Erin M. Rentschler
Instructional Consultant for Teaching Assistants
Erin's position at CTE supports graduate students preparing for college teaching across the disciplines. In addition to facilitating CTE workshops, Erin is also available to consult with graduate TAs on topics related to teaching and learning, including preparation, assessment, and classroom management. Additionally, consulting is available for TAs who are preparing to enter the job market and would like to review statements of teaching philosophy, cover letters, and CVs. She is excited about working with, and learning from, TAs from a range of disciplinary backgrounds.
Education and Experience
Erin received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts in 2001. After graduating from Wheaton, she taught high school English in Massachusetts. In 2005, Erin came to Duquesne as a Masters student in English and also served as a teaching assistant in the English Department until 2011. In addition to core writing classes, Erin taught a Survey of American Literature II (1865-present) and Introduction to Fiction.
Currently working on her Ph.D., Erin is writing a dissertation that explores race and ethnicity in American novels representing the Vietnam War. She arrived at this topic in part while working with her high school English students, who were captivated by the Vietnam era but had little knowledge of the war or the various social movements of the time. Since coming to Duquesne, Erin found that college students were similarly motivated by Vietnam War representation, pushing her to examine the gaps in scholarship surrounding the literature representing this time period. She hopes that her project will contribute to both the critical discussion of fiction representing a particular historical moment and to conversations about teaching controversial and sensitive topics such as war, race, and ethnicity. To that end, she has presented her work at conferences focusing on both scholarship and teaching. In 2011, she presented “Teaching Narratives of War, Re-Examining the Document" at the 39th Annual Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture since 1900 and in 2010 "(How) Do You Remember? Narratives of the Vietnam War and September 11" at the West Virginia Association of College English Teachers Fall Conference.