Departmental Spotlight – Gretchen Montgomery


Gretchen Montgomery is a MA/Ph.D. student and a first year Assistant Basic Course Director. She has so much passion and zest for education and pedagogy! Thank you for all that you do for our basic course and the department, Gretchen!

Please tell us about yourself, your research interests, and where you are in your studies:

I am taking my first year of PhD coursework and finishing up my thesis project this semester. My research focuses on intergroup communication, specifically questions about language and identity.

What has been the most rewarding experience working as an Assistant Basic Course Instructor?

Helping with orientation was great! I really enjoyed meeting and working with all of our new GTAs. I like the problem-solving aspect of the Basic Course, and being able to support our instructors when they have questions or concerns. Also, it’s always great to hear them talk about their successes in the classroom!

What have been the most challenging experiences thus far?

Any transition to a new role comes with challenges! Mostly it’s been trying to find a balance in my schedule between teaching, classes, and the Basic Course.

What are some of your favorite hobbies when you aren’t busy teaching classes, researching, and working as a ABCD?

I really enjoy cooking and learning about food. It’s my favorite way to de-stress, plus it’s a great way to think through ideas for class and research. Getting my mind distracted with cooking/baking is always when I have my breakthroughs! 🙂

I also have a 2 year old lab mix, Fiona, who is an absolute joy! We love going to the park and spending time outside.