Testimonials

Oskar Polanski

Oskar Polanski, Law / Legal Studies, from EUI

Host: BRAC University, Fall 2023

"The most beneficial aspect of the Fellowship came in the form of teaching. I gained experience in designing courses, teaching, and assessing the work of students. I worked on two courses: constitutional law for first year students and legal research and methodology for fourth-year students. I was given complete freedom over how to design the courses: I was able to decide on the format of the teaching and the content of the courses as well as how to assess and grade my students. To have an opportunity to do something so significant at this stage in my academic career was a true privilege and I learned a lot from the experience under the guidance of my mentor from the Elkana Center. I taught approximately 160 students (4 groups of 40). I spent about 45 hours teaching, and I also held regular office hours for the students, where they could discuss any academic and pastoral matters with me.

Overall, the experience was positive. Not only in terms of academic and professional growth, but also because of the environment at BRAC University. The students were very welcoming, and despite being exposed to new and challenging courses and methods of teaching and learning, were grateful for the opportunity to be pushed and learn something new. The administrative and teaching staff at BRAC University Law School were also incredibly supportive and accommodating, ensuring that I had everything I needed to excel at my job. The library staff were able to provide me with all of the sources I needed in order to design my courses.

I learned a lot and I hope to use this knowledge in my future teaching."

Nico Roman Weber

Nico Roman Weber, Political Theory, from EUI

Host: ELTE, 2022 Spring and 2023 Fall

"ELTE administration and the Law Department have been very helpful in setting up the course and finding a time slot convenient for me and gave me full freedom when it came to the design of the classes. This made it obviously more work intensive but also very motivating and enjoyable. ... The classes had a perfect size (17 each, one-third domestic, two-thirds international students) and the students responded well, and fulfilled, after some adjustments and feedback, all of my expectations. Throughout the class, I asked my students for feedback and was able to integrate some of their suggestions. The feedback I received at the end of the class was very encouraging. ... My mentor from Elkana Center provided help from early on by giving feedback on the design of our classes and proposing different (customized) methods to engage and assess our students. The regular meetings and her high reactivity in case problems arose added greatly to the overall experience. I had already participated in a course titled ‘Introduction to teaching in higher education’ but many unforeseen circumstances came up and it was extremely helpful to get concrete feedback on an actual class as the situation evolved."

Riikkamari Muhonen

Riikkamari Muhonen, History 

Host: AUCA, AY22/23

"I worked at three different departments (Master's Program in Central Asian Studies, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications and Department of General Education) at AUCA and felt very welcome in all of them. I also taught two OSUN classes coordinated in collaboration with Princeton University. The main takeaway from my stay at AUCA was the immense development of my pedagogical skills. All my courses employed a somewhat different pedagogical approach, from lectures and  reading seminars to individual supervision of the students' research projects. This allowed me to create my own style of teaching and experiment with different types of assignments. Mentoring provided by the CEU Elkana Center was very helpful in providing ideas on how to improve my teaching and navigate a foreign academic environment. My students at AUCA came from all post-Soviet Central Asian states (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) as well as Afghanistan, China, Russia and the US. AUCA is a liberal arts college, which means that students from all departments complete a certain amount of humanities classes as part of their degree. This meant that in my world history course I would have students from all possible departments from economics to environmental sciences and IT to international relations in one classroom. This resulted in great discussions and different perspectives on the topics covered. Most of the students were very active and keen to discuss social and political issues such as women’s rights and environmental issues in their presentations and papers, which gave me a great chance to learn about public discussions taking place in Central Asian societies. Now that I have left AUCA and Kyrgyzstan behind, I definitely miss my bright and brave students!"

Andrei Dragan

Andrei Dragan, Legal Studies

Host: ELTE, AY 22/23

“The GTFP provides an excellent opportunity for Ph.D. students to gain hands-on experience teaching full courses of their own design. In my case, the GTFP allowed me to improve not only my teaching style but also my course preparation. It also gave me the opportunity to delve deeper into topics I was researching before starting the program and to share that knowledge with Bachelor students with very diverse backgrounds. Aside from assisting me with my research, the GTFP provided me with one of the most satisfying aspects of academic life: having students tell me that my courses changed their perspective on certain aspects of life and shifted a few paradigms for them.”

