GRADUCon 2018 - Alternatives for Teachers Panel


Many graduate students and postdocs develop strong teaching skills while at the University of Chicago.  By serving as writing interns, stand-alone course instructors, or undergraduate research advisors, UChicago graduate students and postdocs learn to develop curricula, assess learning, lead discussions, give compelling presentations, and make complex material accessible to wide audiences.  These teaching skills can be used in a variety of career paths, including instructional design, educational technology, academic advising, and education nonprofit management.  Join us for this panel to explore these “alternatives for teachers.”


Dong Liang, Technology Training Instructional Designer, Stanford University (PhD Cinema an Media Studies 2015)

Dong Liang had an engineering background (BSc. in Computer Science) but his passion for humanities had led him to pursue media studies for more than a decade’s time, which culminates in his PhD dissertation on film sound titled “The World Heard”. After graduating from University of Chicago in 2015 he taught courses on a variety of subjects at different institutions. He currently works as instructional designer at Stanford University.

Sonya Chaudry, Inbound Advisor, Institute of International Education, (MSW Social Work 2016)

Sonya graduated from SSA in 2016. Her professional experiences have centered around supporting vulnerable youth and using education as a means towards success and independence, particularly in the juvenile justice and foster care systems. Prior to joining IIE, Sonya was a therapeutic social worker in the New York foster care system. She worked to connect her youth to trauma informed resources that improved engagement in education. She has also maintained her connection to education by working on mentoring and fundraising initiatives with the Spark Program and contributing to Global Glimpse’s College Day events. In her current role, Sonya advises students from Saudi Arabia who study at US colleges through a STEM scholarship. She enjoys blending her social work skills and experiences in education to create a holistic approach to her advising.

Olivia Liddell, Learning Technologist, John Wiley and Sons (MA Middle Eastern Studies)

Olivia Liddell is a Learning Technologist at Wiley. In this role, she trains university faculty on how to effectively incorporate educational technology tools into their online courses. Previously, she taught 5th-8th grade Arabic in Chicago Public Schools. She holds a BA in Anthropology from New York University, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, and an MAT in Elementary Education from National Louis University.


Bill Rando, Director, Chicago Center for Teaching & Associate Dean, The College (PhD Northwestern University, Educational Philosophy 1992)

William Rando is Associate Dean in the College and Director of the Chicago Center for Teaching at the University of Chicago. Rando started his professional career teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. For the past 30 years, he has taught undergraduate courses, developed centers for teaching and learning, and served in leadership positions in higher education and in organizations that advance teaching. He was the first full-time director of the Academy for Art of Teaching at Florida International University in Miami, FL, and he was the Founding Director of the Yale Teaching Center at Yale University, where he worked and taught for fifteen years prior to coming to Chicago. His research and writing covers a wide range of areas, including: medical education, qualitative research methods, lecturing, group dynamics, teaching with images, and institutional strategies for faculty and TA development. His publications include: “How Practice is Shaped by Implicit Theories”; “Recommendations for Teaching Psychology”; “Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Innovative Anatomy Course”; and “Learning from Students: Case Studies in Mid-Semester Feedback”. Rando consults with colleges and universities throughout the country and around the world. He holds a B.A. in English from Boston College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.