21:16 PM

MEMS Department Recognizes Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

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In the times of COVID and hybrid class delivery, teaching assistants have become more valuable than ever to faculty instructing large courses. Samantha Wismer, ME junior, and TA for three ENGR and MEMS courses this past academic year, has gone above and beyond to ensure her student peers have the best learning experience possible.

Some of Wismer’s duties included reviewing instructor and student lecture slides for errors (typographical, mathematical, conceptual, grammatical, etc.) to ensure a top-tier product was delivered to students. She was responsible for reviewing several semesters of homework, quizzes and exams to provide students with study aids and access to materials. She was also tasked with the creation of 3-5 minute post-recorded lecture video questions, along with the creation of worksheets to give students extra practice. These activities require the use of LaTex, Adobe Illustrator and Top Hat, all of which Wismer has become proficient in.

Wismer holds weekly office hours and is constantly available via Zoom and by email for not only the classes she is TA for, but any class students’ may be struggling with. She has put in evening and weekend hours to help build “At Home Makerspace Kits” to ship out to students.

Professor Matt Barry is the instructor for all three classes Wismer is a TA for. He notes, “For all of these classes, there have been numerous compliments and glowing reviews of Samantha's helpfulness and willingness to go above and beyond to help her fellow students. Many from ENGR 0135 enrolled in MEMS 0031 and MEMS 0051 based solely on Samantha's presence as the UTA.” Barry also says he admires her tenacity, perseverance and patience.

Outside of the Department, Wismer is a level II national accredited tutor for the Physics Lab at Pitt, where she uses these skills and knowledge to better serve MEMS students. Additionally, Wismer has co-authored a textbook which is currently used in a Pitt engineering class. She also co-authored two conference papers.

Wismer is one shining example of the amazing undergraduate students in MEMS, and the Department would like to recognize and thank her for her dedicated commitment and service!


Contact: Meagan Lenze