Bronco Spotlight: Lisa Pratt
Graduate Teaching Assistant at Western Michigan University
I am teaching REL 2065: Islam in America
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is grading assignments, when I can read my students' reflections on class material and see how much they are learning. The most challenging part of my job is trying to juggle work, school and my personal life at the same time.
If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?
As someone who plans to pursue a career of teaching in higher education, being a Graduate Teaching Assistant has been an invaluable experience. It has introduced me to the responsibilities and experiences of being a professor. As a TA, I have been entrusted with being the main line of communication with students, grading assignments, and assisting in setting up the course. Not only have these experiences allowed me to practice pedagogy in the real world, but they have assisted helping me discern how I will design and teach my own courses in the future.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
The advice I have for those pursuing a career in higher education is to trust and build relationships with the faculty in their department. The faculty here at WMU are professionals who have a sincere interest in helping students succeed. Reach out to them, ask for their help and advice, and see what they can do for you. Chances are they will not only provide you with excellent guidance, but present you with opportunities that will help you achieve your goals.