Section: Teaching Assistant Fellows
Susan Geffen

Susan Geffen

Susan is a final-year PhD student in the USC Department of Psychology. She earned her BS in Neuroscience from the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, FL and her MA from USC in 2010. Susan's research evaluates when and how infants distinguish between statements and questions.

Susan has been a teaching assistant for Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 100), Developmental Psychology (PSYC 336) and Research Methods (PSYC 314). As part of the Introduction to Psychology class, Susan taught a mini course on autism. For the past 2 summers, Susan has also served as an instructor for Exploring Psychology, a class that gives high school students an overview of psychology.

Susan's goal as an instructor is not only to teach students the core concepts and theories of a given class, but to help students apply these theories to real-world situations. To this end, Susan presents examples from her own life as well as popular media to illustrate concepts, and strives to create active learning activities that help the students understand real-world applications and develop their critical thinking skills. As a teaching assistant and an instructor, Susan has observed and incorporated multiple ways of integrating technology into the classroom, from videos to video games. Given the increasing number of laptops, smart phones and iPads in the classroom, Susan feels it is important to address ways of integrating this technology. In addition, Susan feels that mentoring is an important part of being a successful teaching assistant and professor. She mentors undergraduate research assistants to build their skills in conducting research and prepare them for their future careers.