Meredith McLain

Ph.D. Candidate at Vanderbilt University

As the product of a liberal arts education, I know firsthand the importance of engaging discussion in the classroom, exposure to the research process, and active mentorship in supporting the growth of new scholars. Through carefully selecting readings to provide a foundation for class discussion and crafting assignments that lead students through the research process, I aim to impart a variety of skills that can aid students in their future careers, in and out of academia. Specifically, I focus on helping students learn to analytically engage with research, use that research to inform arguments, and express themselves clearly and concisely in their writing.

I have had the opportunity to implement these strategies as a teaching assistant in Introduction to Public Politics, where I facilitated class discussions in weekly sessions and provided feedback on three drafts of a policy memo over the course of the semester. I have also served as a teaching assistant for Introduction to American Politics and Legislative Process, where I benefited from guest lecturing, developing assignments, and interacting directly with students.

I have had the opportunity to oversee two Vanderbilt undergraduate research assistants as they coded observational data for my dissertation. Furthermore, I have also completed Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching’s Certificate in College Teaching. This program consisted of weekly seminar discussions concerning best teaching practices, how to create an inclusive classroom, and how to design assignments through backwards design.

I am interested in teaching the American Presidency (undergraduate/graduate), Congress (undergraduate/graduate), Separation of Power Politics (undergraduate/graduate), Introduction to Statistics for Political Scientists (undergraduate), Research Design (undergraduate/graduate), American Politics (undergraduate/graduate), and Public Policy (undergraduate).