Andrew Cragg

Andrew Cragg, Philosophy

Host: UniDeb, AY 22/23

"First and foremost, I had the opportunity to teach a BA level course which I designed myself from scratch. I devised a number of syllabi for potential courses, including one on the history of the BBC (in recognition of its centenary year), one on the Windrush generation in the UK, and a class on youth cultures and subcultures in postwar Britain. The Institute was happy with all of these options, and ultimately chose my youth cultures and subcultures offer for their BA students. ... The mentoring I received from the Yehuda Elkana Center for this semester was especially helpful to me. Besides the assistance I mentioned above, this semester was the first time I had ever put a syllabus into practice on my own, as the extent of my teaching until now was restricted to single course sessions, or previous work as a teaching assistant. My mentor and I went through many elements of successful course design, building on classes I have taken with the Yehuda Elkana Center in the past, and ultimately created a syllabus which looked quite different to my original design and was much the better for it. This experience will be vital to me in my future academic work, and was the basis of my course design for the second semester I spent in Debrecen."

Petar Parvanov

Petar Parvanov, Medieval Studies

Host: ELTE AY22/23

"During the last academic year, I spent two terms in ELTE Budapest with GTFP. … My teaching activities were very productive. The interest in my classes was high, especially in the first term when 28 students from different programs and faculties enrolled. In addition to the European-wide perspective and theoretical approaches, I was keen to implement different teaching methods and inclusive classroom. Especially successful were the classes based on experiential learning. For instance, in the first term I organized outdoor seminars with visits to the historical cemeteries of Budapest. On another instance, we used historical movies to discuss the role of contemporary representations and medievalism in our understanding of the past as professionals and in public engagement. In addition to the topical classes, every term I organized tutorials in academic writing. ... In all my teaching activities I was well advised and supported by the other fellows, and mostly by my mentor at Elkana Centre, I benefited particularly from the advice of my mentor on teaching techniques and assessment."

During the Fellowship an article of Petar was published by the National Archaelogocial Institue and Museum of Bulgaria, which was re-published by the Anthropology Magazine (sapiens.org), find it here.

Aleksandr Korobeinikov

Aleksandr Korobeinikov, History

Host: ELTE, AY 22/23

"Participation in the Global Teaching Fellowship Program is a great experience for those who want to be involved not only in research but mainly in teaching and interacting with students.

My course is rather exceptional due to the war as the course is directly related to the discourse of decolonization, which has become especially relevant after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

I am grateful to the CTL for her help in preparing and editing my syllabus. An important part of teaching practice is the compilation of a syllabus, which includes far more than just a list of topics and literature for classroom discussion. Tamara drew my attention to a number of details that greatly improved my understanding of the role of the teacher in today’s social and technological environment.

I certainly recommend that all doctoral students, especially those who want to look at themselves as teachers, apply to the Program. It is a unique chance to meet a lot of smart and interesting students and colleagues from different countries to practice designing your course, improve your teaching skills, and visit different countries and university cities. I would like to express my enormous gratitude to everyone who made my experience in the Program very enjoyable, rewarding, and unforgettable!"

Kyle Piispanen

Kyle Piispanen, Environmental Sciences

Host: UBB, AY 21/22

"I served as a Teaching Fellow in the Sociology Department at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, supported by the CEU Global Teaching Fellowship Program. My responsibilities included developing and teaching two undergraduate seminars: "Agroecology and Society" and "Food, Culture, and Politics". With in-person teaching resuming in May 2022, I returned to Romania to continue the "Food, Culture, and Politics" seminar. The students and I organized visits to community gardens and community kitchens, enriching their experiential learning. After two years of online education, the students eagerly anticipated engaging with practitioners in the community. GTFP at Babeș-Bolyai University was an enriching experience despite some challenges from the Covid-19 global pandemic. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to gain university-level teaching experience, advance in writing, and present findings from my research to different audiences."

