Fellow and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in conducting research on teaching and learning. - Emily Hangen, Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology

As a TAR Fellow, I gained an experience unlike any other during graduate school. Too often, research and teaching are thought of as mutually exclusive. This is not the case, and the TAR Fellow program allows budding researchers to more fully realize the potential impact a focus on education can have. I found that I can be actively involved in researching an education topic that is truly dear to me and implement my findings directly in the classroom--not many graduate students are lucky enough to realize this! The practical experience gained from my time as a TAR Fellow has been instrumental now as I am in the early years of my career as a professor. Because of the TAR Fellow program, I found a new interest in academia and gained the experience to make my dream a reality. - Joe Ciminelli, Statistics