CIRTL Article Member Spotlight Alma B. Tejeda Padron

CIRTL Member Spotlight - Alma B. Tejeda Padron

Meet some of our outstanding CIRTL members and find out why they joined CIRTL@UArizona!

Tejada Pardon

Alma B. Tejeda Padron is a Ph.D. student in Psychology, where she is also the Graduate Student Representative and a member of the Online Education Committee. She also belongs to the UArizona International Advisory Council (ISAC) and the UArizona International Student Services (ISS), and is a member of Stressbusters, a national training and outreach program that serves the campus community by providing free backrubs to students. In addition to joining CIRTL, she is currently pursuing the Graduate Certificate in College Teaching through OIA.

Tell us a little bit about your interest in teaching. What’s your background? What are your career interests?
My interest in college teaching has existed ever since I can remember! When I was a child, my grandmother used to live close to our local university in Southern Mexico, so I would take every opportunity to be on university grounds and observe what was going on there. It seemed to me that there were always exciting and enriching things happening! So, I decided that I wanted to be part of that environment: I wanted to be a professor! At that time, I believed that professors’ main functions were teaching. I had no idea that a professor does research (I realized that later). So, to be more accurate, at that time, what I wanted to be, was a teaching professor. Since then, I have not had another profession in mind. My main goal is to make students feel welcomed, supported, and engaged by providing meaningful learning experiences that benefit both them and the global community.

Why did you get involved in CIRTL? What initially interested you in joining?
I received an invitation to join CIRTL through a newsletter from my department. It was the first time that I heard about the network and it seemed to me an exciting opportunity. I started exploring the resources that CIRTL and CIRTL@UArizona offered and I felt that being part of CIRTL was the “natural step” for me. I was already taking part of the Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and I had taken several OIA mini-courses and workshops. However, being part of the CIRTL Network seemed to me a wonderful opportunity to engage even more with evidence-based teaching practices and provide students with meaningful learning experiences. So, I decided to join the network and pursue the Certificate Levels of Accomplishment.

What do you enjoy about being in CIRTL so far? How have you gotten involved?
I think what I most enjoy is the variety of opportunities of professional development that are available. Also, I enjoy the flexibility of drawing your own career development path according to your needs, interests, availability, and previous experience. I have participated in a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) here at UArizona and taken a workshop on the CIRTL Network. Also, I am pursuing the UArizona' Graduate Certificate in College Teaching. I am looking forward to new ways to be engaged such as co-teaching an assignment with a faculty member skilled in evidence-based teaching practices and implementing a Teaching As Research (TAR) project next semester.

What advice would you give to new or prospective members?
Be involved! Regardless of your previous experience or the stage in your career, regardless if you are planning to pursue a CIRTL certificate, you can still get involved. Whether participating in a teaching workshop, course, or Faculty Learning Community, designing a Teaching As Research project, co-teaching with a Faculty member, developing your teaching portfolio…there are plenty of opportunities for everybody to implement and advance their teaching practices, engage diverse student audiences, and improve their learning and success!