History Graduate Students Recognized as Outstanding GSIs
Salem Elzway, Brittany Maugeri, and Alexander McConnell were recently celebrated by the department for their teaching and mentoring as Graduate Student Instructors. Brittany and Salem will also receive awards from Rackham Graduate School for their teaching.
Salem GSIed in John Carson’s History 285, Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society, in winter 2017. He recalls, “Working with Dr. Carson was an invaluable experience as he walked me through his thinking about the course and its design throughout the semester, genuinely valued my ideas and input about adjustments and execution, and collaborated with me as an equal rather than as a junior partner.
More recently, in fall 2017, Salem worked with Brian Porter-Szucs on History 282, History and the Economy. “Dr. Porter-Szucs has been a wonderful mentor, demonstrating how to engross a classroom, and employ sophisticated yet digestible pedagogy. He implemented new and innovative course management techniques that allow his GSIs to maximize their time with students and prioritize teaching over assessment."
Alexander taught with Ronald Suny in History 332, Russia and the Soviet Union: Reform, Revolution, and the Socialist Experiment, in fall 2017. Alex says of his experience: “This was the first time I had an opportunity to GSI a course in my field and with my advisor, Ron Suny. We were also using a brand-new textbook, Russia’s Empires, which Ron co-authored with another U-M historian, Val Kivelson. Ron gave the GSIs leeway in constructing lesson plans and running the sections, so I took advantage by introducing lots of primary source analysis and work with visual media. It was an exciting and challenging semester, and with all of the public attention to Russia recently, student engagement was very high.”
Brittany taught the Spanish section of History 348, Latin America: The National Period, in Winter 2017 with Paulina Alberto. She recounts: “This was the second time I'd had the pleasure of teaching this class; the first was in 2012, during my first year as a GSI. Returning to this course at the end of my PhD journey gave me the opportunity to reflect on the ways in which I have grown as a scholar and a teacher over my years at Michigan. I credit much of that growth to the incredible faculty with whom I've been able teach, and who have generously shared their wisdom and experience with me. Paulina, especially, has been an amazing advisor and an inspiring mentor. Teaching this class with her for the second time reminded me of the power of narrative in teaching history and the importance of both compassion and accountability in the classroom.”