My teaching evaluations are consistently high with an average overall course rating of 4.2/5 (departmental average 3.71) and individual teaching ability rating of 4.57/5 (department average 4.14) at Boston College and above average numerical evaluations of, among other metrics, my teaching effectiveness and classroom learning environments at St. Lawrence University. Students note that I am enthusiastic during class time and work hard to make the material interesting and challenging in student-led discussions. Students also comment on my willingness to help them outside of class and how I incorporate experiential learning goals and material culture into class content, themes, and assignments.  

Excerpts from Student Evaluations, 2011–pres.

Classroom Management

“Small group discussions within the class encouraged more people to speak up; she always had supportive topic prompts”

 “The class atmosphere was wonderful because there was plenty of student involvement rather than lecture style”

 “Speaking as someone who has never liked history classes, I enjoyed taking this one and I feel that the content I have learned will stay with me throughout my life”

 “Participation was required, but I never felt uncomfortable to voice my questions or opinions on a subject. Prof. Twomey was very easy going and respectful of everything people said”

 “The conversation that Carolyn fostered was interesting and really got at the key issues. She would occasionally bring in outside media which really helped maintain attention and interest level. She was always very accessible and easy to talk to”

 “She did a great job of integrating various clips and images into the classroom”

 “Each week related to the next, instead of separate tales, it felt like a story”

 “I'm not usually one to like ‘discussion’ but Carolyn structured our class such that it was very comfortable for us to share our thoughts and ideas. She was encouraging with student responses. I did like it when she split us into groups and gave us a question to investigate. This is a great way to motivate students”

 “In the classroom it comes down to her relatability. Dr. Twomey is energetic, clearly passionate, and not afraid to show it. Easily my favorite part of her teaching style because it affected the way I worked in a positive way”

 “She brought in real world examples and interesting film clips which added to the experience”

 “It felt like a safe environment to share thoughts and insights about the material”

 “[Twomey’s class] promoted student discussion in a variety of different ways-through debates, group discussion, and group presentation work. Also it reviewed the course materials and homework reading further in a detailed way that really tied the whole week's material together”

 “The discussion aspect let the students be ‘in the driver's seat’ and allowed ideas to be bounced off each other which helped in the overall understanding of the subject matter”

Out-of-Classroom Engagement 

“Prof. Twomey was engaging and enthusiastic, she carried the class well and was always available for meaningful help outside class”

 “I really enjoyed the things we did outside of class such as the WWI event, the play workshop and reading the notes solders would send home.”

 “Really liked the trips to the [St. Lawrence University] archives”

 “[She was] open to conversation during class even if it was not specifically about the topic of the day, allowed ideas to flow, really enjoyed the classes in the library”

 “She was always reachable over email and wanted to help. I REALLY enjoyed the MFA [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston] assignment”

 “Twomey is an excellent professor who really cares about the material. Even though this was a core requirement […] she made the coursework easy to digest and engaging. The mixture of in-class lectures, fieldwork assignments, and group work made the class feel very unique and more interesting than most core classes. I also enjoyed the historical memes a lot!”

  “She always connected with all of us on an academic and personal level and made lecture and discussion very fun”

 “I liked her idea of incorporating social media into class discussions”

 “The strength [of this course] was professor Twomey. She made the class interesting, fun, and informative. I really enjoyed her as a teacher and as support. She was always available to help in any facet and is simply the best teacher I have had at Boston College”

 “This was my hands-down favorite class this semester because Twomey allowed all of us to run discussions rather than it being a lecture – I learned very well from this”

 “Carolyn is the main strength of this core course. She is always so kind, helpful, and intelligent. She is always quick to respond to emails, happy to help clarify anything we are confused on, and is really accommodating. Carolyn brought life to an 8 AM class—which is something extremely hard to do—and makes it clear how much she cares about the subject and us doing well”


Critical Skills

“Carolyn is excellent and cares a lot about her students and being stimulated to THINK”

 “I felt like I left every meeting with a solidified plan on how I was going to go about writing my essay”

 “Big take away is that the course expanded my analytical skills and ability to think critically”

 “This class has been valuable in helping me to understand what note taking strategies are best for me, as well as the sort of study and work methods I would need for similar classes”

 “I believe I have grown as a writer in this class, developing skills in examining older documents and material culture”

 “I have never been fond of history but this course was very interesting in comparison to other history classes I have taken. It also improves your writing skills specifically compare/contrasts arguments”

 “Amazing teacher. So kind and outgoing. Made me love history”

 “The feedback was really detailed and helpful to my future writing assignments. Dr. Twomey is a really cool professor with patience”

 “She is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, patient, and really great at making sure the history we learn becomes a narrative in our mental timeline of events”

 “The discussions encouraged you to participate, forcing you to think critically about the current material”

 “I think understanding history and the different facets of identity is especially important when trying to understand current events. You honestly would have to be looking very hard to not learn anything because there are so many opportunities to do so [in this class]”

 “Professor Twomey’s feedback allowed me to understand where in my work I was failing to draw larger connections, as well as where I needed more work on citations or grammar”

“The different views on the Renaissance encouraged me to think critically about topics and sources.”


Material History

“No matter what the topic we were in we always pushed to learn more from objects and their contexts, I thought that was very cool”

 “This course has helped me to have a skill of thinking deeper into something than just its definition. Thinking about the significance of an object or place”

 “The material history final project was a great capstone to the material history theme and a great ending to a great semester”

 “This course brought a new and interesting aspect—material culture studies—into my typically text-based thinking about history. Thinking more about material culture will definitely influence my history studies moving forward.”

 “The focus on material history is a breath of fresh air for core [introductory] courses here.”

 “This was one of the best classes I could have imagined for a mandatory history requirement. I was afraid of being forced to learn about 1000-1750, but I was much more interested than I expected due to Professor Twomey and her use of material history”

 “I have been able to learn so much about the particulars of the Middle Ages, as well as new (to me) techniques for looking at history, particularly with this course’s focus on objects and what they tell us about the people who made & used them”