GSICs Bios

Resource Title:
Graduate Student Instructional Consultants (GSICs)

Richard A. Bachmann Headshot

Richard A. Bachmann
History; Science and Technology Studies (STS); Museum studies
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Richard A. Bachmann is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department where he focuses on the history of science and technology. His dissertation project looks at how the auto assembly line became a crucial production site of mental health-related knowledge in the postwar US. In a related mini-exhibition project, Richard seeks to translate some of the insights from his dissertation into a piece of immersive public scholarship which allows visitors to explore the postwar history of automated labor and its psychological effects. Richard has taught two history courses and two STS courses at U-M, as well as several courses in American studies at Leipzig University, Germany, where he completed a BA and MA. A proud recipient of the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate and the Rackham DEI Certificate, Richard is honored that his dedication to teaching and mentorship has been recognized by both the History Department and Rackham through Outstanding GSI Awards. He is an avid runner and cyclist who loves to kick around the ball for Woodbridge FC in his free time.

Catherine Barnier Headshot

Catherine Barnier
Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics
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Catherine Barnier is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics. Her research interests lie broadly in leveraging experimental data to improve multimeric protein structure predictions. Having come from a small, primarily-undergraduate institution, with a little computer science background, Catherine is passionate about helping GSIs navigate teaching in a large university setting and making computational science accessible. At Michigan, Catherine has worked as a GSI for both an introductory bioinformatics course as well as a more advanced signal processing and machine learning course. In her free time, Catherine enjoys practicing yoga, gaming, and spending time with her 11-year-old cat.

Kathryn Berringer Headshot

Kathryn Berringer
Social Work & Anthropology
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Kathryn Berringer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work & Anthropology. Her dissertation project draws from her ethnographic research at an LGBTQ+ youth center in metropolitan Detroit, where she focuses on how social and medical service providers confront marginalization, enact care, and establish the validity of their practice. Kathryn has taught two upper-level medical anthropology courses as a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan, as well as two courses as the instructor of record in the School of Social Work. She has also served as a teaching assistant at the University of Chicago, where she received her master’s in Social Service Administration, and at Carleton College, where she received her bachelor’s in Religion. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys learning about birds, visiting Belle Isle, and reading dystopian novels.

Sean M. Costello Headshot

Sean M. Costello
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Sean M. Costello is a Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy Department. His research interests lie in understanding, through the lens of the history of philosophy, how the world metaphysically is and how it is that we, as living beings, navigate and psychologically experience it. He is writing a dissertation on 'The Unity of Consciousness in Descartes, More, and Clarke' under Professor Tad Schmaltz. At the University of Michigan, Sean has served as a GSI for four semesters and has, additionally, been the primary instructor for two courses – one on the philosophy of the self and the other on love and loss. Pedagogically, he is interested in equity-focused course design as well as in developing a practice of cultivating students' sense of wonder in the classroom. In his free time, Sean enjoys modernist poetry and slowly strolling through art museums.

Leah Crosby Headshot

Leah Crosby
Stamps School of Art and Design
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Leah Crosby (they/them) is an MFA Student at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Their creative research repurposes familiar information delivery systems and alternative text models to tell stories about caregiving relationships. Leah spent four years working for a nonprofit as a full time arts instructor in public spaces where they designed and implemented creative movement programs in over 17 program sites including schools, community centers, and memory care units at hospitals. They served as Instructor of Record for two courses during their undergraduate education at Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College and they were the GSI for Integrative Project, a senior capstone course at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Leah likes to go on long bike rides. Their longest was from Split, Croatia to Venice, Italy.

Matt DeMaio Headshot

Matt DeMaio
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Matthew DeMaio is an MS candidate in Chemical Biology and a certificate student in Precision Health. He received a BS in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2018 and then worked in clinical research at Michigan Medicine. Matt has a passion for teaching in the sciences and helping students find confidence in their ability to succeed. Matt coordinated Making the Most of Michigan, a seminar for undergraduate students in their first-year at Michigan, and Leadership and Facilitation in Community Building over the course of three academic years. During his graduate studies, Matt has taught Biology 173 four times and ELI 994 once. He is also an alum of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, in which he taught English to Italian high school students in Campobasso, Italy. In his free time, Matt enjoys cooking, learning Italian, and exploring Michigan.

Blake Ebright Headshot

Blake Ebright
Combined Program in Education & Psychology (CPEP)
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Blake Ebright is a Ph.D. candidate in the Combined Program in Education & Psychology (CPEP). His research is focused on the development of critical thinking in college students and how instructors can develop their students’ domain-general soft skills in an equitable way. He has served as an instructor of record for several courses in psychology and in education, and as a GSI for several courses in psychology. In addition to being a GSIC, he facilitates GSI Teaching Orientation Practice Teaching sessions for CRLT and CRLT Engineering. Before joining the CPEP community at U-M, he earned his M.S. and B.A. in psychology and women’s studies and then worked as a quantitative researcher in psychology labs at U-M. In his free time, Blake enjoys refereeing rowing, football, and soccer.

