Meet our 2021 Online Learning Assistants

Related people and/or projects: EdTech Office's Summer Interns 2020

This summer, the EdTech Office has hired five amazing UofT students to join them in supporting online course management, design, and video editing. They have lots of opinions on online/remote learning and are an invaluable sounding board for anyone looking for student feedback on their ideas for course design (will the students connect with that? does it make sense?). After this post you will know a little more about all five of them and we hope you'll schedule them for a Student (Re)View session!

Learn more about the Summer 2021 Co-op students:

  1. Theodora Girgis
  2. Sofia Karter
  3. Audrey Melgar
  4. Ian Peng
  5. Lielle Ronen

Theodora Girgis

Theodora hopes that her childhood dream of someday becoming an astronaut will come true, as she goes into her third year studying Aerospace Engineering in Engineering Science. “When I was a kid I remember being really fascinated by all these things that seem impossible to fathom,” she says, “ but you could actually go to space!” When she is not engrossed in stars and planets, Theodora enjoys playing one of the 11 instruments she knows, and spends her weekends teaching piano lessons. She is rewarded by seeing her students progressing and proud of themselves, and she loves being a helping hand to others. For this reason, she looks forward to meeting with and helping instructors build their courses as she joins us this summer as a Co-op Online Learning Assistant and the EdTech Office.

Last summer, Theodora and her peers received funding from the Covid-19 Student Engagement Award to launch a website seeking to support students transitioning between high school and university. Although remote learning has been a new challenge for Theo, working at the EdTech Office has brought her to appreciate even more all the work that is being put into supporting students online. 

Sofia Karter

Sofia is an Engineering Science student going into her third year specializing in Biomedical Systems Engineering. Although her desires are to succeed in the Biomedical Industry, she has thoughts of going into academia through research or teaching someday.  Sofia has a passion for “Engineering for the World” and believes that a huge impact can be made implementing basic technology in the places that need it most. In previous years, she led a group of students installing solar panels in rural communities, and is currently a project coordinator at the EWB Sustainability and Environmental Justice Portfolio. In these projects she has learned skills in graphic design, video editing, and project management. These skills, along with her interest for teaching, led her to seek a position at the EdTech Office, and she will be joining us this summer as a Co-op Online Learning Assistant.

Sofia looks forward to learning more about the world “behind the curtains” and hopes to make a positive contribution to the experience of professors teaching online at UofT. She loves lending a hand when needed and being able to support professors in creating and managing their courses is something she looks forward to. 

Audrey Melgar 

Audrey is a Mechanical Engineering 2T3 with creativity and music at her center. Unlike the rest of her family, she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of growing up to become a doctor, but she has kept the medical field close to her through her specialization in Bioengineering and Mechatronics. This year, Audrey is a Comanaging Director at UT BIOME and is joining the EdTech Office for the summer as a Co-op Online Learning Assistant.

Audrey talks about her love for music as a big part of her life. As an escape from the classical pieces she practiced in her early piano lessons, she taught herself how to play the guitar, and more recently, the bass. Learning on her own taught her independence, which she describes as an asset in her academic and work life. Having previously worked on marketing for UT BIOME, Audrey has experience in web page and graphic design. Working at the EdTech Office, Audrey hopes, will challenge her creativity, and allow her to continue developing her artistic skills with blog posts, video editing, and other forms of content creation. These days, Audrey is especially excited to learn more about Quercus course design, and learning more about the platforms she has been using as a student for the past two years. 

Ian Peng

Ian is a lover of airplanes and will be going into his third year in Engineering Science specializing in Aerospace Engineering. Ian has been a huge fan of airplanes since he was a kid, and the things he finds so attractive about them might be considered unusual… for example, the way the doors of commercial planes open and close! He is a self-proclaimed ‘AvGeek’ and will be starting his pilot training this summer, as well as joining us as a Co-op Online Learning Assistant at the EdTech Office.

Ian’s recent work and volunteering experience is in the fields of education and customer service. In high school, he was an assistant teacher at an after-school math program for students seeking to go above and beyond their curriculum. He also worked in customer service at IKEA, and volunteered at Pearson Airport, where he was able to spend some time airplane spotting in his free time! When he isn’t airplane spotting or collecting plane models, he has enjoyed playing piano, guitar, and tennis. Ian is grateful for the unique opportunity to see “behind the scenes” of his online learning experience and is excited about supporting professors in course building.   

Lielle Ronen

Lielle has become a food blogger while she completed her first year in life science online at UofT. In this past year, Lielle learned to cook and bake, and created the new instagram account @foodandcravings__, where she showcases some of her own recipes and dishes from her favorite restaurants. She is hoping to major in art history and physiology, and would like to go into medical school after finishing her degree.

In her free time, Lielle enjoys painting and has been training to run a half marathon! In the summer of 2019, she worked at the EdTech Office and loved it so much that she came back this summer (but now virtually) as a part-time work-study student. Especially being the youngest one, she has learned a lot from her mentors and developed her skills in graphic design and communication. This summer, Lielle is excited to learn the instructor’s point of view about online teaching, and she wants to be a part of bridging the gap between them and their students.

Interested in a student perspective on your course? Email us at fase.edtech@utoronto.ca and we'd be happy to schedule a Student (Re)View session.

Article Category: Student Perspectives