Corina Kaul, MA ’14, a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology, was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award from the Baylor Graduate School. Every semester, the Baylor Graduate School selects three graduate students for this award to celebrate their achievement in classroom instruction.
Kaul received the award for teaching The Developing Child in the Spring of 2017. It was her third semester teaching the course that discusses development and “emerging adulthood.”
“I enjoy teaching this class so much, because it gives students an opportunity to connect material we cover in class to experiences they have in their own lives,” Kaul said. “When they get those ‘a-ha’ moments, I get excited with them.”
The class is a collaboration with two Baylor School of Education faculty members, Dr. Janet Bagby and Dr. Tamara Hodges, and graduate student, Robin Wilson. Together they share information, plan activities, and work through ideas together.
Kaul graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in management, marketing and psychology. She returned to school in 2013, when she came to Baylor to earn an MA in Educational Psychology, which she finished in 2014.
“When I started thinking about coming back to school, I considered multiple things,” she said. “I thought that Educational Psychology would be interesting, because I’ve always been intrigued by education, and I taught homeschool for 12 years.”
Currently Kaul is writing her dissertation on “twice-exceptional students,” focusing on young learners who are academically gifted but also eligible for special education programs.
“I love learning, being involved in people’s lives in respect to education, and developing future leaders,” Kaul said.
“Working with University for Young People has given me the opportunity to apply my learning and help young students excel,” Kaul said.
Baylor’s Graduate School presents this award to three graduate student instructors who teach in the disciplines of science, social sciences, and humanities. In order to compete for the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, a graduate student has to teach at least three hours per semester, which can be through an academic course or lab. The winners go through an extensive process that includes positive student evaluations and letters of recommendation from department faculty and staff.
Award winners were chosen from a group of nominees who scored the highest on their student evaluations, as a first step for being nominated. The winners were then selected by a committee of graduate faculty and graduate students based on:
- recommendation from their supervising faculty,
- letter from a student in their classroom,
- their teaching philosophy statement, and
- their record of participation in professional teaching development.
Dr. Bagby wrote the recommendation for Kaul for the award and said, “Corina’s passion for learning is infectious.” Bagby has been Kaul’s teaching mentor since spring 2015, when the two co-taught a course in Educational Psychology, “Human Growth and Development.”
When Kaul learned she received the award, she was overjoyed.
“I was so excited when I found out that I had won,” Kaul said. “The class is something I’m really passionate about, and it felt like it was validation that others can sense that passion.”
Kaul said that receiving the award is just one of the reasons she has enjoyed her time in the School of Education so much.
“The vision set forth by Baylor, one that cares about each individual and puts a high emphasis on Christian values, as well as encouraging and enabling research, makes Baylor such a wonderful school,” Kaul said. “The faculty and staff truly live out that vision and make the program in the School of Education a great place to be.”
—Story and Photos by Olivia Berry
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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.