• Sam Harris

    CCT Lead Fellow


    Sam is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations studying archaeology. He has served as the Mesopotamian Content Specialist for the Education Department at the Oriental Institute and a NELC BA preceptor. He researches the late prehistory and early history of Mesopotamia, with a focus on public and private space, household economies, and foodways. In addition to teaching classes on Mesopotamian archaeology, Near Eastern mythology, and Hittite history, he has worked as an Arabic instructor at the George Washington University, Georgetown University, and the University of Chicago. As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Georgia he worked in primary and secondary language education. At the CCT, Sam is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with graduate student colleagues in developing pedagogical skills, considering creative ways of engagement, and working toward effective learning for all.

  • Whitney Fowler

    CCT Senior Fellow


    Whitney is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, co-advised by Dean Matthew Tirrell and Prof. Juan de Pablo. Her research focuses on designing a protein-inspired material that can capture, release, and recycle valuable resources in water. Coming from a STEM background, she is especially interested in serving the STEM community and enhancing the caliber of STEM education in order to train up and diversify the next generation of scientists and engineers, enabling them to use their discipline-specific training as a springboard to tackle big challenges and impact our world. As a CCT Fellow, Whitney aims to equip STEM graduate students, post-docs, and faculty with an understanding of evidence-based pedagogical practices and enable them to transfer this awareness into practical teaching strategies, in turn creating an inclusive and productive environment for deep, impactful student learning.

  • Ella Karev

    CCT Senior Fellow


    Ella is a PhD student in Egyptology in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. She researches the Persian Period of Egypt, with a focus on administration and economy. Ella has taught and served as a TA in numerous courses in the US and Israel in the disciplines of Egyptian religion, language, and administration, and is slated to teach through the Oriental Institute Adult Education Program in Fall 2019 as well as serving as an intern in the Social Sciences core. In her role as a CCT fellow, Ella hopes to update the pedagogical practices common to the instruction of ancient languages and literatures, making her field more accessible and approachable.

  • Helen Lee

    CCT Senior Fellow


    Helen is a PhD candidate in Comparative Human Development where she focuses on teacher and youth development. At the University of Chicago, she has led discussion and lab sessions for a course on human development research design and a course on quantitative methods in social science. She has also interned and lectured in the "Social Science Inquiry" strand in the College. Outside of graduate school, Helen has designed curriculum, provided coaching, and led trainings for teachers and facilitators in schools and community organizations in Chicago and Detroit. She is currently working with an organization in Chicago to develop a racial equity curriculum. Helen is also an Institute for Education Sciences (IES) Fellow and Urban Doctoral Fellow. Since coming to UChicago, she has served as a steering committee member and advisor for the Education Workshop Lecture Series. As a CCT Senior Fellow, Helen is excited to continue supporting graduate students who are interested in developing their pedagogical knowledge and practices.

  • Elayne (Layne) Vollman

    CCT Senior Fellow


    Layne is a PhD candidate in Comparative Human Development and Psychology at the University of Chicago and an Institute of Education Sciences Fellow. Her research focuses on the role of executive functioning, home and parenting contexts, and pedagogical practices in building children’s reasoning capacities as well as their influence in shaping how children engage in higher order thinking. To explore children’s development at home and in schools, she uses a variety of methodological techniques including experiential design, discourse analysis, and cross-cultural comparisons. As an instructor at the University of Chicago, she teaches classes in psychology, human development, and statistics. Layne is excited to support the UChicago teaching community as a CTT Fellow in 2019-20 in addition to learn and grow as an engaging, inclusive instructor herself.

  • Paul Cato

    CCT Fellow


    Paul is a PhD candidate in the Committee on Social Thought currently studying religion, literature, and intellectual history. His research focuses on discourses of love and intersubjectivity, particularly those found in works of cultural production and those that carry sociopolitical significance. His dissertation examines “active love” – a discourse on love found in the work of 20th century African American intellectuals. His interests in interrelatedness also extend into more practical fields of human sociality such as race relations, disability studies, and social justice, and they have shaped much of his pedagogy. Since arriving at the University of Chicago he has served as a course assistant for a critical theory course for students of color, as a lector in the University’s writing program, and as a TA and writing intern in the Philosophical Perspectives Core sequence. In addition to his scholarly endeavors, Paul is heavily involved in the fights against racism and ableism. He is a founding member of an international epilepsy awareness organization and is an active alumnus of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and diversity program. As a CCT fellow Paul hopes to help graduate students develop strategies for teaching “fundamental” or “canonical” texts to undergraduates.