Amanda Gibson Headshot

Amanda Gibson
Neuroscience Graduate Program
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Amanda Gibson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP). Her dissertation examines the effects and interactions of early-life and adult stress on reproduction. Amanda received her BA in Psychology and Spanish from Hope College, where she was a teaching assistant for neuroscience, physiology, and organic chemistry. At the University of Michigan, Amanda has served as a graduate student instructor for Human Physiology, leading a weekly discussion section through in-person, hybrid, and remote modalities. She has also taken courses through the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and developed a passion for promoting student development. She helped to design and co-lead a twice-weekly remote professional development workshop for extramural undergraduate researchers who were unable to complete summer research in person due to the coronavirus pandemic, emphasizing the incorporation of personal and social identities with professional identity. Amanda also served as an instructional aide to the NGP in Fall of 2020 to help the program develop evidence-based, remote pedagogical practices. In her free time, she enjoys listening to an ever-growing array of podcasts, exploring the Farmer's Market, and walking along the Huron River.

Gillian Gray Headshot

Gillian Gray
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Gillian Gray is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Philosophy Department. Her research interests are in social metaphysics and ethics; in particular, she is interested in exploring how individuals form social identities and examining the moral wrongs that can arise when individuals’ identities do not receive uptake from others. She has been a GSI in the University of Michigan’s Philosophy Department for five semesters, including one semester as instructor-of-record. She also spent a year as a GSM in the Philosophy Department. As an instructor, Gillian loves challenging students to question their previous assumptions about the world. She is also committed to making philosophy–a subject often seen as abstract and theoretical–relevant to students' lives. In her free time, Gillian enjoys cooking and baking, reading mystery novels, and playing board games.

Daisy Haas Headshot

Daisy Haas
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Daisy Haas is a Ph.D. student in the Chemistry Department, researching chemistry education. Daisy’s interests lie in the intersection of writing, reasoning, and justice in the chemistry classroom. Daisy deeply believes in creating curriculum, activities, and classroom experiences that are inclusive of all identities and create a culture of care. They serve as a GSI for an upper-level biochemistry writing course and a GSM for introductory organic chemistry laboratories at the University of Michigan. Daisy earned a BS in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a minor in Rhetoric and Writing at Chapman University. In her free time, Daisy enjoys cooking, reading, biking, walking, and playing with their cat, Ivy.

Brittany Hardy Headshot

Brittany Hardy
Classical Studies
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Brittany Hardy is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Classical Studies. Her dissertation, supported by the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, is an interdisciplinary examination of women, gender, and the nonhuman in the poems of the ancient Greek poet Pindar. Brittany began teaching at the University of Michigan in 2018, and she has had the opportunity to teach language classes, first-year writing classes, and discussion sections of classical civilization courses. She is passionate about cultivating a strong sense of community responsibility in each of her classes. Principles of equity-focused teaching and eco-pedagogy guide her teaching, and she is especially interested in writing pedagogy. Brittany has been dedicated to improving her teaching practice by participating in CRLT workshops, working as a Sweetland Fellow, remaining versed in current research on the science of learning and teaching, and collaborating closely with other GSIs in her home department. Brittany enjoys riding her bike, spending time with her dog, cooking elaborate meals, and analyzing her two favorite sports: Big 10 Football and the Bachelor.

Keanu Heydari Headshot

Keanu Heydari
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Keanu Heydari is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History. His research focuses on French and Iranian cultural, intellectual, and migration history. Heydari’s dissertation examines Iranian students, political dissidents, and intellectuals in Europe after the 1953 coup d’état in Iran. Heydari was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and is an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., History, French language minor, 2017). When he's not in the archives, he's often strategizing about pedagogy and thinking through research-based and critically reflexive teaching practices.

Salman A. Hussain Headshot

Salman A. Hussain
Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History
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Salman A. Hussain is a doctoral candidate in the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History. His research on return migrations from the Arab Gulf to Pakistan focusses on class, masculinity, and belonging. As a GSI he has taught two semesters each at Anthropology, and History departments, and served as a Graduate Student Mentor (GSM) for the History Department. He has also taught two semesters as an instructor of record at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Urban Studies program.

LaTara McLemore Headshot

LaTara McLemore
English Language and Literature
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LaTara McLemore (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the English Language and Literature program at U-M, Ann Arbor. Her areas of focus are 19th and 20th century African American literature, read through and alongside literary history, Diasporic Theory, Black Feminist Theory, Afropessimism, and Afrofuturism. LaTara's dissertation project, currently titled Narrative Wild Cards: Characterization and the Reimagination of Selfhood after the Civil Rights Movement, examines how Black Women novelists in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s used characterization and narrative voice to explore opposing social imperatives towards self-actualization and communal life. As an instructor, LaTara's pedagogical interests center curricular development in the humanities; public humanities and community engagement; and anti-racist and equitable pedagogies, to foster accessible and responsive classroom environments. Outside of academia, LaTara spends time doing pilates, returning home to Chicago to visit her family, and trying out new cookie recipes.

