Kate Flom Derrick
Kate joined the Searle Center in 2017 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Foundations in Learning and Teaching. In this role, she supports graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career faculty in developing their teaching and learning skills through programs such Graduate Teaching Fellows, Reflective Teaching Guides, and Formative Feedback Partners and events such as workshops and the Academic Quarter Kickoff events.
Kate earned her master's in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul University in Chicago, where she then served as an adjunct instructor in the First Year Writing program and as a coordinator in the University Center for Writing-based Learning. In this role, she collaborated with faculty to develop programming to support learners in developing writing-based skills. Throughout her work at DePaul, she developed her appreciation for peer-to-peer learning and critical reflection, two core values present in much of the work she contributes to the Searle Center.
In addition to teaching composition courses at DePaul University, Kate co-teaches Linguistics 480: American Academic Culture for Non-Native Speakers of English, a course that prepares international graduate students for teaching in the United States and Design Thinking & Communication. Kate aims to teach in ways that value the lived experiences learners bring to the classroom and help them challenge assumptions they bring with them to create new, deep learning experiences.
Kate’s current scholarly interests include following the growing interest and scholarship around ungrading practices and alternative assessments. She finds joy in connecting scholars (Elbow, Inoue, Shor) and their research familiar to her from her past work in teaching composition and rhetoric to her work now in learning and teaching more broadly. She also continues to deepen her understanding of critical reflection and how it strengthens the work of both instructors and learners. She is currently in the engaged in a collaborative research project entitled "Codifying Workshops: Surfacing the Purpose(s) of Workshops in Educational Development'' which investigates the role that workshops may play in supporting Centers’ visions and needs and collects and analyzes individual educational developers' guiding principles and wisdom on how to approach workshop design, development, and implementation. She was awarded the 2023 POD Network Early Researcher Grant to support this project.