Limed: Teaching with a Twist
Season 2, Episode 5

Tugçe Aldemir recently transitioned into an Assistant Professor position at Texas A&M University in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture. As an international faculty member from Turkey, she is especially aware of the differences in her cultural upbringing and the experiences and the American education system. Host and producer, Dhvani Toprani, interviewed Dr. Aldemir about her experiences teaching primarily international graduate students with varying diverse backgrounds and they ask our panel about how to foster learning across cultural perspectives. Azul Bellot, a second-year psychology student and Center for Engaged Learning student scholar at Elon University, Nermin Vehabovic, an Elon University Assistant Professor of Education and Wellness who has a special interest in literacy and refugee education, and Lisa Wolf-Wendel, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the School of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Kansas share their perspectives and approaches to fostering diverse cultural identities. The conversation highlights brave spaces, learning with and from each other, and getting students to think beyond the polarity of “right” and “wrong” answers. 

View a transcript of this episode.

This episode was hosted by Dhvani Toprani and edited by Jeremiah Timberlake and Matt Wittstein. The episode was produced by Dhvani Toprani and Matt Wittstein in collaboration with Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning.

About the Guest

Headshot of Tugçe Aldemir

Tugçe Aldemir is an Assistant Professor in the STEM program, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, at Texas A&M University. She obtained her Ph.D. from the Learning, Design, and Technology Program at Pennsylvania State University and previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. In her research, she is interested in co-designing and co-evaluating technological tools to support collective agency development. Specifically, Tugçe is examines how learners collaboratively develop epistemic and socio-emotional agency and how various technological tools could support this process. 

About the Panel

Headshot of Azul Bellot

Azul Bellot is a second-year student at Elon University studying psychology with a minor in business administration. As a member of the Odyssey Program, Azul has been given an opportunity to pursue higher education as a first-generation student. By being in this program she is able to develop skills and the knowledge to help her out throughout higher education and life outside university. She is also a Center for Engaged Learning Student Scholar, in which she provides a student perspective on a three-year research seminar on Mentoring Meaningful Learning Experiences.  

Headshot of Nermin Vehabovic

Nermin Vehabovic is an Assistant Professor of Education at Elon University. He founded Welcome New Neighbor, an initiative that resettles and supports people with refugee backgrounds in the local community and connects Teacher Candidates with multilingual children, youth, and their families in the families’ homes. His research interests center around exploring the language and literacy practices that take place in classrooms and community contexts among educators and students; the ways in which multilingual children, youth, and families with refugee backgrounds draw upon their lived experiences and knowledge; and the ways in which they interact with and respond to children’s literature. 

Headshot of Lisa Wolf-Wendel

Lisa Wolf-Wendel is the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) at the University of Kansas. She is also the Interim Chair of ELPS and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the School of Education and Human Sciences. She earned her doctorate in Higher Education from The Claremont Graduate University in 1995. Dr. Wolf-Wendel is the author of numerous books and refereed journal articles on topics related to equity issues in higher education. Her research focuses on faculty issues including studies of the academic labor market, the needs of international faculty and faculty from historically underrepresented groups, and several recent research projects pertaining to the policy response of academic institutions in the wake of demands for dual career couple accommodations and work/family integration. Her most recent research is about faculty during COVID, associate professors, and department chairs. Her book, Academic Motherhood, was awarded the Outstanding Publication Award by the American Educational Research Association in Division J in 2013. She was also recognized for the School of Education Faculty Research Achievement Award in 2004 and the Early Career Achievement Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in 2000. 

Resources Related to this Episode

Cook-Sather, Alison. 2016. “Creating brave spaces within and through student-faculty pedagogical partnerships.” Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education 1 (18): 1.  

Namaste, Nina, and Amanda Sturgill, eds. 2020. Mind the gap: Global learning at home and abroad. Taylor & Francis.

Palfrey, John. 2017. Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education. MIT Press. 

Dr. Vehabovic talked about being inspired by the work of Bettina Love. We encourage you to learn more about her contributions to abolitionist teaching on her personal website: