The 2023 Fall Economics Graduate Assistant (GA) Training Seminar was held in Oak 312 on November 1, 2023. The GA training seminar was designed to help student instructors and graduate assistants in the Economics Department succeed in their teaching roles at UConn, and to help promote their professional development.
During the event, Professor Talia Bar, Professor Tianxu Chen, Professor Delia Furtado and Professor Derek Johnson shared their teaching experiences, and addressed a variety of issues/questions raised by our student instructors and GAs. Specifically, the topics addressed in the seminar included (1) responsibility of instructors, (2) evaluation of teaching, (3) improving attendance, (4) responding to students’ emails, (5) suggestions for first time teaching, and (6) disputes between instructor and student.
Student instructors teaching in Fall 2023 and other GAs participated in the seminar. They also shared their teaching experiences, and the challenges they face, with the faculty and their peers. The event was a big success, and provided valuable support for our student instructors and GAs. The seminar was coordinated by Professor Chen, who is also the instructor for ECON 6492: Teaching Economics, the newly designed course for first-time student instructors.
The Department of Economics successfully held its first Graduate Assistant (GA) Orientation on January 16, 2023. The GA Orientation was coordinated and led by Professor Tianxu Chen. The event has been designed to support our GAs/TAs and student Instructors by providing them with strategies and tools to successfully start and manage their teaching responsibilities. It also aims to help promote their professional development in teaching.
The orientation invited David Des Armier from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) to share information about how to design a HuskyCT course webpage, as well as to familiarize GAs with University policies and CETL resources. During the orientation, Professor Talia Bar, Professor Tianxu Chen, Professor Mike Shor and Professor David Simon also shared their teaching experience with the GAs, and provided advice on a wide range of topics including lecture preparation, academic integrity, class engagement, and ensuring an accessible environment for students with disabilities.
The GA orientation had a great turnout. Over a dozen of PhD students from different cohorts attended the event, and we expect it to be held regularly in the future.
On March 6, 2020, Dr. Natalia Smirnova and Dr. Tianxu Chen represented the Economics Department at the “Women and Girls’ Day at the Capitol 2020” cohosted by The Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, The Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity; and The Women’s Suffrage Commission.
The theme for the event was CELEBRATE – CONNECT – INSPIRE:
To CELEBRATE the progress made by women in honor of Women’s History Month and the 100 Year Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.
To CONNECT the state community to resources and opportunities that are available to the public, such as:
Health & safety services and information.
Women leaders in STEAM and underrepresented fields — hence Economics!
Resources for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
To INSPIRE women and girls to design their own paths (providing a broad scope of role models for them to become inspired).
The intended audience for the day was female high school juniors and seniors, and women from across Connecticut. A total of 300 individuals attended, with half of them being high school aged girls. Both Dr. Smirnova and Dr. Chen were excited to share their love of economics with the attendees. The event was worthwhile for everyone!