GSUTD 2023 Program

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GSUTD 2023 Program at a Glance

Download the Schedule at a Glance Program
Please find session descriptions below

Pre: GSUTD - Wednesday August 23rd


Peter Clark Hall Centre Room

1:00 - 2:30 PM Networking Activity
Personality Dimensions Workshop®

2:30 - 2:45 PM

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Experienced TA Panel


GSUTD - Thursday August 24th

Time Peter Clark Hall Centre Room
8:45 AM - 9:00 AM Welcome, Opening &
Land Acknowledgment
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Spotlight Speakers
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break
  New TA's
(A: Peter Clark Hall Wing A)
Returning TA's
(B: Peter Clark Hall Wing B)
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 1A - New to TAing? We’ve Got You 1B - Engagement Strategies for
Student Motivation
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM 2A - Facilitating Discussions 2B - Learning From and About
Your Students
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM  3A - Grading and Feedback

3B - Active Learning Strategies
(syncronously Zoom)

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM Break 
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM How NOT to Teach


GSUTD 2023 Session Descriptions

Networking Activity • Day 1 • 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Title: Personality Dimensions®

Facilitator: Janet Wolstenholme

Personality Dimensions is about understanding yourself and others so you can be more effective in your relationships, your work … your life.
Everyone is different … we come in all varieties and understanding our own values, strengths, joys and stressors and those of everyone we interact with provides a great foundation for communication. Knowing some of the ways people are different assures us that we are okay in our own uniqueness and that we aren’t alone in some of our idiosyncrasies. 

These workshops are divided into two streams, stream A for new Teaching Assistants (TAs) and stream B for TAs with previous teaching experience; although, you are welcome to attend any workshop you like. The workshops are designed to be highly interactive, engaging all participants in different activities to help promote learning. They will also provide many opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration and discussion.  

Session 1A • Day 2 • 10:30 – 11:30 AM

Title: New to TAing? We’ve Got You!

Facilitator: Shehroze Saharan

It is always exciting when you are offered your first teaching assistantship, but as the first day of classes comes closer and closer, you may be feeling nervous about teaching for the first time. This workshop is designed to guide you through some introductory ideas about what to do on your first day of class, so you start the semester off on the right foot. We will be discussing how to introduce yourself to your class, how to set classroom expectations and boundaries, and will be providing some information about your responsibilities as a teaching assistant.

Learning Outcomes - by the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Develop an introduction to deliver at the beginning of the semester to confidently introduce themselves to students in the class
  • Identify a set of appropriate classroom expectations and norms to implement
  • Describe the role of a teaching assistant

 Session 2A • Day 2 • 11:30 – 12:30 PM

Title: Facilitating Discussions

Facilitator: Christopher Laursen

This workshop will explore topics on how to effectively engage learners in discussions, encourage equal participation, and deal with challenging scenarios that may arise during discussions. You’ll gain strategies to facilitate discussions in inclusive ways that empowers both you and students to get the most of out them.

Learning Outcomes - by the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe strategies to effectively lead and facilitate discussions and to engage your students in discussions
  • List ways to encourage participation and to deal with difficult scenarios that may arise when leading and facilitating discussions 

Session 3A • Day 2 • 1:30 – 2:30 PM

Title: Grading and Feedback

Facilitator: Brandon Sabourin

Wondering how to grade students’ assignments fairly and efficiently? Curious about how to provide effective feedback that helps your students learn? This workshop will address general grading and feedback tips for new TAs and the benefits of using rubrics or grading schemes. The strategies described in this workshop will prepare you to grade a variety of assignments, including lab reports, essays, and questions on midterms or exams.

Learning Outcomes - by the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Use a rubric to grade a sample assignment and explain the importance of using rubrics
  • Describe effective grading and feedback practices that can be applied to different types of assignments 

These workshops are divided into two streams, stream A for new Teaching Assistants (TAs) and stream B for TAs with previous teaching experience; although, you are welcome to attend any workshop you like. The workshops are designed to be highly interactive, engaging all participants in different activities to help promote learning. They will also provide many opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration and discussion.  

Session 1B • Day 2 • 10:30 – 11:30 AM

Title: Engagement Strategies for Student Motivation

Facilitator: Aron Fazekas

What motivates our students? In this session, we will have an active discussion about what motivates us to learn. After learning about four key principles of motivation, we will identify how various teaching approaches affect motivation and explore strategies to support student motivation in our own teaching. 

Learning Outcomes - by the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define motivation and identify four key principles of motivation 
  • Identify how various teaching approaches affect motivation using the four key principles 
  • Explore strategies to support student motivation in your teaching 

 Session 2B • Day 2 • 11:30 – 12:30 PM

Title: Learning About and From Your Students

Facilitator: Jenn Reniers

Classrooms work best with a two-way feedback cycle in which students learn from the instructor and the instructor learns from the students. As an instructor, using this continuous feedback loop allows you to show genuine interest in your students and helps to continuously improve your teaching practice. Learning About and From Your Students will introduce participants to three of the fundamental building blocks of this instructor-student feedback cycle: diagnostic assessments, student feedback, and professional self- reflection. Through activities and demonstrations, participants will develop the basic skills needed to begin implementing these ideas the next time they teach.

