Kelly Jensen and Matt St. John receive Letters & Science Teaching Fellow Award

The Department of Communication Arts is pleased to announce Kelley Jensen and Matt St. John’s receipt of the Letters & Science Teaching Fellow Award.

Kelly Jensen

Kelly NelsonKelly Jensen is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture. Jensen is highly regarded as a teaching assistant for several Comm Arts courses, and has served as lead instructor for CA 200, Introduction to Digital Communication. She has excelled at creating imaginative, multimodal class lectures and activities–in one course combining synchronous discussion, break-out groups, and different technological platforms to help students learn about the process of writing convincing cover letters for internship and job applications. In orienting students to the session, she framed application letters as a genre, suggesting that they carry particular characteristics and expectations that may help students structure their letters and identify relevant themes and examples.

Jensen has built supportive relationships with students, providing clear and helpful feedback on their work, which is reflected in her exceptional course evaluations.

Beyond her courses, Kelly has joined workshops, trainings, and activities to bolster her teaching, including a retreat on inclusive pedagogy hosted by the UW Teaching Academy, a workshop offered by the Delta Academy, and a panel exploring educational disparities in Wisconsin co-hosted by UW Extension and the School of Education.

Matt St. John

Matthew St JohnMatt St. John is a PhD candidate in Film. St. John is recognized for a creative, adaptive approach to instruction. For example, when responsible for five discussion sections of CA 552, Contemporary Hollywood Cinema, St. John adapted his teaching style to accommodate the unique factors of each section, like varied numbers of students or the different spaces on campus where he taught. Lesson plans for smaller groups focused on seminar-style discussion, and larger sections included opportunities to break into pairs or other small groups. While learning goals stayed the same for every section, adjusting the plans for each meeting helped keep students active and engaged.

St. John is also praised for creating an inclusive classroom, screening works by a diverse range of filmmakers, and encouraging student participation in class discussion. “Matt was really excited to discuss films and readings, he created a super open environment for discussion which made it more comfortable and fun. You could also tell he knew what he was talking about, but was very open to our ideas, even if they were different from his own interpretations,” remarked a student in CA 552.


Jensen and St. John are named L&S Teaching Fellows and will serve as instructors at the Letters & Science Fall 2021 TA Training, which welcomes 300-400 new and experienced TAs from across campus.