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Emmaline Drew Eliseev

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology and Neuroscience



Emmaline Drew Eliseev is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience studying how people use technology to support their learning and memory. She works with Professor Elizabeth Marsh in the Marsh Memory Lab. Eliseev graduated from Rice University with a bachelor’s in psychology and French studies. In addition to other fellowships that have supported her research, she is currently a Bass Digital Education Fellow (2021-2022) and was a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow (2019-2020) and a James B. Duke Fellow (2016-2020).

Her teaching approach is directly related to her research interests as a cognitive psychologist. Eliseev prioritizes evidence-based methods to maximize retention, digital tools to facilitate student engagement, and science communication skills to translate scientific research to broad audiences. Her students note her ability to foster a welcoming and patient learning environment. She is known for her creative approach to teaching and ability to build rapport with students.


What do you enjoy about teaching? 

Seeing my students succeed is one of my favorite parts of teaching. While I doubt that “grading” is the first thing that comes to mind when instructors are asked what they enjoy most about teaching, I view assessments as evidence of how much my students have learned and accomplished throughout the course. As a teacher, it is so rewarding to see how my students make connections between what they learned in class and the real world outside the classroom.

How have you evolved as a teacher compared to when you first started?

Before I began teaching, I used to think that good teachers needed to already know everything. Now I realize that to be a good teacher, you need to always be open to learning. Whether it is new pedagogical techniques to engage students, innovative ways to explain concepts or different perspectives from students, there is always more to learn to continually grow and improve as a teacher.

What resources or strategies have you found to be helpful in your development as a teacher?

I feel fortunate to have had access to so many helpful resources at Duke that supported my development as a teacher. In addition to the teaching opportunities in my own department, I’ve gained valuable and practical pedagogical training through the Certificate in College Teaching program, Graduate Academy courses, and Learning Innovation workshops. I’ve also received extremely helpful feedback on my teaching from peer observations in teaching triangles, from the professors I’ve worked with as a TA, from my Preparing Future Faculty mentor, Dr. Gwynn Morris at Meredith College, and, most importantly, from my students.


Excerpts from Eliseev’s nomination

“Emmaline is a promising young scientist with a commitment to teaching. ”

“In our co-teaching collaborations, I have seen Emmaline use evidence-based teaching strategies and incorporate student feedback to improve students’ overall learning experience in the course.”

“Her ideas and materials for these courses were so excellent that I found myself taking notes for my own future courses!”