Teaching

I have spent five semesters at Boston University teaching. I was a Teaching Assistant for an Astronomy class for three semesters and for a full school year I taught in a middle school classroom. I love teaching and it has become a very important aspect of my life.

2008-2011
My first experience with teaching was at Colby College. I was a teaching assistant for a variety of classes there. I graded homework for Foundations of Mechanics, Differential Equations, Modern Physics, and Electricity and Magnetism. I was a lab teaching assistant twice for Introduction to Astrophysics and one semester each for Foundations of Mechanics and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Optics. I received the Physics Department Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2010.

2013
During the Spring 2013 I was a Teaching Assistant for AS100 Cosmic Controversies at Boston University taught by Michael Mendillo. My responsibilities included leading three discussion sections of about 20 students each, running night labs on the roof of BU, grading homework and exams and holding office hours. Here are a few comments included in the evaluations from Spring 2013:

"Mendillo's and Dustin's excitement was contagious."
"Fun, provided additional details to lecture, nothing to improve on, dresses well."
"Cool guy, led discussions in a simple to understand manner, a pleasant fellow."
"Excellent TF, one of the best I have had so far at BU."
"Doesn't need to improve on anything, he's perfectly adorable"

2014
A year later, during the Spring 2014 semester, I was a Teaching Assistant for the same class. At the end of that semester I was awarded the Astronomy Department's Outstanding Teaching Fellow award. Here are a few more comments from my Spring 2014 teaching evaluations:

"Excellent TF with clear command of the subject."
"He was awesome. He was very helpful and really helped me understand difficult concepts. There really isn’t anything he could have improved."
"He did an excellent job during the discussion sessions. He is very knowledgeable and explains concepts in a very understandable way. He is always encouraging and directs this class well. We also enjoyed his choice of bowties."
"He did well and always engaged us in activities and research."
"Great!! Really got me interested in Astronomy!"
"Dustin is a precious gift, but sometimes rambles on."

2014-2015
For the academic year of 2014-2015 I spent two days a week working in a 7th grade science classroom at Atlantic Middle School in Qunicy, MA. I worked with science teacher Wendy Hanlon. I helped with labs, I helped students with their work, I taught classes, and I developed some of my own lessons that I taught. This was an amazing experience for me. My blog, with some lessons, from that year can be found here.

2016
Once again, I was a Teaching Assistant for AS100, Cosmic controversies, during Spring 2016. Here are a few comments from the teaching evaluations for this semester:

"Dustin was wonderful, his knowledge in the field was very impressive and he always went out of his way to answer any questions he had. (Plus he was easily the most stylish TF I’ve ever had – I really appreciate the astronomy-themed socks)"
"He explained concepts well and wants his students to understand the material"
"Excellent job! Love him! Great explanations even better than the professor."
"Asked for class participation. Showed his interest in material and had good humor to make it fun."
"Very nice and knowledgeable guy. Wish he was my brother"
"Great style! Love the bowties & constellation socks!"

Outreach

Here are a few outreach activities I have been involved in.
Yellowstone Star Party
During a summer research position at Montana State University in 2010 I volunteered at a star party in Yellowstone National Park along with an amateur astronomy group. We set up telescopes in the park so the public could come and look at various objects in the sky.
Boston University Public Open Night at the Observatory
Boston University hosts a public open night every Wednesday at the observatory on the roof of the building that holds the Astronomy Department. I have helped out with this at various times throughout the year and have also helped with special events that use the observatory. More information can be found at the Open Night Website. The event is free but since space is limited, ticket reservations are required.
The Art of Astrophysics
The Art of Astrophysics was an event at Boston University in 2016 where artists submitted their artwork related to astrophysics. It culminated in a gallery showing and prizes were given to the top submissions. I helped with the gallery showing. More information on the event can be found at the Art of Astrophysics Website
. The Transit of Venus
Venus passed between the Sun and the Earth in June of 2012. I volunteered at an event hosted by Boston University open to the public where people could come and watch the transit and learn about it.
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