Meet Melissa Browning: A Teaching Assistant for DePauw’s English Institute

This week I had the opportunity to get to know more about Melissa Browning, a junior at DePauw. Melissa is an English Writing major and a History and Education Studies double minor. She is a leader on campus, serving both as a first-year mentor and a teaching assistant (TA) for the English Institute for international students at DePauw. Melissa shared a little bit about how she got involved with the TA English Institute and what it means to her.

Her Campus: Hi Melissa! Thanks for letting me meet with you. How did you first hear about the English Institute?

Melissa Browning: I actually was approached about a TA position by Rachel Higson, a graduate, who thought I would be interested in the program because of my background as a tutor in the Writing Center and my role as a first-year mentor.

HC: That’s great! It does seem like you would be the ideal person for that position. When did the program start?

MB: I got to campus on July 26th for training and then all 43 students arrived on campus a few days later on the 30th.

HC: What did you have to do during this training?

MB: Each teaching assistant got to prepare a presentation on how to do something. I chose to present on time management and avoiding distraction. We also got to do a partner presentation, and my partner and I presented on Greek life at DePauw.

HC: Those are such important things for DePauw students! When the program started, what was your typical day like?

MB: We had class everyday from 9am to 12pm and then again from 12pm to 3pm. I would work with some students one-on-one with their writing. There were also professors from our English department teaching, as well as professors brought in who have more experience with second language acquisition.

HC: How long did the English Institute last?

MB: It lasted two weeks, and then the students transitioned into orientation.

HC: What was the most rewarding part about your experience?

MB: Seeing the light bulb click in a student’s head when they understood something and seeing them improve everyday. Forming relationships with these students as well was equally rewarding. Getting to see them around campus after school starts and hearing about how their school year is going is always exciting.

HC: That does sound rewarding; I’m sure it must be fun to see them excel as the year goes on. Thanks so much for your time!