Each year, the CTE appoints four graduate students to serve as Graduate Fellows.

The Graduate Fellows program provides experienced graduate students with opportunities to refine their teaching skills, mentor other graduate and undergraduate students, contribute to CTE programming, and gain knowledge of educational development.

Some of the activities our Fellows engage in include:

  • designing and facilitating the CTE's Pedagogical Institute for Graduate Students in the fall,

  • observing courses for the Student-Taught Course Award,

  • conducting teaching consultations with graduate TAs or graduate instructors of record,

  • serving on Graduate Teaching Awards committees,

  • participating in the selection process for the subsequent cohort of Graduate Fellows.

Each Graduate Fellow commits to spending 30 hours on CTE-related activities and receives a stipend for their work.

Application information

All graduate students who have completed the entire Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning are eligible to apply. 

Application for Graduate Fellows 2020-2021 will open in April 2020.

Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • statement of interest in the program

  • statement of teaching philosophy

  • sample syllabus



Melia Bonomo

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Applied Physics

Melia Bonomo is an applied physics PhD candidate in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.  She does theoretical research in the field of physics of living systems and is currently exploring the impact of music on the brain. As an educator, she is interested in strategies that boost student motivation and interweaving content across traditional disciplinary boundaries. She is teaching a First-year Writing Intensive Seminar at Rice in the fall of 2019.


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Simranjit Khalsa

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Sociology

Simranjit Khalsa is a PhD candidate in sociology. She does research on religion, immigration, and race, examining how religion and race intersect and shape the experience of practicing a minority religious tradition and how such experiences are linked to national context. Simranjit has published five peer reviewed articles, presented her work widely as part of academic conferences and public lectures. She has also received several grants and awards in support of her research. She has served as instructor of record for a sociology course entitled Science at Risk, has guest lectured and TAed for several sociology courses and will be teaching Inequality in Urban life in the spring of 2020.Her teaching interests including using a variety of classroom activities and assignments that require students to apply knowledge in order to facilitate student engagement and support student learning.



Santiago Martinez Legaspi

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Santiago Martinez Legaspi is a PhD candidate in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research focuses on understanding fundamental interactions between nanoparticles and human cells to improve the design of nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Santiago started his career in education teaching chemistry and science research at the Culver Academies in Indiana. While at Rice he has served as a teaching assistant in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department, receiving three consecutive awards for his work. He has also participated as an instructor, organizer, and academic advisor in Clubes de Ciencia, a program aimed at enhancing science education in Mexico and Latin America. As a teacher, Santiago tries to guide students towards the development of an engineering mindset, by practicing problem-solving skills and acquiring fundamental knowledge through problem-based and project-based pedagogy.

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Charles Schmidt

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Religion

Charles Schmidt is a Ph.D. Candidate in New Testament and Early Christian Studies in the Department of Religion at Rice University. His research is focused on ancient Mediterranean religion in the Greco-Roman period, with particular interests in ancient Greek medical theories, freelance religious experts, and the Romanization of Christianity. During his time at Rice, Charles has taught for the Department of Classical and European Studies and the Department of Religion. He is also a Lecturer in Biblical and Religious Studies in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Houston. Charles’ teaching-related interests include undergraduate research, evidence-based assessments, and bringing so-called “active learning” strategies to large-enrollment classrooms.