The fall semester wasn’t likely what Nicole Tuttle expected when she was hired as the newest Department of Chemistry Lecturer III. The online format was a bit different than her own experience teaching chemistry at the faculty level or as study group leader for organic chemistry during her undergrad days. Fortunately, she had a wealth of teaching knowledge to draw on as she prepared this summer to teach a large organic lecture course and a small chemistry seminar for the Comprehensive Studies Program. That knowledge got put to the test in a semester where she focused on creating inclusive and equitable online spaces for learning chemistry and transitioning a large organic lecture course to online assessments.
Before joining Chemistry full time, she was an assistant director at the UM Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. There she consulted with faculty and Graduate Students Instructors (GSIs) about their teaching and led workshops on pedagogy with a focus on teaching in the STEM disciplines. She developed and delivered face-to-face and online courses for postdocs about teaching college science. She earned her B.S.Chem at the University of Michigan in 2003 in chemistry, biochemistry, and plant biology. Then, through Teach For America, she taught sixth-grade science in Atlanta Public Schools. She went on to complete a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Chicago in 2013 with a dissertation focused on the catalytic properties of yeast spliceosomal RNA. She received further pedagogical training there while working as Graduate Teaching Consultant with the Chicago Center for Teaching. After that, she conducted research and managed the research efforts of an NSF-funded professional development program (NURTURES) from the University of Toledo centered on implementing science inquiry in Toledo-area K-3 classrooms. She has also taught courses in the sciences and education at the University of Toledo and Lourdes University.