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Chelsea Garber

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 
Ph.D. Candidate in Economics 


Chelsea Garber


Chelsea Garber is a Ph.D. candidate in economics, studying public economics and law and economics. She completed her bachelor’s in applied mathematics and economics from Brown University. During her time at Duke, she has taught numerous courses at both Duke and Meredith College. Notably, Garber has been the instructor of record for Intermediate Microeconomics three times and head teaching assistant five times. In these roles, she increased student attendance and participation through new course innovations. Currently, she is completing her Certificate in College Teaching.  

Garber has three teaching objectives: to make economics relevant and useful, to help students develop their problem-solving and analytical skills, and to challenge students to apply the theory to the real world. She emphasizes active learning and real-world application to make her students excited about economics. Her students have praised her ability to break down complicated economic principles and her willingness to dedicate her time to ensuring their comprehension and success. 

On Teaching

"This idea of having a growth mindset when it comes to learning, I think that’s so important. There really is power in believing that you can get better and you can improve on certain skills. I try to say on day 1, ‘We are all going to try to improve together. Sometimes that’s going to involve failing, but we are going to learn from that.’ ”



In Their Words 

Excerpts from Garber’s Nomination

“Chelsea’s students clearly love her. When she taught the course two years ago, she scored better on her teaching evaluations than just about every faculty member that had ever taught Econ 201—and not by a little bit either. Her TA evaluations are similarly off the scales. But you really don’t get a sense of just how good she is until you see the gratitude of students leaving her help sessions.”

“She has significantly helped me thus far in the course.  She explains things thoroughly and clearly and is always willing to answer any questions throughout the problem. There is no doubt that she has helped my learning in the course, and I am quite confident other students can echo that. I cannot say enough good things about her role as an instructor in this course.”

“I am continually impressed by Chelsea’s enthusiasm for teaching, even in large courses such as Economics 201, and by the mature and professional way that she approaches these assignments. Chelsea has become a true asset to the Economics Department’s teaching portfolio.”