Elena Maris Receives 2016-17 Graduate Student Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Penn has awarded Doctoral Student Elena Maris a 2016-17 Graduate Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

CTL Graduate Fellows are nominated for their teaching excellence by their schools or departments and then selected in a highly selective process by CTL from a strong pool of university-wide nominees.

CTL’s Graduate Fellowship for Teaching Excellence program honors graduate students who are dedicated to excellent teaching and is designed to foster conversations about teaching in order to help graduate students develop as teachers. Graduate Fellows organize and facilitate teaching workshops in their departments and across the university, observe graduate students teaching and offer feedback, and meet regularly as a fellows group to discuss teaching practices.

Maris comes to the program with a strong track record in teaching. 

Before coming to Annenberg, she was in a master’s degree program at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), where she taught 15 sections of Oral Communication over three years. There, she received the CSUSB Department of Communication Studies 2012 Outstanding Graduate Student Award and the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate Award — the first time a graduate student received both awards.

At Annenberg, she has been a teaching fellow for COMM 123: Critical Approaches to Popular Culture taught by Professor Litty Paxton and COMM 322: History and Theory of Freedom of Expression taught by Professor Carolyn Marvin. This summer she will co-teach Communication & Popular Culture with fellow doctoral student Emily Hund.

“Elena is a very thoughtful graduate student who works extremely well as part of a team,” says Paxton. “Happily for us, she came to Penn with a range of teaching experiences which meant she had a nuanced understanding of the many different ways in which undergraduates learn.”

While at Annenberg, Maris also taught two classes at Princeton’s W.E.B. Dubois Scholars Institute, a summer program for high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds, and volunteered to teach media studies to a group of local high school students.