Throughout my time as a graduate student at Virginia Tech, I have also had the pleasure of being a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for the Communication Department. Each semester, I teach two sections of Public Speaking to roughly 80 undergraduate students total.

Throughout this course, students give four individual speeches and one group speech to help them prepare for speeches and situations that they might encounter post-graduation. While I am the sole instructor that they interact with in class (about 60% of their coursework), the remaining 40% of the course is completed online. This allows for smaller class sizes, and more speaking opportunities for the students.

Feedback from Previous Students:

“She critiqued us fairly and gave good feedback. She also always made sure to leave us positive feedback. This was helpful in letting me know what I am doing well, but also what I need to improve on.”

“Ms. Baumgardner showed a lot of passion for teaching public speaking and made it fun to do so. Her enthusiasm in class and in her office hours made it easy to approach and ask questions (with which you received a good answer). She made public speaking a class I look forward to attending and created an environment where writing and giving speeches didn’t make me nervous.”

“Professor Baumgardner was a fantastic public speaking instructor and always encouraged us to do our best while offering constructive feedback after each speech. She made an experience I had been absolutely dreading into one that I honestly enjoyed. Thanks Emma!”

“She was really nice and interacted a lot with us before, during, and after class which made the learning environment much more inviting.”

Sample Powerpoint

Attached is a sample powerpoint to better highlight what my students see when they come to class for lectures.

Graduate Research

During my first year as a graduate student at Virginia Tech, I had the opportunity to work on two research projects.

In Fall of 2019, I worked alongside Dr. Chelsea Woods in the communication department to help code tweets to better understand the public’s response to social influencers and how this relates to crisis communication.

In Spring of 2020; 2021, I worked with Ms. Brandi Quesenberry to help design a website for the 4-VA platform to better disseminate information about the program to the public. This project was conducted in partnership with Virginia Tech, George Mason, James Madison, and UNC-Charlotte’s campuses to better understand how communication is being used across the curriculum in non-communication based courses (EX: engineering, business, health and nutrition, etc). This grant was approved in 2019, and will continue into Summer of 2021.


Websites that fall under this category were created in conjunction with courses that fulfilled communication course requirements while completed my B.A. at the University of Mary Washington. Below is a description of what the site contains:

Small Group Communication
This website was a group project for my Small Group Communication course. We had to come up with a wicked problem in the Fredericksburg area. Homelessness and Food Waste are both something that is extremely problematic in the area. This site shows the research, interviews, and surveys that our group conducted to come up with possible solutions on our campus as well as the greater Fredericksburg area.

Digital Studies

Websites that fall under this category fulfilled Digital Studies course requirements while completing my B.A. at the University of Mary Washington. Below are descriptions of what each site contains:

Digital Art
This website functioned as a blog that I updated regularly with artists that we studied in class. This also served as a place for me to showcase the art that I created in this course throughout the semester.

Applied Digital Studies
This website was used to inform viewers about the ‘Pink Tax’ and what states within the US are affected by it. There are three different platforms that are used to map outline these differences: Google My Maps, MapChart and an SVG map that was coded with HTML and CSS to represent the different states and the variation in tax amounts across  the country.

American Technology and Culture
This website was created while working in a group project  for my History of American Technology and Culture class. My group and I had to pick an American invention, research why it was selected over other similar inventions, describe how it was relevant to society and make a short documentary to describe our findings.

Adventures in Digital History
This website was used to blog reactions to group projects within the course, and document our group’s progress as we worked to digitize a register from the Fredericksburg National Cemetery and created a user-friendly map for visitors to use.

Fredericksburg National Cemetery
One of the largest problems following the Civil War was the inability to properly bury and mark the gravesites of fallen soldiers. Keeping this in mind, my group members and I worked partnered with the National Parks Service to digitize registries from the Civil War to help cemetery visitors better locate the grave site of their loved ones. Through the maps created and website that was constructed, visitors can now more easily find the sections that include the fallen soldier and their grave number.

History of the Information Age
This blog served as a catalog of thoughts and assignments as we progressed throughout the course. This course touched on everything from the early 1900s – present and the impacts that were had on the digital age and society as we know it.

This was a website that I coded using HTML and CSS. It was part of a methodology module that we worked on in class and mine focused on networks.  With the help of a KUMU map, this site demonstrates how I built my social network during my first few semesters at UMW.

Future Professoriate Blog

This course aims to better inform students wishing to enter careers as professors about the issues facing higher education. This course touches on a range of topics such as how technology impacts the classroom, how to have an inclusive classroom space, ethical issues, responsibilities of a professor, etc.