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Teaching challenging topics with empathy and impact

Facilitator: Dr. Carmen Alvarez, Nursing
Convener: Stacey Bevan, CTL Graduate Fellow, Nursing

Students may come to class with a swirl of distressing headlines and personal reactions to current events relevant to course materials. Dr. Carmen Alvarez will join this workshop with her reflections on how teaching difficult topics engages her clinical practice as nurse practitioner and research on health in the context of adverse childhood experiences. We’ll discuss strategies to acknowledge difficult topics in the context of course objectives, including current events, and how to weave personal expertise into class discussions. Lunch will be provided!


  1. Practice strategies to acknowledge difficult topics and connect to course objectives
  2. Learn when and how introduce personal and research experience while teaching challenging material
  3. Discuss using reliable sources in the context of current events and options like inviting experts as guest lectures

All graduate students are welcome. This event grows out of concerns in the School of Nursing and so may be most useful to students in related fields.

Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.


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Thursday, April 6, 2023

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Fagin Hall
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
Event Participants:

Annenberg School for Communication, Graduate School of Education, Perelman School of Medicine, School of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, School of Nursing, Social Policy & Practice, Stuart Weitzman School of Design, Wharton School

For More Information: