TA Spotlight – Katelyn Janzen

Photo source: Katelyn Janzen

“I never thought that I’d enjoy TAing and never expected to want to teach as a career, but TAing as much as I have has shown me how much fun and how rewarding it can be.”


Katelyn Janzen earned her undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Genetics at the University of the Fraser Valley, and is currently a PhD student in Brett Finally’s lab (Department of Microbiology & Immunology), where she is studying the molecular mechanisms involved in Salmonella infection of host cells.

Katelyn has been a TA for the BIOL112 course five times, and will begin her sixth term teaching this course in September 2019 (with her seventh scheduled for January 2020). In this role, she has worked extensively to improve TA-led tutorials for students in BIOL112. She initially started TAing because she didn’t get funded by NSERC and she needed the money, but has since found that she really enjoys teaching.

Katelyn has been proactive in seeking out opportunities to improve her instructional knowledge and skills and to develop her teaching philosophy. She completed the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) in May 2017 and the Foundations in Pedagogy course in February 2018. She recently participated in the Certificate in Advanced Teaching and Learning program at the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT).

Katelyn is the recipient of the 2019 Biology GTA award, and she also won an award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which fully funded her trip to the Gordon Research Conference for Undergraduate Biology Education Research this past summer.

Katelyn is planning to pursue a career in teaching undergraduate biology when she finishes her PhD, and she is working very hard to prepare herself for this next step.

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