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 2019-2020 will open in April 2019.

Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • statement of interest in the program
  • statement of teaching philosophy
  • sample syllabus


Rebecca Smith

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Computer Science

Rebecca Smith is a PhD student in the Computer Science department. Her primary research interests lie in computer systems, and she is currently exploring memory management techniques for virtualized systems. She also enjoys designing tools and techniques for improving computer science education, with a recent focus on teaching software testing. She has previously served as a co-instructor for COMP 140, an introductory course on computational thinking.


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Alex Kluber

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Chemistry

Alex is a graduate student in the chemistry department who develops computational models for understanding proteins and other biomolecules. As a science educator he is interested in active learning methods that develop students' problem-solving skills and deepen their conceptual knowledge. He is also interested in introducing undergraduates to the importance of computation in physics and chemistry by using classroom demonstrations and by mentoring undergraduate research projects.


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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 four 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 guest lectured and TAed for several sociology courses and is teaching Science at Risk in the fall of 2019. 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.

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Ellen Whitehead

CTE Graduate Fellow
PhD, Sociology

Ellen Whitehead is a PhD candidate in the Sociology department. Her research focuses on family and poverty, with particular attention to how material resource transfers between family members can contribute to racial and economic inequality over time. During her time at Rice, Ellen has taught a course on urban inequality and TAed both sociology and FWIS courses.  Her teaching-related interests center around aligning student and instructor leaning objectives and making class material relevant to students’ long-term goals.