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About CPET

CPET's Mission

Our goal is to help members of the Caltech community become effective educators through an improved understanding of pedagogy by providing seminars on best practices and practical training and teaching resources on campus. We are a group of Caltech community members dedicated to improving our own teaching skills and helping others do the same. 

Each year we plan a teaching seminar series that includes talks by the best professors at Caltech and other local universities on topics including:  how to design courses, teaching tips, improving presentation skills, and outreach and mentorship (previous seminars). Some seminars are recorded by CPET and posted to YouTube where they can edify the local community for years to come (video list).

CPET also administers two certificate programs for the Caltech community, the Certificate of Interest and the Certificate of Practice in University Teaching. The Certificate of Interest provides students with an introduction to teaching pedagogy and best practices, while the Certificate of Practice allows students to improve their teaching skills with the support of CPET and CTLO. More details can be found of the Certificate home page.

CPET has also originated a Library collection on teaching books and professional development books at the Caltech library.  These books range in topics from the best presentation of quantitative information to research based tips for teaching (full list of library books).  Email CPET if you would like to recommend additions to the CPET library collection.

Mailing List
If you are interested in receiving announcements about CPET events, please sign up for the CPET mailing list

CPET Community Meetings
The CPET Community meets once a quarter to discuss and plan events throughout the year. We meet once a quarter and everyone is welcome to come. Check out the Main Page or the Events Calendar for information on where and when we have meetings.

Contact Us
If you have any questions about CPET and ways to get involved feel free to email us at



Current CPET Co-Directors 

Kelsey Boyle


Hello everyone! I'm a third year graduate student in the Barton lab working on metal complexes that bind DNA. I discovered my passion for teaching in undergrad as a general chemistry lab TA at the University of Minnesota, and I've continued teaching Ch3a and Ch112 here at Caltech. I aim to improve teaching at Caltech by helping students appreciate the accomplishments and progress they make throughout their coursework, however big or small. Outside of lab, I enjoy making art, hiking, and playing with animals. In my position of CPET co-director, I hope to continue to learn more and more about becoming an effective teacher and to become a resource for those who want to do the same!

Rebekah Silva

Hello world!  I am a third year graduate student in the CCE division working in Jackie Barton’s lab. I study mechanisms of how different DNA repair pathways signal one another to coordinate complex processes essential for life. Before Caltech, I began my undergraduate work at Riverside Community College (RCC) and finished my degree in Chemistry after transferring to Stanford University. I encountered thoughtful teachers at RCC and Stanford who inspired me to pursue my interests, and I strive to do the same for my students. I had the the opportunity to tutor in the Math Learning Center at RCC, and I especially enjoyed helping and encouraging students who were pushing through arithmetic, algebra, and trigonometry classes. In graduate school, I have had the opportunity to TA freshman chemistry labs, a freshman chemistry class, and an organic chemistry lab for pre-medical students. I have learned many lessons while TAing, including how to motivate students who are non-majors and the challenges associated with larger courses. CPET and the CTLO have been and continue to be great resources for me and others who aspire to be effective teachers, and I am excited to a part of the teaching movement at Caltech in a more formal capacity as CPET co-director. Outside of campus, I enjoy spending time with my lovely roommate, Tonia, going on adventures with friends, planning and participating in GCF events, finding restaurants with delicious gluten-free options, baking, hiking, and dreaming about the day I can own a cat. 


Past CPET Co-Directors:

Daniel Thomas

Noelle Stiles

Labeed Ben-Galy

Elisa Franco