Conference for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Teacher standing in front of a room of students.

This half-day event is designed to help prepare graduate students for success in their instructional roles at UB and beyond. Through interactive presentations and discussions, participants will gain knowledge on effective teaching practices, learn tips and best practices from other TAs, network with peers, and be connected to instruction related services and resources.

This event is free to UB graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Upcoming Conference

The 2020 conference will take place on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, 8:30 a.m.–noon, and will be conducted fully online

Registration is now closed.

Conference Schedule

8:30-8:50 a.m. | Welcome and Introduction | Monica Carter, the Graduate School

9-9:50 a.m. | Breakout 1, Effective Teaching

Utilizing UB Technology to Support Collaborative Work

Rebecca Rotundo, Center for Educational Innovation

There are many technology tools available through UBIT that can be used to support collaborative learning for students, regardless of physical presence. This workshop will introduce participants some of these digital tools and best practices for using them.

Remote Teaching With UB Libraries

Roberta (Robin) Sullivan and Cynthia Tysick, University Libraries

The University Libraries provide a broad array of resources and services to support teaching assistants. Whether you are looking to get started with online teaching, or you require advanced resources to enhance existing courses, this workshop will help you navigate the comprehensive resources available. This session will help ensure your success to teach anywhere and will share a number of resources to help you find, use, and create digital video and visual information for instructional purposes.

How to Jump-Start Learning in Your Classroom

James Jensen; Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

This session will acquaint you with the "four E's of teaching": key concepts that you can use to power your teaching and foster student learning online or in person. Learn how to encourage student-centered classrooms and virtual classrooms through examples and tips.

10-10:50 a.m. | Breakout 2, Inclusive and Evidenced-Based Teaching Practices

Communicating to Reach Students and Enhance Learning

Carol Tutzauer, School of Dental Medicine

Communication drives the student experience and student learning. This workshop offers tips and tricks to enhancing your communications with students, whether giving a classroom lecture, leading class discussion, or working individually with students.


  1. Differentiate a good presentation from a poor one, by addressing structure, content, delivery, and use of supportive materials and aids.
  2. Identify strategies that enhance student participation and involvement in the classroom (methods that can supplement or even replace the traditional lecture).

Best Practices for Teaching Difficult Topics

James Ponzo, Transnational Studies and Taylor Coleman, American Studies

In light of the recent racial issues that have occurred in the United States, it has become pinnacle to consider how current events impact our students of color. These issues can cause mental, physical, and emotional turmoil, which in turn can impact how our students perform. This presentation will discuss strategies on how to hold difficult conversations on current events, provide tips on how to support our students, and examine how we as educators can provide better support to our students.

Resources and Mentorship: Utilizing UB’s Opportunities to Succeed

Zaviera Panillo, Psychology and Temara Cross, School of Public Health and Health Professions

Learn how mentorship can enhance your professional and personal goals here at UB. Develop skills and familiarity with resources to help those you teach succeed.

11-11:50 a.m. | TA Panel Discussion and Q&A | Pascal Buggs, Taylor Coleman, Temara Cross, Faiza Hafeez, Ehsan Osloub, Zaviera Reyes, Aparna Upadhyay and Ashley White

11:50 a.m.-Noon | Closing Remarks | Jacqueline Conroy

Who can participate?

Participants can be current graduate teaching assistants and others involved or interested in teaching, including those who:

  • Interact with students across a variety of settings (lecture, lab, recitation or office hours).
  • Support teaching and learning in the classroom.
  • Wish to develop their teaching skills.

This series is offered by CIRTL@UB in collaboration with the Graduate School and the Center for Educational Innovation.