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How to Apply

To be considered for this Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) position, candidates should submit a single file attachment (in PDF format) with the following materials:

  • Cover letter (one to two pages) that addresses your interest in this position and outlines skills and experiences that directly relate to the responsibilities and qualifications described below.
  • Specifically, please address your commitment to community-building, a pedagogy of care, anti-racist pedagogy, inclusive teaching methos, and/or trauma-informed teaching.  Additionally, in the spirit of the course description, applicants should discuss how they understand their role in pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the liberal arts.
  • Current resume or CV, including your teaching history.
  • Teaching evaluations: Applicants who have held a GSI appointment at U-M or other institutions should attach the Instructor Report for the course evaluations (or institutionally equivalent evaluations) from all courses previously taught.
  • The name and contact information of at least one faculty reference who can comment on your qualifications for this position, including classroom performance and your ability to cultivate an inclusive learning community.

Applications and supporting materials must be submitted through the U-M jobs website.

Course Description

This is a 50% GSI position for Fall 2020.

Come reimagine the world with us! Here in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), we push the boundaries of what is understood about human existence and the natural world, and we do so across an incredibly wide range of fields and disciplines. In this introductory “whirlwind tour,” you will meet some of the top faculty in LSA, who will share the questions that keep them up at night and discoveries they have made that changed our understanding of the world. We hope these stories will surprise you with ways of seeing the world you might not have encountered before and spark your curiosity about new questions. These faculty members will also share advice about how to get the most out of your college experience, stories about how they found their majors, reflections on what they would do differently if they could do college again, and more. We want this to be a fun and inspiring way for you to start your college experience in LSA.

ALA 170—Whirlwind Tour of the Liberal Arts— is designed to welcome incoming students to LSA, introduce the breadth and depth of the liberal arts, and provide a sampling of our faculty’s pedagogical creativity. The course will carry three credits of interdisciplinary distribution credit graded on a credit / no credit basis. It is structured around one three-hour module per week, including roughly four from each of the college’s three divisions (natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities). Each module will integrate three hour-long segments - an asynchronously-delivered disciplinary introduction led by a faculty member, a small (approximately 15 students) discussion section led by a GSI, and a synchronous follow-up conversation between the course enrollment and the hosting faculty member. An important purpose of the discussion sections is to ease students' first-year transition by building an inclusive community that fosters a strong sense of belonging. We expect to enroll 5 to 10% of the incoming LSA class (250 to 500 students), requiring up to ten GSIs to lead up to three discussion sections each.



This is a professional development opportunity for LSA graduate students to actively contribute to designing and implementing LSA’s signature "Whirlwind Tour of LSA" course. For each weekly module, the tasks will include:

  • Reviewing an hour-long video session recorded by the lead faculty member;
  • Preparing for and leading effective discussions (up to three sections) based on the video recording and faculty-designed writing assignments. Depending on circumstances related to COVID-19, these discussion sections may be delivered online (synchronously) or in-person, with consideration given to the needs and preferences of individual GSIs;
  • Providing thoughtful and personalized written feedback on students' reflective writing;
  • Facilitating students’ engagement with the lead faculty member in a post-discussion synchronous conversation; and
  • Collaborating with the course lecturers and other GSIs to enhance student learning and holistic support, and develop teaching methods.

In this capacity, responsibilities include:

  • Cultivating an inclusive online learning environment that fosters safety, respect, trust, sense of belonging, and community among students with diverse backgrounds and experiences;
  • Providing opportunities for students to explore interdisciplinary content in relation to their background and interests;
  • Strengthening students' writing skills, critical thinking skills, and enthusiasm about interdisciplinary exploration;
  • Reaching out to individual students via email, phone, and zoom to enhance their experience in the course and provide personalized support - especially to students in underserved populations and students with needs for academic, social, or emotional support; and
  • Using resources provided by the course lecturers to respond to low-stakes writing and apply principles of a pedagogy of care, anti-racist pedagogy, and trauma-informed teaching.

GSIs will not be responsible for developing primary content for the course.

Required Qualifications*

Currently enrolled graduate student in good standing.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary studies;
  • Demonstrated success cultivating non-hierarchical, inclusive communities that foster students' sense of belonging;
  • Experience working with culturally diverse groups;
  • Demonstrated success leading intergroup dialogue;
  • Experiencing leading discussions in a synchronous online learning environment;
  • Demonstrated commitment to a pedagogy of care, anti-racist pedagogy, inclusive teaching methods, and/or trauma informed teaching

Contact Information

Please contact Marybeth Bauer ( with questions.

Decision Making Process

Review of applications will be on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Selection Process

Review of applications will be on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds at

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

Benefits include tuition waiver and stipend as provided in the UM/GEO agreement.



U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.