Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Student Spotlight: Julia Dwight

Julia Dwight another one of our active antiochians teaches us a bit about mentorship and its affects on the mentees as well as mentors. Below she talks a bit about her perspective and experience.


“Last fall I enrolled in the class Learner-Centered Teaching. I was expecting this class to provide me with insight into teaching pedagogy that focuses on optimizing student learning. However, this class exceeded my expectations by also teaching me cognitive and metacognitive college success skills that I wish I had known as a first-year, communication skills, common learning misbeliefs, how to demonstrate value and motivate students, the guided inquiry learning process, constructing a lesson plan, how to promote collaborative learning, and much more. This initially empowered and inspired me to create a 1-hour presentation on crucial college success skills for Antioch students, especially first-year students. The feedback I received from this presentation further encouraged my inquiry into teaching with the learner-centered approach and what that looks like at Antioch. I was especially interested in uncovering methods to alleviate challenging high school to college transition dynamics as the focus of my senior project. The next quarter I decided to complete the Supplemental Instructor Practicum and also enroll in The Art and Science of Inclusive Mentoring, a class in applied professional mentoring theory and techniques. The Supplemental Instructor Practicum provided me with the opportunity to practice and explore the learner-centered teaching methodology and pedagogy in a classroom setting. Here, I lead and taught a 1-hour discussion session, twice a week, for the General Chemistry 1 class. I gained experience in teaching, promoting collaboration and participation, designing active learning exercises, and more. Outcomes of this practicum resulted in increased classroom persistence, retention and completion rates of students persevering through the General Chemistry 1 class. This practicum also provided an opportunity to mentor first-year students in a developmentally focused mentoring model. The mentoring course offered an array of knowledge about developmental mentoring. The focus was on how mentoring can provide the additional support necessary for students who might experience challenging high school to college transition dynamics, that other students do not have to navigate. Through mentoring Antioch students, feedback has indicated that the supportive mentoring they received encouraged them to remain at Antioch College, instead of transferring to another institution. With a unique focus on equity and inclusive practices in the classroom, this course inspired my senior project: Creating a Mentoring Culture on Campus: Early Developmental Mentoring for Persistence and Completion.

Throughout this educational journey, I had the opportunity to co-author a poster publication and presentation at the Ohio PKAL 2018 conference. The poster focused on the General Chemistry 1 class outcomes and 110 hours of Supplemental Instructor Mentor training I have received as a result of the three-course curriculum outlined above.

What I once thought of as a digression from my biomedical science curriculum, working as a Supplemental Instructor Mentor, with a learner-centered teaching and inclusive developmental approach, has pointedly enriched my educational experience at Antioch. These courses and experiences have empowered me to perform institutional research to assess and develop Antioch College’s mentoring culture in order to promote a more supportive community for a diverse array of first-year students.”

Thank you Julia! We all appreciate you and all the hard work you do!

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As a student at Antioch College not only am I immersed in superb rigorous work, but I am also thrown out of the coop and into the co-op world where I am expected to make my own temporary coop then return to the coop I was kicked out of to apply my experience to my education to foster tools for my future permanent coop. As of today, I am working two jobs for the first time which has proved to somehow be more tiring than working the same amount of hours at one job. This experience however, humbles me as well as tests my leadership abilities in the workplace. In regards to my first two weeks of co op I feel reminded of how testing capabilities is necessary for growth in many cases as well as a positive attitude. Progress is relative, and having a flexible agenda allows you to restructure your time in ways that leads to better work, and more enthusiastic productivity. And as I test my leadership skills in the workplace it is evident that giving myself this same flexibility to work on myself is strategic since I can allow myself more time to really focus on one part of me that needs more love than other parts of me that may not be ready for that kind of over whelming experience. While all of my skills in both of my workplaces are really mediocre I feel like these revelations of time and energy are both key elements in making my work move from mediocre to great. As well as the enthusiasm of my employers, and their willingness to not only answer my questions but teach me the ways of their profession.

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