As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, Mariah has served as the instructor of record for many digital media and journalism courses including Digital Journalism, Introduction to News Writing, Magazine Writing, Media Writing, Visual Editing, and Writing for Strategic Communication. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Mariah served as one of 12 University Teaching Assistant Fellows where she earned the opportunity to design and implement her own course within the Department of Communication. The course, titled Constructing Journalism, was designed as an intermediate journalism writing and reporting course for undergraduate students interested in pursuing hard news and investigative journalism roles. The course focused on producing quality stories during an era of "fake news" and included refining student's reporting and writing skills along with teaching them how to request documents through processes offered by the Freedom of Information Act. Students were challenged to think critically about story topics, angles, sources, and secondary data while producing newsworthy pieces.
Mariah has also served as a teaching assistant at the University of Utah for courses such as Media Communication History, Social Media Journalism, and Making Brands Stick, an undergraduate course focused on branding principles. As a master's student at the University of Iowa, she was a teaching assistant for Multimedia Storytelling. An introductory course to all things multimedia, Multimedia Storytelling taught students skills in blogging, social media storytelling, data, visual, and audio storytelling, videography, and more. Software taught in the course included the WordPress blogging platform, Storify, Plot.ly, CoveritLive, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro, and hardware like H4N recorders, Canon DSLR cameras, and LAV mics. Students created portfolios and built multimedia stories to run alongside their texts written in Journalism Reporting and Writing, a co-requisite course.
Mariah's Teaching Philosophy
As I continue to learn about myself as an instructor and grow in my teaching skills, I continue to refine my teaching philosophy. I have taken a few courses in college teaching during my time as a graduate student, and believe only in bettering myself will I provide a better experience for my students. I strive to achieve these specific goals in my classroom:
1. Encourage students to focus on the competency of skills, rather than receiving a specific point or grade-based affirmation.
2. Help students learn the latest reporting, writing, and editing techniques, including how to best utilize relevant software and hardware accessible to me and the institution so that they may be well-suited in future classes, internships, and careers.
3. Build relationships with students so that I may offer guidance not only related to coursework and their chosen field of study, but to be a source of information for other areas of life.
I believe it is important to allow space for my students to share their interests with me and others during class. I make an effort to connect with my students on media they are consuming, whether it be specific creators on YouTube or Instagram, or podcasts they may be listening to outside of my classroom. I get to know them, allow them to get to know me and my interests, and foster a classroom environment focused on inclusion, conversation, learning, growing, and achieving.
I understand classwork ranges in priority for each student, depending on personal life factors and responsibilities, so I attempt to provide in-class work time for my students to begin projects, work on developing skills, and use myself and other students as a resource. I believe in students going above and beyond, but only when provided time to do so. I work with students individually in office hours and during in-class work time, encouraging them to meet course requirements, while not being afraid to add their own personal touches on projects and assignments. As creators in visual editing, I encourage each student to find their voice, create projects and portfolios that allow me to get to know them and their interests, and foster the skills necessary to become lifelong learners and creators.