Courtney J. Sobers, PhD, pursued a doctorate degree in chemistry because she wanted to teach organic chemistry as a fun class. She has taught at the post-secondary level since 2014 and currently works as an Assistant Teaching Professor at Rutgers-Newark. Her teaching journey has included teaching lectures and labs with classes ranging in size from fewer than 10 students to over 400 and training 5 - 30 teaching assistants at a time. Courtney strives to make chemistry approachable when teaching at a community college, small private university, or large state university. In her current role, Courtney focuses on creating a lab or lecture experience for students that emphasizes the learning process and promotes open peer teaching. Courtney also mentors Teaching Assistants in improving communication, leadership, and management skills and provides opportunities for TAs to recognize the value in consciously creating a classroom that celebrates diversity. She focuses on General Chemistry Lab during the academic year, where the student population is heavily pre-health, and lives her organic chemistry teaching dreams during 6-week summer courses. Courtney consciously advocates for learning environments welcoming to historically neglected students, including disabled students and formerly incarcerated students, to combat the biases of future scientists and health professionals. It is important that she is transparent about this work as it’s a learning experience for her and she documents these lessons and more via Twitter (@DrCJSobers).
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