Irene Morse Headshot

Irene Morse
Political Science
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Irene Morse is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science. Her dissertation examines how immigrants' political norms change after moving from an authoritarian context to a more democratic one. Irene started working as a teacher in between undergrad and grad school, serving first as a math tutor at a high school near her hometown and then as an ESL and test prep instructor abroad. She then transitioned to working as a GSI at U-M, where she has taught in both the Political Science and Public Health departments. Irene's teaching practice centers on empowering students to take charge of their own learning process and fight limiting beliefs about who is intelligent/competent in the U-M classroom. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her partner and their two dogs.

Melissa Valerie Headshot

Melissa Valerie
English & Education
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Melissa Valerie is a Ph.D. student in the Joint Program in English and Education (JPEE). Her research interests include reading and writing pedagogies, developmental education, and teaching and learning in community colleges. At U-M, she has served as an Instructor of Record in the English Department Writing Program (EDWP). Before coming to the University of Michigan, Melissa taught first-year composition, developmental reading and writing, and adult literacy courses at City University of New York (CUNY). As an instructor, Melissa values a learner-centered approach to teaching and enjoys designing collaborative learning activities that help students engage more deeply with course materials. In her free time, Melissa enjoys reading, exploring museums, and taking long walks.

Moniek van Rheenen Headshot

Moniek van Rheenen
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Moniek van Rheenen is a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistic Anthropology. Her dissertation research examines child language socialization and parenting trends in Indonesia, especially concerning the intersections of religious, gendered, ethnic, and national identities, in addition to the roles of technology and mass media. At the University of Michigan, Moniek has served as a GSI in the Anthropology department, teaching classes on language, culture, and childbirth, and is currently a GSI for the Masters in International and Regional Studies at the International Institute. She has taken many workshops through CRLT, leads the GSI working group for Anthropology, and facilitates a mentorship program between graduate and undergraduate students. As an instructor, Moniek enjoys helping students connect their lived experiences to the material and takes pleasure in designing creative classroom activities. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, cycling, and walking along the river with her rescue dog, Hazel.

Zoe Waldman Headshot

Zoe Waldman
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Zoe Waldman is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department. Her dissertation examines treaty councils and congresses between Native American and Euro-American peoples across eastern North America in the eighteenth century. She has served as a Graduate Student Mentor for her department’s pedagogy sequence and has taught courses in History and American Culture. Zoe’s teaching practice emphasizes student-centered course design, antiracist pedagogy, and teaching for equity. She helped develop the History Department’s Digital Instruction Program to aid instructors in the transition to remote and hybrid teaching, and she maintains an interest in using digital tools to foster student engagement. Zoe is completing a Rackham Doctoral Internship at the William L. Clements Library where she uses her passion for doing history to help instructors teach with archival materials. She enjoys playing soccer and cooking.

Veronica Cook Williamson Headshot

Veronica Cook Williamson
Germanic Languages and Literatures
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Veronica Cook Williamson is a Ph.D. candidate in Germanic Languages and Literatures and is also completing the Museum Studies Certificate. Her dissertation focuses on themes of migration in contemporary (post-2000) German culture and specifically the role of participation and collectivity as they figure in tension between activist initiatives and institutional cultures. Veronica has taught for four semesters at the University of Michigan, three of which were language courses where she was the instructor-of-record and one of which was a literature course where she led weekly discussion sections. She has also spent a year as her department’s Graduate Student Mentor (GSM).

Ina Zaimi Headshot

Ina Zaimi
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Ina Zaimi is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Chemistry Department. She graduated from the University of Michigan with her BS degrees in Biomolecular Science and English as well as her secondary education certifications in Chemistry and English. Humanizing chemistry incited her transition from teaching English to teaching chemistry centered around identity. Ina believes chemistry courses should affirm students’ languages, cultures, and identities as much as literature courses do. Ina supports the implementation of Writing-to-Learn assignments into chemistry courses. Ina’s research explores Writing-to-Learn-Assignments. Her research exposes that the rhetorical situation of the assignment shapes the impact of the assignment and, moreover, that the linguistic identity of the student shapes the impact of the assignment. Ina is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow. She serves as a Graduate Student Instructor Coach in the Chemistry Department, and she has served as a Graduate Student Instructor for general chemistry and organic chemistry in the Chemistry Department. When not researching or teaching, Ina enjoys reading and gardening.

Hilary Zedlitz Headshot

Hilary Zedlitz
Political Science
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Hilary Zedlitz is a Ph.D. Candidate in political science focusing on American politics. Her research interests include political psychology, religion and politics, and survey measurement. At U-M, she has served as both a GSI and Instructor of Record in the department of Political Science for courses ranging from Introduction to Comparative Politics to Religion and Politics in the United States. Hilary received her B.A. in political science & Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas in 2016. Before coming to the University of Michigan, Hilary served as an academic advisor for first-year students at her alma mater, and as an Assistant Port Chaplain in the ports of Everett, Tacoma, and Seattle, WA. In her free time, Hilary enjoys playing board games & listening to podcasts.