Teaching is one of my greatest joys. I love being in the classroom and working one-on-one to mentor undergraduate students. At the University of California, San Diego, I earned TA Excellence Awards during both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. I was also a recipient of the university-wide Barbara and Paul Saltman Excellent Teaching Award in 2019.

In all of my roles as an educator, I have two overarching goals. I seek to actively engage students in the “big” and policy relevant questions of the day and to equip them with crucial skills in synthesizing information, confronting conventional wisdom, and persuasively communicating viewpoints. The important questions don’t have easy or correct answers; instead, they require curiosity, creativity and the ability to communicate across disciplines.   I weave my philosophy of grounding strong communication skills in engagement with contemporary issues into all aspects of my teaching.

This philosophy is not limited just to the classroom, but also applies to my own development as an instructor. Through my experience as a graduate researcher at UCSD's Engaged Teaching Hub, I’ve come to realize that the best practices in teaching are continuously evolving and highly context and personality driven. With the Engaged Teaching Hub, I have been exposed to a multitude of strategies for engagement, assessment and evaluation that have not only improved my own teaching, but have also allowed me to provide feedback and enhance the teaching of others. I have also conducted Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research, focusing on the incorporation of student interests. My work has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Transformative Learning and The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education. I am currently working on two additional SoTL projects to (1) better teach economic concepts in political science classrooms and (2) develop podcast assignments.

Below, I provide my teaching materials, evaluations  and SoTL projects.

Course materials



Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

A detailed summary of my teaching evaluations are available here. Full, unedited evaluations are also available.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 

Hemans, P., Gluckman, M., Ferry, L. & Hargis, J. (2018). Reflective Teaching: What Instructional Assistant Reflection Can Inform us about Transformation in Higher Education. Forthcoming, Journal of Transformative Learning

Abstract: This study discusses the transformation and challenges of Instructional Assistants (IAs) as they engaged in a quarter long professional development (PD) course concurrent with their first teaching experience. Universities have responded to the need to prepare these future instructors for the demands of teaching in higher education in diverse ways. However, past research has not focused specifically on IAs’ perspectives on these institutional offerings of PD. This study addresses this gap in the literature by carefully examining the views of IAs participating in an eight week, non-credit bearing course offered by the institutional Center for Teaching. We detail the action research case studies of three IA participants engaging in the first offering of this “Survival Skills for IAs” course. The participants engaged in multiple levels of guided reflection during the course, providing insight to their transformation, mainly as it relates to self-efficacy and sense of community with the other participants. Barriers to transformation from the perspectives of the IAs are also addressed, with implications for generating solutions to address challenges IAs face as new instructors in higher education settings.

Ferry, L., Gluckman, M., Hargis J. (2019). On the Spot Adjustments to Student Interests. Online Journal of New Horizons in Education, 9(1), 63-69.

Abstract: This study uses a new methodological technique to evaluate how instructors in a quarter long professional development course designed for new instructional assistants (IAs) modified their lesson plans in response to revealed student interests. Ethnographic data collection revealed to researchers that there was significant variation in student interests across course subjects. It also revealed that the instructors leading the professional development program made numerous adjustments to their original plans -- some of these adjustments occuring within the same class period. This paper builds on these insights to demonstrate that instructors respond to both implicit and explicit student cues about what students are interested in and engage with. It further provides a typology of potential instructor reactions. When students reveal their interests, instructors can choose (1) not to modify; (2) to change their examples to those that students will find relevant; (3) to reallocate their agenda for the class; or (4) to incorporate student interests into future lesson plans. This work seeks both to broaden the literature to incorporate new techniques for collecting student information and to encourage future work about how instructors use this information.