TEACHING & MENTORING

Mentors have influenced my trajectory and contributed significantly to my success. My experiences have given me a firsthand understanding and appreciation of the immense positive impact of having someone who was once in your shoes teaching and warning you about potential pitfalls - exposing you to opportunities that you never knew existed and ultimately changing the course of your life. 

In turn, I enjoy opportunities to give back to other young scientists through mentorship. As a graduate student, I made a conscious effort to serve as a mentor and resource point for undergraduates who showed interest in research or graduate education; particularly for underrepresented minorities to whom these pathways are typically closed off due to unfamiliarity of those around them. Moving forward in my career, I remain committed to mentoring and advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Teaching​​

Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Jan – May 2019​

I was responsible for teaching one 3-hour laboratory section per week to guide ~20 undergraduate students in gaining technical proficiency in cell and molecular biology techniques. This consisted of presenting short lectures at the beginning of the class, demonstrating techniques, and assisting students during the class. I was also responsible for setting up the classroom before and cleaning it up, making and grading three quizzes for my section, weekly prelabs, notebook checks and grading group oral presentations; as well as overseeing 1 to 2 undergraduate mentors. This teaching experience allowed me to approach laboratory training in a more structured and formal manner than my typical undergraduate mentorship, and instruct budding scientists on effective presentation and documentation of scientific data.

Teaching Assistant: Material, Energy, and Entropy Balances

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Aug – Dec 2018    

My duties included developing review material and leading exam review classes and problem-solving sessions. I also conducted office hours to assist students with homework assignments and course material, graded quizzes, exams, and homework assignments for a class of 95 students. This was my first TA experience, and while it was initially intimidating to deliver lectures to such a large class, my confidence increased as the semester progressed. This experience was extremely transformational and informative for me, providing real insight into the pedagogical process.

TA Performance Evaluation Comments

 "Asher is a very effective lecturer and has an excellent grasp on pace and depth and is extremely clear."

"Asher explains concepts well, keeps the attention of groups of students and keeps them on task. Her class runs well and on time."

"Asher was able to teach both the laboratory procedures and the underlying theory for the experiments."

"Asher is very patient and helpful but still expects her students to discover answers to questions on their own." 

Mentorship

Mentor: RPI Undergraduate Research Program

2016 - 2019

Besides my teaching assistant roles, I had the honor of mentoring several undergraduate and graduate students during my graduate career. As an undergraduate at NYU, my life was forever changed when a Black professor invited me to work as a protein engineering research assistant in the chemical engineering department then encouraged me to apply to graduate school. In my position as a graduate student, I sought to pay it forward by making an effort to recruit undergraduates, especially minorities, to work with me and expose them to research. I guided summer and semester-long work on research projects with undergraduate students and published with undergraduate co-authors.

 

Mentor: The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

Aug 2017

LSAMP is dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented (African American/Black, Hispanic American/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and American Indian) students graduating with baccalaureate degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Mentor: 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures - New York Academy of Sciences

This program target girls around the world, aged 13-17 years old who are currently enrolled in high school or an equivalent, who are enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering or math (STEM)​. The initiative is designed to engage these young women and advance their pursuit of STEM careers through mentoring and 21st-century skills development.

Interested in becoming a mentor or mentee? Learn more here.

Mentor: CariScholars

CariScholar is a non-profit organization aimed at connecting Caribbean students with some of the region’s most prolific and accomplished academics and professionals, in order to foster mentorship, sharing of information and guidance. 

Interested in becoming a mentor or mentee? Learn more here.

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