February 25, 2011


SUBJECT:    Appointment of Center for Teaching Development (CTD) Director

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Beth Simon, currently Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has accepted the 50% position of Director of the Center for Teaching Development, effective July 1, 2011. Dr. Simon will be combining her new duties with her ongoing teaching and scholarly responsibilities in CSE.

Dr. Simon is a UC San Diego graduate alumna, having obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering in 2002 under the mentorship of Professors Jeanne Ferrante and Brad Calder. After a period spent as an Assistant Professor at the University of San Diego, she returned to UCSD in 2005 to assume her current position, and has excelled in developing novel approaches to the teaching of large undergraduate classes in computer science. She has received significant research funding from the National Science Foundation to investigate new modalities in undergraduate instruction and assessment, and is internationally recognized for her educational leadership. She is also an extremely popular instructor, having been voted to receive the annual Jacobs School of Engineering Best Teacher Award in 2007 and 2009.

In her new role, Dr. Simon will chart a strategic course for the Center for Teaching Development in collaboration with the CTD manager, Christine Alexander, and will advise me on priorities and opportunities. In addition to ensuring that our graduate students are best prepared for their roles as teaching assistants and future members of the professoriate, Dr. Simon will promote a proactive stance towards teaching development across the spectrum of trainee instructors, including postdoctoral fellows and new faculty. In addition, she hopes to provide comprehensive support to existing faculty who wish to explore their pedagogy and curricula and its impact on student learning. She will also embrace and disseminate solid technologies that can increase learning (e.g., through increased student engagement and feedback support)

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Simon on her new appointment. With her background, accomplishments, energy and enthusiasm, she is the ideal candidate to ensure that UC San Diego will become internationally recognized for best practices and innovation in teaching development.

Kim E. Barrett
Dean of Graduate Studies