Learning Outcomes - by the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how to implement diagnostic assessment tools to evaluate their students’ understanding before, during, and after a lesson 
  • Create or adapt tools to collect student feedback to better understand how their teaching style(s) impact student learning 
  • Articulate the importance of regular, critical self-reflection to improve one’s teaching practice and identify strengths/areas for improvement 

Session 3B • Day 2 • 1:30 – 2:30 PM

Title: Active Learning Strategies

Facilitator: Christie Stewart

Please note: This session will be delivered online via Zoom

Are you looking to enhance your lessons and create engaging learning experiences for your learners? This interactive workshop is designed to equip you with multiple teaching strategies to promote active learning in your lessons that will transform your role as a teaching assistant and inspire you to create dynamic learning environments. You will be able to adapt and use these strategies any course delivery mode. Participants can look forward to filling their teaching toolkits with plenty of resources to engage in beyond this session!

Learning Outcomes - by the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define active learning
  • Identify the importance and effectiveness of active learning 
  • Describe several active learning strategies
  • Explain how to incorporate active learning strategies into your lessons

The plenary talks will allow participants to hear from a wide range of engaging speakers. This includes our Spotlight Speaker Series, Experienced TA Panel, Microteaching Masters, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. 

Panel • Day 1 • 2:45 – 4:00 PM

Title: Experienced TA Panel

Panelists: Shehroze Saharan, Latasha Ludwig, Todd Martin, and Marciane Any

This panel will feature four experienced TAs from departments across campus. They will be answering your questions about TAing!


A photograph of Shehroze Saharan

Shehroze Saharan

Information Science 
Faculty of Information (UofT)

Shehroze Saharan is the Educational Resource Developer at the Office of Teaching & Learning. In his current role, he leads digital pedagogy, information management, educational resource development, website creation, knowledge mobilization, and communication to enhance teaching and learning. He previously contributed to Harvard Medical School's "The Blood Project" as an E-Learning & Instructional Design Developer.

With experience as a Teaching Assistant for 5 courses, Shehroze holds a Bio-Medical Science degree with a Minor in Media Studies & Cinema from the University of Guelph. He pursued a Master of Information at the University of Toronto, specializing in Information System Design and Knowledge Management. Passionate about education and technology, Shehroze aims to impact learning and development. Committed to continuous learning, he merges technology and pedagogy to create impactful learning resources.

A photograph of Latasha Ludwig

Latasha Ludwig 

Department of Pathobiology

Latasha is currently a PhD candidate in anatomic pathology in the Department of Pathobiology and she is studying for her final phase of board examinations with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Her research focuses on biomarkers and the genomics of canine and feline cancers. She has been at the University of Guelph for many years, beginning with her undergraduate studies and completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in 2019. She has held a Vanier Canadian Graduate Scholarship and OVC Fellowship, as well as has been honoured to receive multiple OVC in-program graduate student awards during her PhD. Latasha is enthusiastic about teaching in both undergraduate courses and in the research lab, mentoring multiple students. She has TA’d extensively for both undergraduate and DVM program courses since 2019, including the Veterinary Anatomy course where she will now be a sessional lecturer for 2023-2024. Her teaching assistant experience is diverse, including grading, moderating small group sessions, and providing assistance in large dissection laboratories. She hopes to continue to pursue a career in academia to continue teaching, diagnostic pathology, and research as she completes her PhD.

A photograph of Todd Martin

Todd Martin

School of English & Theatre Studies

Todd Martin completed his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He then went on to complete both his Bachelor of Education and Master of Education at the same school. During his Master of Education program, he also acquired a Graduate Diploma in Post-Secondary Education: Community, Culture and Policy.

Outside of school, Todd has acted and directed for many performing arts companies in Toronto and York Region. He has directed youth-oriented shows for such theatre companies as Markham Youth Theatre, the York-Durham Academy for the Performing Arts, the Stouffville Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, as well as TorGame.

In June of this year, Todd became a PhD Candidate after passing his qualifying exams. His research at the University of Guelph examines the intersections of Disability, Performance, and Education.

A photograph of Marciane Any

Marciane Any

Family Relations & Applied Nutrition

Hi everyone! My name is Marciane Any and I'm an international student from the US. I have been a graduate teaching assistant for three semesters helping with two different courses (Social Gerontology and Poverty & Health) and I'm currently a guest lecturer. I'm also close to defending my master's thesis work in the Applied Human Nutrition program. My research focuses on increasing nutritious food access for those living in a nearby low-income neighborhood through co-designing solutions with community members. My approach to being a teaching assistant is a compassionate one where I try my best to get to know as many students as possible to answer questions, share resources, and help them develop personalized practices to reach their academic goals. I also practice having clear boundaries and good time management so that I do not get burned out and it, in turn, affecting the types of interactions I have with students. I'm very excited to speak with you all and look forward to discussing ways that you can make the most of your teaching assistant experience!  

