Caitin Wagner Nominated As
Psychology Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year

Caitlin Wagner, Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year Nominee
Caitlin Wagner, Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year Nominee
The Department of Psychology has nominated an outstanding graduate teaching assistant, Caitlin Wagner, for this year's Graduate College Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of the Year award. This award recognizes annually the accomplishments of GTAs who have demonstrated unusual excellence and creativity in their teaching and commitment to student learning.

Caitlin Wagner is a third-year student in the Developmental Psychology Program and the Developmental Psychopathology Concentration. During the fall 2012 semester, she successfully defended her Master’s thesis, which investigated whether girls’ physiological stress reactivity influences the effects of relational victimization on emotional and social adjustment. She is particularly interested in understanding how children and adolescents’ emotion regulation capabilities and autonomic responses to stress influence their coping and emotional functioning across development. She will be continuing to investigate these questions with her dissertation research. Caitlin will be sitting for her preliminary exams in May 2013 and will then begin her dissertation work.

John Green, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, and Director of the General/Experimental Graduate Program at UVM included these comments in his letter of nomination:

"It is my great pleasure to to nominate Caitlin Wagner for Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of the Year. Caitlin has been an outstanding GTA in our program for almost 3 years now. Caitlin entered the General/Experimental Psychology Graduate Program in Fall 2010. In addition to being an outstanding GTA, she is engaged in research examining why children who are exposed to similar parenting experiences follow diverse developmental pathways, under the mentorship of Dr. Jamie Abaied in our Developmental Psychology cluster..."

"In sum, Caitlin Wagner has excelled at teaching at multiple levels and in different contexts, including a first-year introductory undergraduate course, an advanced graduate level statistics course, and in a research lab setting. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of a Graduate Teacher of the Year award than Caitlin."

Jamie Abaied, Ph.D., in whose laboratory Caitlin has worked since 2010, wrote:

"...ever since Caitlin started, I have repeatedly seen evidence of her exemplary skill in mentoring undergraduate students. Caitlin routinely devotes extra time to talking one on one with students about their research and career goals, and she provides feedback on their drafts of personal statements for job and grad school applications. In addition, she has provided students with feedback on their drafts of honor’s theses and coached them on how to present on their research. Recently she held multiple meetings with a student in our lab who was applying to PhD programs to help her practice interviewing. Her past experience as a counselor to adolescents has allowed to her hone her skills at listening and providing constructive feedback, and our students respond extremely well to her mentoring style."

Timothy Stickle, Ph.D., in whose courses she as served as a graduate teaching assistant, wrote:

"...As a basis for context, I teach statistics and methodology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Having worked for a number of years to develop an effective approach to the topics, I am especially impressed with how creative and effective Caitlin has been in her teaching of these concepts and skills. The fact that she has accomplished a very high level of effectiveness and appreciation from students so early in her graduate career is indicative not only of her engaging manner in the classroom, but of her skill, dedication, clarity of presentation, creativity in designing and implementing teaching strategies, and her accessibility to students. Caitlin’s outstanding efforts have resulted in improvements to how I teach the lecture portion of the course and how difficult and complex material is presented to students. Consequently, her efforts will indirectly benefit many students beyond those with which she has direct contact.."

Larry Rudiger, Ph.D., the instructor of record for Psycology 001, wrote:

"...She was unfailingly dependable and met the course’s tight deadlines without a hitch. Her work was outstanding. She clearly had a strong foundation in psychology and brought it to bear on the specific format and focus of our General Psychology course.. Her feedback to students was succinct and helpful, showing a warm sense of humor. Given the nature of online courses, it’s difficult (if not impossible) for students to tease apart the contributions of various people on a teaching team as the entire experience is mediated through text. But the class ran exceedingly well and student satisfaction with it was high. An impressive and successful beginning to Caitlin’s work with PSYC 001."

Sheau-Yan Ho, a second year Clinical Psychology graduate student at UVM who was enrolled in Advanced Statistics II, wrote:

"...It is obvious that Caitlin dedicated her time and effort to us throughout the course. Caitlin demonstrated that she truly cared about the students in this course and provided us with a positive and enthusiastic learning experience. What really stood out about Caitlin was how much she enjoyed teaching us as well as how much she wanted us to learn the material and succeed. "