Jeremy spool's Delta Portfolio in teaching, mentoring, and outreach

Welcome! This portfolio contains my experiences in teaching, mentoring, teaching-as-research, and other professional development activities. Throughout, I have reflected on what I have learned and gained as a teacher, scientist, and as a person, through each of these activities.

I am a dissertator in Lauren Riters’ lab at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. My current research addresses the role of environmental resources in shaping the motivation for animals to engage in social behavior. I have specifically investigated the connections between territory (crucial resources for reproductive success), and the neural and endocrine systems underlying agonistic, and sociosexual behaviors in birds. I am an avid hiker, budding ornithologist, amateur piano player and love writing fiction whether or not it ever sees the light of day.

What is Delta?

The Delta program is a founding member of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) network, which aims to implement and advance effective teaching practices in higher education institutions. Delta is founded on three inter-related "pillars" that encompass its philosophy: Teaching-as-Research, Learning Communities, and Learning-through-Diversity.


Teaching-as-Research makes use of the scientific method to investigate teaching pedagogy in the classroom with the purpose of enhancing one's classroom teaching. This approach involves generating a question and designing a study to address the question, collecting data (e.g., student learning), analyzing, and interpreting the data. In this way, Teaching-as-Research promotes innovative, evidence-based pedagogy.

Learning Communities

The Learning Communities pillar highlights the importance of collaboration in improving teaching and learning across a variety of settings. For example, every classroom is a learning community that may be optimized through collaborative interactions between students and teachers. In the Delta program, Learning Communities are found in seminars and courses in which faculty, post-docs, and graduate students come together from across campus to advance effective teaching practices. Key in Learning Communities is the emphasis on harnessing shared knowledge as being the catalyst for innovation in approaching teaching and learning challenges.


Learning-through-Diversity recognizes the importance of integrating views and experiences across academic disciplines, generations, career stages, and identities and backgrounds of all kinds. Our students are not a monolith and neither should be our teaching practices or our approaches to addressing classroom challenges.