Panel • Day 2 • 9:00 – 10:15 AM

Title: Spotlight Speaker Series

Panelists: Dr. Katie Clow, Mikaela Beijbom, Robin Sakowski, and Eamonn Corrigan

The Spotlight Speaker Series features panelists who will discuss their career paths and share advice for graduate students interested in careers in the teaching field. There will also be an opportunity to ask the panelists questions.


A photograph of Dr. Katie Clow

Dr. Katie Clow

Population Medicine 

Dr. Clow is a veterinarian who focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of vectors and vector-borne zoonoses, with a specific emphasis on the blacklegged tick and Lyme disease.

She also conducts research more broadly on One Health, including pedagogy and community-level applications. She is a member of the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network, and regularly collaborates with public health professionals and veterinarians in private practice and industry.

A photograph of Robin Sakowski

Robin Sakowski

Manager, Access Services

Robin Sakowski is the Manager, Access Services at the University of Guelph’s McLaughlin Library. She has worked at four major Canadian university libraries as a Reference and Instruction Librarian before turning her attention to managing a frontline service team in 2017. Prior to her work in libraries, Robin managed several businesses including a bookstore and a hair salon.

A photograph of Mikaela Beijbom

Mikaela Beijbom

Junior Editor
STILETTO: Make a Point

Mikaela is a University of Guelph alum who completed both her Bachelor of Applied Science (child, youth, and family studies) and her Master of Arts (applied social psychology) at the University of Guelph. Throughout her time at the University of Guelph, she worked as an early childhood educator at the Child Care and Learning Center, a graduate teaching assistant, lab manager, research intern, and project manager. Passionate about the value and importance of qualitative methods in psychology, she mentored several honours thesis students and hosted introductory qualitative methods workshops at the graduate level. As an undergraduate she volunteered with the Peer Helper Program as part of the library’s writing services team, which set the course for the long windy path that led to her current position as a junior editor and writer for Stiletto Consulting Ltd.

At Stiletto, Mikaela brings a key eye for detail to the editing and production team. She spends her days writing and editing proposals and reports, and laughing at her co-workers Teams messages.

A photograph of Eamonn Corrigan

Eamonn Corrigan

Department of Physics

Eamonn is a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph, working to better understand gender disparities in high school STEM, with a particular focus on physics and engineering. Holding an MSc in theoretical relativistic physics from Guelph and a BEd from Queen’s University, the transition to physics education was the logical conclusion, merging his primary academic interests. Informed by the educational literature, Eamonn enjoys consistently refining and updating his teaching to ensure the greatest benefit for his students. His breadth of experience ranges from working as a graduate educational developer —helping graduate students to improve their teaching abilities—to authoring a series of children’s science books. Recently, he embraced the role of a sessional lecturer, teaching first-year physics. 

Plenary • Day 2 • 2:45 – 4:00 PM

Title: How NOT To Teach

Speakers: Dr. Andrea Buchholz and Dr. John Dawson 

Is there anything more exciting than the first day of classes? Students are so fresh-faced, eager and unjaded. But not to worry, it still has the opportunity to go south quickly, by following our simple steps for how NOT to teach. During this session, you will learn such gems as the importance of demonstrating lack of expertise in your subject area, being unclear in your expectations, creating an unsupportive learning environment and of course, designing assessments untethered from learning outcomes. You will observe a poorly-designed and executed mini lecture, balanced with – because we feel obligated - eight elements of effective teaching. There will be lots of opportunity for discussion. We expect you’ll have some questions.


A photograph of Dr. Andrea Buchholz

Dr. Andrea Buchholz 


Dr. Andrea Buchholz is a professor in Family Relations and Applied Nutrition. As a university educator, she has over 20 years’ experience boring undergraduate and graduate students to tears in classes ranging from 15 to 600. She is an expert on what not to do in the classroom. Poorly-designed assessments? Disengaging learners? Unclear communications? Check, check and check. Somewhere along the way – oddly – she has received several awards for teaching and educational leadership and has been named a 3M National Teaching Fellow. Andrea is also a sought-after teaching and learning mentor for graduate students and new faculty.

A photograph of Dr. John Dawson

Dr. John Dawson 

ADA and faculty in Molecular & Cellular Biology

Dr. John Dawson is the Associate Dean Academic in the College of Biological Science. Among his 2 decades of teaching, he’s taught the University’s most popular course: Introduction to Biochemistry, regaling generations of wide-eyed students with endless droning about the Michaelis-Menten equation sprinkled with unrelated stories, usually about Nobel prizes he hasn’t won and Linus Pauling. Not to be undone, he has also won the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, but you won’t find his picture in Rozanski Hall because they were too embarrassed to put it up. In his spare time, he teaches a graduate Biology Education course and coaches staff and faculty to improve their teaching practice.

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