Rubeena Shamsudheen

Rubeena Shamsudheen, Cognitive Science

Host: ELTE, Fall 22, Spring 23

“I worked under the able mentorship of Prof. Dr. Ildikó Király, Head of the Department of Cognitive Science at CEU’S GTFP Partner, University ELTE. During the span of my GTF Fellowship, I designed the syllabus, curated readings, developed course content, and delivered lectures for four different cognitive science courses. One of these courses ‘Development and Cognition: Development of Cognitive Functions’ was a PhD level course and the other three, ‘Language, Cognition, Consciousness and their Development’, ‘Guided method specific Research in Cognitive Psychology’ and Cognitive Development Research’ were masters level courses. ... The Fellowship allowed me to explore a full year of teaching both master's and Ph.D. level students at the Cognitive Science department of ELTE as well as exchange students who joined the courses on the Erasmus Mundus program. The guidance of an experienced educator and researcher like Prof. Ildiko gave me perfect insight into the process of designing master’s and PhD level courses as well as classroom management techniques. I also learned from her how to mentor students. I put these mentoring skills to practice by guiding students who came to me with academic and career related queries both during the class sessions and outside the class. I was also greatly helped by the one-to-one guidance offered to me by the Yehuda Elkana Center, I met with one of the mentors to discuss how I could better handle the class and guide the students better on their academic and career-related inquiries. The teaching and mentoring experience gained during my GT Fellowship allowed me to apply and be recruited as a senior faculty at the Department of Behavior and Social Sciences, Webster University, Leiden. ... Overall, the Fellowship gave me excellent resources and a great opportunity to develop my teaching skills, as well as engage in further discussions of my planned research activities with Prof. Dr. Ildikó Király.”

Sara Rizkallah

Sara Rizkallah, Sociology and Social Anthropology

Host: ASU, Spring 2022

„Although I already had teaching experience for almost 11 years, the Global Teaching Fellowship Program provided a platform where I was able to educate and interact with a diverse group of students, coming from various 5-6 countries, if not more. While I was looking forward to enhancing my academic skills, the GTFP offered me a lot!”

Read the full interview with Sara in “The Elkana Center Newsletter” 

Balša Lubarda

Balša LubardaEnvironmental Sciences and Policy

Host: UBB, AY 21/22

"I spent my Global Teaching Fellowship at the University Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca Romania, where I was affiliated with the Department of Sociology. Aside from teaching, I used this time to collect data for my book, “Far-Right Ecologism: Environmental Politics and the Far Right” (Routledge 2023) which has just been published (launch date: August 1, 2023). ... The teaching activities during my GTFP experience were marked by the pandemic. For that reason, most of the sessions I led occurred in online settings, which significantly affected the teaching process. I taught four elective courses at UBB, two per semester: Environmental Sociology, Interviewing for Social Research, Framing in Political Communication, and Sociology of Radicalism. The university and the dean allowed me to develop my own courses and my own syllabi, thus merging the teaching activities with my research interests. As a part of the teaching activities, I focused on improving the skills of my students in “blended learning” as well as the “scaffolded teaching”, which I particularly worked on during the Sociology of Radicalism Course. During the Framing in Political Communication course, where students worked on a capstone project throughout the course. ... The mentoring provided by the Elkana Center was very helpful, not only in the sense of providing the necessary materials that helped me improve as a teacher but also the time to reflect on our teaching (and other, related) hardships during the pandemic. For this reason, I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a Global Teaching Fellow and will be happy to recommend the program to others in the future."

Maria Temes (Gender Studies) and Elena Popa (Philosophy)

Host: AUCA, AY16/17

Maria Temes and Elena Popa

“I’ve refreshed my approach to research because I’ve been forced to go broader,” she said. “I taught a senior thesis seminar that also refreshed ways to do research.” ... “It was good to gain this teaching experience as you’re finishing your PhD or have just finished ... this was a really good opportunity.”

Read the whole interview here: https://www.ceu.edu/article/2016-05-31/ceu-global-teaching-fellows-gain-...