Teaching Fellows 2014-2017


Kathryn Oths

Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Kathryn Oths is a professor in the Department of Anthropology, with a specialty in biocultural medical anthropology and foci on treatment choice, traditional and alternative healers, maternal-child health, and food use. She has earned numerous teaching awards, including the National Alumni Association’s Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award (2014), an A&S Distinguished Teaching Fellowship (2014), the Morris Lehman Mayer Award (2005), and the Leadership Board’s Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award (2005).

Throughout my years at Alabama, I have worked assiduously to develop a teaching style that encourages students to think, discuss openly, and to apply the concepts they learn to novel situations using a problem-based approach.

Primarily, I employ a Socratic method in my upper-division undergraduate and graduate classes, but even in large 100-level lecture courses, I encourage students to respond and to question. In order to do this, I must always project a sense that no questions are stupid as long as they are sincere. I am quick to adopt new learning strategies and technologies, such as clickers in my introductory class, however, only when they show true promise for learning-enhancement, never simply for novelty’s sake.

One of my fortes is teaching qualitative and quantitative skills: Each fall I teach the introductory course for our graduate program, Research Methodology, taken by students of all sub-fields — cultural, biological, linguistic, and archaeology — in which incoming students become competent in the literature search, research design, data collection, basic statistics, SPSS analysis, and grant writing.

A primary goal of mine is to involve both graduate and undergraduate students in first-hand research and publication of results. I have also taught numerous short courses and workshops on research methods, both nationally and internationally.


Patrick Frantom

Distinguished Teaching with Technology Fellow
Patrick Frantom is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry with a research interest in identifying structure/function relationships that influence the chemical properties of enzymes. He generally teaches upper-level biochemistry lecture and laboratory courses as well as a large-classroom general chemistry.

In all of my courses, I work to align active learning approaches and assessments with class-specific learning outcomes so students have a clear picture of what is expected. In my upper-level courses, the use of active learning to practice higher-level cognitive skills provides a place for students to receive feedback on their initial attempts in a low-stakes environment. This approach is also used in my biochemistry laboratory course in terms of student-led experimental design and achieving improvement in the students’ scientific writing skills.

In the lower-level, and significantly larger, general chemistry course, I use classroom response devices in order to accomplish a similar goal of giving students opportunities to attempt different types of problems and receive immediate feedback on their performance.

Teaching Fellows 2013-2016

Kim CaldwellKimberlee Caldwell

Distinguished Teaching Fellow

A professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Kimberlee Caldwell studies neuroscience, with an emphasis on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. She is in tune with the mission of UA as a student-centered research university, as evidenced by her research program, which is accomplished with the assistance of undergraduate researchers and their graduate student mentors. Her undergraduates experience an authentic research in the laboratory and often earn authorship on publications.

Additionally, Caldwell was awarded an NSF CAREER Award for her role as an educator-researcher, and she has received two separate NIH AREA grants for the meaningful incorporation of undergraduate students into her research program. In the past decade, students mentored in her lab include six Goldwater Scholars and ten USA Today All-USA Academic Team members. Caldwell has also co-authored an undergraduate genomics textbook, which is sold worldwide and in two languages.

Each fall semester I teach a Principles of Biology course to 300-400 students. In the classroom my teaching strategy involves finding creative ways to transform straightforward forward (“boring”) introductory material into memorable information. I use multiple modes of instruction in the class to reach different types of learners, such as kinesthetic experiences, podcasts, and crossword puzzles. During the spring semester, I teach a 400-level course, Personalized and Genetic Medicine, where, in a much smaller class environment (40-50 students), collaborative group activities and class discussion are common.

Dilin LiuDilin Liu

Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Dilin Liu is an applied linguist specializing in corpus- (large computerized, searchable collections of language data) and other data-based description and teaching of the English language, especially English lexis and grammar or lexicogrammar.

In my teaching, I strive to empower students to become autonomous learners who excel in discovery learning and problem-solving. To this end, I employ empirical research and practical experienced-based instructional approaches. In my linguistics courses such as “English Grammar and Usage” and “Language and Culture,” I engage students in both individual and group research projects in which they examine and analyze corpus and/or survey data to identify actual language usage patterns, language changes, and language variations by age, social class, region, and other variables.

During this process, students are also encouraged to challenge any uncovered inadequate or incorrect existing language descriptions and understandings. In my language acquisition and pedagogy related courses, I involve students in individual, as well as collective, critical analysis and explorative application of teaching theories and practices via actual and simulated classroom observations and teaching.

Jolene HubbsJolene Hubbs

Distinguished Teaching with Technology Fellow

Jolene Hubbs joined UA’s American studies department in 2009. She teaches classes on Southern literature and culture and on twentieth-century U.S. fiction.

In my writing-intensive courses, I work to strengthen students’ critical thinking and argumentative writing skills. As part of that effort, I use Turnitin’s PeerMark to make paper assignments collaborative, multi-step exercises in composition and revision. PeerMark allows me to transform the in-class writing workshop into an online, out-of-class activity, which gives students the freedom to work at their own pace.

PeerMark also helps me reinforce the fundamentals of a given assignment by, for example, asking peer review partners to evaluate the same assignment components that I’ll assess on the grading rubric. In class, I use small group analytical activities to this same end: to hone students’ dexterity in working collaboratively and thinking critically