Project Director in Duke Master Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) Program (2020-2021)
MIDS, in-class lecture, Fall 2020
Duke Student Program DATA+; mentoring a team of students through a big data project (2018)
Teacher Assistant in Leadership course, Professor Modupe Columbia Management Executive Education (2012-2014)
My mission is to facilitate the joy of self-development and knowledge acquisition among students. I provide a theoretical background in combination with practical tools to guide students through challenging tasks of course work in preparation for their careers. A rewarding part of my work is to observe that students employ the practices I have taught them and thank me for their success in their careers.
As an immigrant and a woman, I am sensitive to the challenges encountered by those individuals who “don’t quite fit” in academia. I have the first-hand experience of being told, “you are not good enough” and “you should switch to some more womanly profession”. I am determined to help all students to overcome barriers that they face due to their origins, genders, backgrounds, or socioeconomic status. I am dedicated to creating a culture and environment where everyone feels welcome.
I truly enjoy working with graduate and undergraduate students mentoring them on their path of developing research skills. I work with a diverse group of students, guiding them from the beginning of a research project to its completion. I teach them to organize experiments, manage data, and develop scientific summaries from the literature. Together we work on analyzing and presenting our findings at meetings and in publications. For their exceptional efforts, some of my students became co-authors in poster presentations and journal publications. I motivate, encourage, and mentor them on their way to becoming better scholars and researchers.
My students often say that working with me encouraged them to pursue graduate programs. It is extremely gratifying to see the success of my mentees and I am proud that some of them entered various competitive master programs with my recommendation letters.
Research mentoring of undergraduate students:
Yasmeen Abdullah Ibrahim
Teaching Assistant Experience
As a project director in the Master of Interdisciplinary Science program (MIDS), I participated in curriculum development, led several in-class lectures, organized and monitored teamwork. Being under COVID-closure posed additional challenges to students. I initiated and led social activities to engage students in on-line conversations with each other on various topics to alleviate their isolation. Additionally, we conducted surveys assessing not only the formal completion of the course tasks but also their general stress and motivation to study. I followed students who reported being distressed and unmotivated with one-on-one conversations to brainstorm resources that could mitigate their negative experiences.
One of the challenges in this master's program and my previous experience with MBA students was providing negative feedback on their performance. My approach to these, sometimes difficult, conversations is to combine critique with some positive comments. I usually highlight strong sides to boost students’ confidence and motivation first. Only then, I suggest improvements to their previous work that they could apply to their next assignment. My goal is to ensure that students know what steps they need to take to improve their performance, and they are inspired to do so.
My teaching experience always motivated me to explore theoretical knowledge and constantly update course materials helping students to benefit from the most recent research. I also polish my methods of presenting materials by frequently engaging in self-learning practices including videotaping, analyzing my presentations, and at times, consulting with professional instructors.
Future Teaching Interests
I welcome the opportunity to teach courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the following areas: health communications, health psychology, decision-making, research methods, applied machine learning, and statistical methods.
I am gratified by the positive feedback I have received thus far on my presentations, my work with master students, and mentoring efforts. I look forward to honing my teaching style and making a continuous impact in the classroom as I progress throughout my career.