Costanzo Teaching Fellow Program Honors Outstanding Undergraduate Teachers

Costanzo Teaching Fellows

The Psychology & Neuroscience department honors the accomplishments of the Costanzo Teaching Fellows (TFs), a group of outstanding undergraduate students who were selected to gain teaching and mentorship experience in Introductory Psychology (PSY 101), one of Duke’s largest undergraduate courses. The Costanzo TFs plan and lead sections for the PSY 101 class, as well as provide one-on-one mentorship to students on a semester-long research and writing project.

Although all of the Costanzo TFs are deeply appreciated by their students, several received special teaching awards designed to highlight the core teaching values of the program.

The department honored two winners of the Innovative Educator Award, who brought concepts to life in section through creative, stimulating, and inspiring activities and discussions that made the content vivid, personal, and relevant.


E. Kayley Dotson, Class of 2021, Psychology and French double major

A student nominator wrote: “In each section, it was obvious Kayley cared very deeply about psychology and her students. Each class it felt as if it was her mission to ensure that the class content was vivid and (perhaps to make sure we would remember) personal. Whenever class morale was low, she worked very hard to make the class stimulating and I often left feeling inspired about the implications of psychology in a larger sense."



Nathaniel Hernandez, Class of 2020, Biology major

A student who nominated Nathaniel wrote “I've sat in on multiple sections, and Nathaniel by far puts so much effort into making section engaging. He's incredibly creative with what activities he puts on, and tries to make each as interactive as possible. He's also HILARIOUS and has great energy that makes me excited to participate in class."



The department also honored three winners of the Exceptional Mentor Award who supported students with outstanding feedback and advice on the Research and Writing Project, and/or with one-on-one advising regarding various academic choices or problems. 

Cathy Chen, Class of 2020 Psychology major.  

In nominating Cathy, one student wrote “She was very helpful in explaining concepts about research design, which I knew little about. She was very patient. Whenever I emailed her follow-up questions, she responded immediately and was helpful. She also met with me over Zoom when I was working on my Part #4. I could not have asked for better help and guidance from Cathy as my TA.”


Mackenzie DeLoatch, Class of 2020 Psychology major.

A student who nominated Mackenzie wrote: “Mackenzie was always there when I needed help or additional feedback on my project. She made me feel very welcomed and communicated clearly. She also expanded on my feedback and made sure that I understood which direction I should take to improve my writing and thought process. I feel that if I ever needed any help I could always reach out to her.”



Natalie Popowics, Class of 2020 Psychology major.  

A student who nominated Natalie wrote: “The dedication that Natalie put into her section was really amazing. Especially during the quarantine, she was really receptive of students who needed feedback and wanted to ensure that they could get the resources they needed. In the R&W project especially, she really went out of her way to find ways to give feedback and made timeslots for feedback if students wanted to come.”


The department also congratulates all of the 2019-2020 Costanzo Teaching Fellows for their hard work and dedication to ensuring a high-quality learning experiences for students  in Introductory Psychology, our department’s important gateway course.

2019-2020 Costanzo Teaching Fellows

Mannat Bakshi

Alexandra Chan

Cathy Chen

Mackenzie DeLoatch

Kayley Dotson

Ceren Ebrem

Kristiana Gambuti

Tarika Iyer

Nathaniel Hernandez

Victoria Johnson

Aiyanna Kimble

Michael Li

Sabrina Maciariello

Natalie Popowics

Philipp Popp

Mahima Varma