  • Theresa Chmiel

    CCT Fellow


    Theresa is a PhD Candidate with the physics department. Her research is in the field of experimental cellular biophysics where she focuses on epithelial cell shape and volume regulation. She has worked as a TA for introductory physics classes and advanced physics lab courses. In addition, Theresa has worked with the physics laboratory staff to design new experiments for non-major physics classes. As a CCT fellow, she hopes to share her love for laboratory-based classes and develop a fuller knowledge of teaching practices.

  • Kévin O. Irakóze

    CCT Fellow


    Kévin is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy. He works in African and Africana social and political philosophy. His research addresses the difficulties and possibilities for the imagination of futures in light of various forms of social disaster. He is passionate about strategies for teaching in different settings. He has taught high school students in Burundi, college students at the university, and adult learners with Illinois Humanities’ Odyssey Project

  • Elizabeth Kelley

    CCT Fellow


    Elizabeth is a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemistry Department, in which capacity she is primarily interested in organic chemistry and chemical education. In her role as a CCT Fellow, Elizabeth leverages several years of pedagogical and service experience as a high school chemistry teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and as a chemistry TA at the University of Chicago and the College of William & Mary. Additionally, she has served as a tutor in chemistry and math, a sailing instructor, a research mentor, and a guest teacher for multiple volunteer initiatives. As a member of the Chemistry Department's education committee, she founded a lecture series where graduate students instruct undergraduates on visiting speakers’ research, and she worked on the planning committee for the department’s inaugural “Lunch and Learn” summer series. As a CCT Fellow, she hopes to help STEM instructors boost student learning and interest in the sciences while cultivating an appreciation in instructors for research-driven pedagogy.

  • Mendel Kranz

    CCT Fellow


    Mendel is a fifth year Ph.D. student at The University of Chicago Divinity School. His interests include Modern Jewish Thought, Postcolonial Studies, Continental Philosophy, and Critical Theory. His dissertation explores the intersection of postcolonialism and Jewishness in North Africa and France by examining the effects that postcolonial criticism had on Jewish writers’ self-fashioning and how it challenged them to renegotiate their relationship to the legacies of European fascism, colonialism, and racism. He takes up a similar line of inquiry in his article, “Postcolonial Zionism: Theological-Political Paradigms in Levinas and Memmi,” published in Hebrew Studies. He is a recipient of the Northwestern University Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, and currently serves as a Chicago Center for Teaching Fellow.

  • Dylan Quintana

    CCT Fellow


    Dylan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mathematics. His research interests are in combinatorics and theoretical computer science, specifically pseudorandomness and its applications to coding theory. He has taught classes for undergraduates in the College, master's students as part of the Harris School's summer math camp, and high school students in the Collegiate Scholars Program. Dylan hopes to make math more accessible to everyone by employing a variety of pedagogical techniques.

  • Heather Skeen

    CCT Fellow


    Heather is a PhD candidate in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology. Her research focuses on identifying how gut microbiota and pathogen prevalence of migratory birds change over time. At the University of Chicago, Heather has served as a Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate course Ecology in the Anthropocene multiple times. She also has extensive experience with educational outreach through various programs at The Field Museum. As a CCT Fellow, Heather aims to introduce members of the university community to the numerous educational resources available at cultural institutions throughout Chicago as well as how to incorporate these resources into curricula.

  • Tran Truong

    CCT Fellow


    Tran is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Linguistics. His dissertation is a study of constraints on language irregularity, especially as they relate to the honorific, kinship, and pronominal subsystems of natural language morphology. Pedagogically, he works to characterize and problematize the so-called 'linguistics paradox': somewhat unique among the social sciences, the genesis of American linguistics was rooted strongly in the description and analysis of Native American languages and African American English. That is, whereas data from minoritized and peripheralized populations have long been considered to be legitimate objects of linguistic inquiry, knowers from these populations have not always been positioned as legitimate inquirers. He feels lucky to be processing this complicated politico-epidemiological moment with his co-Fellows and the CCT staff as they think through how best to serve their students. Tran is also a recipient of the Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowship.