CUTF Introduction: Political Theory and the Future Project

Hello everyone! My name is Madison Stanley. This is my third year at Pitt, and I will be graduating this Spring with a Political Science major, German minor, and Global Studies certificate. I’m also a second-year Resident Assistant for the Honors LLC in Sutherland Hall and the Sustainability and Wellness lead for the Residential Programming Team (RPT). 

For my CUTF project, I am working with Dr. Lotz, my fellowship mentor, in his Political Theory and the Future (PS 1693) course this semester. My role in the course is to both supplement student thought in class and to support student writing. The students will benefit from having the voice of an undergraduate peer who understands the concepts and skills provided by the course, having taken it previously myself. I will also push class discussion forward and provide deeper insight when the class is struggling. Furthermore, I will assist students in a one-on-one setting primarily to review and provide feedback on student writing but also to discuss course concepts when students are struggling. As someone who is both a student and a Resident Assistant, I have seen how intimidated the extraordinarily bright students of Pitt can feel when they do not understand something in a course on the first try. The most effective method of helping students with this kind of issue is by giving them access to people whom they can relate to. Thus, I believe that this project and projects like it are important because they provide students with opportunities to seek help on a more attainable level. Additionally, I know from experience that this course and Dr. Lotz’s teaching in particular successfully emphasizes the practice of critical thinking skills through student writing. Therefore, it is imperative that the work of students in the course is supported in any way possible. 

I anticipate that this CUTF project will benefit both my academic and professional career by exercising my capabilities to communicate ideas to others as well as other soft skills. As part of the project, I will be giving a partial lecture on a course topic that I researched and then guiding class discussion on the corresponding readings. This enables me to practice my ability to facilitate discussions, respond to the thoughts of others, and provide detailed information in a teaching format. While at this time I am not planning on going into teaching specifically, these skills are applicable to any field, and I will become an even more well-rounded individual as a result.

I am looking forward to the work I will be doing for the CUTF. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

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