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CoMInDS Summer Workshop

Improving the Preparation of Graduate Students to Teach Undergraduates

Location: The University of Maine, Orono, Maine or virtually via video conferencing

Dates: July 19-23, 2021

Is your department interested in helping graduate students learn to teach? Perhaps your department is considering starting a teaching-focused professional development program. Or maybe your department has a program but is interested in updating and enhancing it. Many departments now offer pre-semester orientations, semester-long seminars, and other opportunities for graduate students who are new to teaching so they will be well-equipped to provide high-quality instruction to undergraduates.

With funding from NSF (grant DUE-1432381), CoMInDS (College Mathematics Instructor Development Source) is a collaboration with the Mathematics Association of America that provides instructional materials and guidance to departments as they establish or revise their graduate student professional development programs.

This summer we will be offering a workshop for faculty from mathematics, physics and chemistry departments who are involved in this work.

The workshop will occur during the week of July 19, Monday through Thursday. These sessions will begin no earlier than 11am Eastern / 10amCentral / 9am Mountain / 8am Pacific. During this time, you will:

  • learn how to design a successful graduate student professional development program
  • gain familiarity with research and evaluation related to teaching and instructor preparation
  • gain access to a large collection of lessons, activities, and assignments to use in your program
  • become familiar with activities designed specifically for use with graduate students teaching in your discipline (i.e., mathematics, physics, chemistry)

Built into the schedule for the workshop will be time for participants to:

  • plan or revamp their professional development program with input from experienced providers in your discipline
  • network with others from around the country who run graduate student professional development programs

Because we know some of us may need to prepare to teach graduate students to teach online, we will also focus on offering such programs with some components online and with the goal of preparing graduate students to teach with at least some undergraduate students at a distance.

Departments or institutions are encouraged to send two-person teams to the workshop. Teams can include two people from the same department/discipline or from different departments/disciplines at the same institution. 

We have funding to support the costs of registration, lodging (in individual rooms on campus) and food for all participants. We have a limited amount of funding available to subsidize participant travel to the workshop. We ask that you make use of at least partial travel support from your home institution if feasible in order to maximize the number of people who can participate.

Apply for the Workshop

For more information and to apply, click here.

Applications are due May 15, 2021. Decisions will be announced in June. 

If you have questions, please contact us at

Mathematics Co-Leaders:

Natasha Speer
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Maine Center for Research in STEM Education
The University of Maine

Dave Kung
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Director, MAA's Project NExT

The workshop leaders are both faculty in departments of mathematics with a variety of experiences related to graduate student professional development. Both do scholarly work on graduate student teaching and learning, including research on knowledge of student thinking and its development. They are contributing authors of the Video Cases for College Mathematics Instructor project, co-leaders of MAA PREP workshops on college mathematics teaching, and have co-authored a book on student thinking about mathematics for use by novice college mathematics instructors. Dave is director of the Mathematical Association of America’s professional development program for new faculty, MAA Project NExT, and Natasha is co-PI on the CoMInDS project.

Physics Co-Leaders:

Rachel E. Scherr
School of STEM (Physics)
University of Washington Bothell
MacKenzie R. Stetzer
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Maine Center for Research in STEM Education
The University of Maine
Scherr and Stetzer are physics faculty with decades of experience supporting university educators to improve their physics teaching, including faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and undergraduate learning assistants. Scherr is the creator and editor of Periscope Video Lessons ( and Stetzer often leads local and regional workshops using these resources. Scherr and Stetzer were guest editors of the Physical Review Physics Education Research Focused Collection on Preparing and Supporting University Physics Educators. They are also longtime physics education researchers with special interests in dual-process theories of reasoning (Stetzer) and physics disciplinary culture and practices (Scherr).

Chemistry Co-Leaders:

Ginger Shultz
Department of Chemistry
University of Michigan

Alena Moon
Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska Lincoln

The chemistry workshop leaders are both faculty in departments of chemistry with a variety of experiences related to graduate student professional development. Both do scholarly work on graduate student teaching and learning, including research on knowledge of student thinking and its development. Shultz has authored several papers on the development of knowledge for teaching chemistry. Moon and Shultz studied the conceptions of STEM faculty about classroom writing use. Shultz is co-PI on the NSF funded project STEMWrite and the University of Michigan program MWrite, which focus both focus on professional development for faculty using writing-to-learn in their classrooms.