Learning while teaching
Receiving a teaching assistant position played a big role in Katelyn Bartlett’s decision to pursue her master’s in biology at Missouri State. The financial advantage of being a TA was obvious, and she was thrilled to continue her education without taking on additional student loans, something she described as a “huge opportunity.”
Katelyn soon discovered more benefits. “I’ve learned a lot [from teaching],” she said, “…and realized that I know a lot more than I thought I did.” The experience has been personally rewarding as well. She has particularly enjoyed the chance to “invest in students and share with them things you know.”
Following outstanding examples
Katelyn draws inspiration from her own professors, including her lab advisor Dr. Kyoungtae Kim and other faculty such as Dr. Paul Schweiger and Dr. Paul Durham. “I appreciate how much they’ve poured into me personally and individually,” she said, specifically singling out the time they have spent discussing her research and helping her improve her writing skills. She also credited Dr. Kim with setting a collaborative tone in the lab. “We work on everyone’s projects,” she said, “…and we all help each other out.”
Katelyn has thrived in this environment, earning recognition for both her teaching service as well as her academic achievements. She gave an oral presentation of her research at the annual meeting of the Missouri Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, where she was awarded first place among graduate students. In addition, Katelyn was designated Missouri State’s Distinguished Teaching Assistant.