Jun 13, 2014

UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate students Maria Dzialo (S. Clarke Group) and Hung Pham (Houk Group) have been named as UCLA Collegium of University Teaching Fellows.

The UCLA Collegium of University Teaching Fellows (CUTF) is an innovative program that creates unique learning opportunities for both graduate teaching fellows and undergraduate students on campus. Through the program, some of UCLA's very best advanced graduate students have the opportunity to develop and teach a lower division seminar in their field of specialization on a one-time only basis. This experience serves as a “capstone” to the teaching apprenticeship, preparing them for the academic job market and their role as future faculty.  At the same time, undergraduates enrolled in CUTF seminars have the chance to take courses that are at the cutting edge of a discipline and to experience the benefits of participating in a small-seminar environment.  

Maria and Hung are the first Chemistry & Biochemistry students since 2007 to be selected for the honor!

 
Maria Dzialo and Hung Pham

Mario Dzialo's Bio and Overview of Her CUTF Course:
Maria is originally from upstate New York and received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Union College in 2010. She was accepted into the UCLA Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program that same year and joined Prof. Steven Clarke’s lab.

Maria designed her CUTF course to focus on reading and interpreting scientific literature utilizing example papers from her field of research. Many of the undergraduates she works with have little to no experience with research papers as most of their information comes from textbooks. It can be difficult for students when they join a lab to figure out how to read a complicated journal article, comprehend experimental procedures they've never heard of, understand what the figures represent, and finally extract the critical information. Maria's course will walk students through this process and teach them not only how to read the papers, but then present the findings both in written and oral reports. This skill set is something every good scientist needs and currently, students have to figure it out for themselves. Maria's hope is that students who take her class will walk away with a greater understanding of scientific literature and be excited about participating in research of their own!
 
Hung Pham's Bio and Overview of His CUTF Course:
Hung was born in Orange County, California, and has remained in southern California for practically his entire life. He graduated magna cum laude from UC Irvine with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2008. Upon graduation, he worked as a Tutor Advisor at an on-campus tutoring organization at UCI for two years. Hung then came UCLA in 2010 where he is currently in his fourth year, working in the lab of Prof. Ken Houk, using computations to explore the vast field of chemistry, from host-guest binding to allene cycloadditions. 
 
The topic of Hung's CUTF course is, "Chemistry in the Home: An In-Depth Look at How Science Shapes Our Lives."  He will teach his course during the 2014-2015 academic year. Hung's passion lies in helping others understand complex concepts and hopes to become a college professor in the future; thus, he is extremely grateful for this invaluable and instrumental opportunity to be a part of the CUTF program.