Cecilia M. McHugh

Christine Ramadhin

Lecturer (Doctoral)
Student-centered Education and Climate Dynamics

Science Building, Room E208
Phone: 718-997-3325

Research Interests

My research interests included using non-linear dynamic theory to understand the mechanisms of abrupt climate transitions, identifying the signs of impending transitions and analyzing tree ring data for insights on tree mortality in a changing climate. Currently, I am exploring the question of how effective in-class group discussions are in improving academic performance and developing meaningful engagement for undergraduate students in a large class setting.

Teaching Philosophy

As an educator, my goal is to create learning experiences to spark student curiosity, develop the mindset of inquiry, encourage boldness to share their unique strengths and interests as it relates to concepts being taught, fostering a learning community. To help achieve these, each lecture is punctuated with in-class group discussions of open-ended questions relating to the topic of the day enabling a more interactive and collaborative lecture atmosphere. This strategy improves enthusiasm, critical thinking, brings student voice and empowerment enabling all involved to grow in this cooperative learning environment. Low-stakes assessment in the form of entrance and exit tickets help to ensure students are coming to the table prepared to contribute in a thoughtful and impactful way to the discussions.