Brent Urbanski
 

RECORD

Our looking glass brings new perspectives.

 
Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 6.38.55 PM.png

60 Second Success

 
 
 

Learner-Centric Discovery

My goal was to educate and entertain a general audience using academically derived psychology: here is how I did it. Forget the specificity and jargon, take the interesting ideas and meld them into bite-sized chunks, and then transmit these takeaways alongside simplistic visuals. It was this learner-centric approach that propelled my YouTube channel to 1500+ subscribers and 23,000+ views over three months. And while my attention has since been re-directed towards new challenges (notably university), 60 Second Success has continued to grow. Where all together, my project highlights a public need for accessible knowledge that quietly booms yet remains largely ignored.
 

PNB Talks

 
 
 

A Unique Experience

PNB Talks are a TEDx inspired event that place the McMaster Intro Psychology Teaching Assistant (IntroPsych TA) team in a position to give a series of auditorium presentations on course content. The catch is, this presentation should take the form of a story with a potent tie-back conclusion. Mine was done on the Flynn Effect, the phenomenon whereby population level IQ scores have increased by roughly three points each decade since the early 20th century.

I am grateful for this opportunity and would like to extend my thanks—were they to ever see this—to Dr. Kim, Dr. Cadieux, Zahra Khalesi, and Paulina Rzeczkowska for each playing a role in facilitating this event. Few experiences have had such a potent impact on my growth.
 

MacIntroPsych

 
 
 

A Personal Commitment

Let me begin with a story from my first semester teaching. It was the third week of school and I had just made plans to catch up with an old classmate. We were going to the campus bistro. The day came, we met up, and we began our walk to get some chow. And on our walk there, while chatting about this new teaching position of mine, I emphatically stated, “you know, I would totally do this job for free... just don’t tell the course coordinators that.” It wasn’t until later that I realized what this statement meant.

At no point has teaching felt like a job. Instead, it has felt like humility in action—an introspective experience that I will attempt to articulate, albeit poorly. When you are faced with fifty bright and impressionable first-year students turning to you as their guide, self-honesty is the only true answer. So I began wondering… what might an honest commitment to my students mean? After more than a few ponderous nights, and several internal apprehensions, I realized the personal commitment that I had to take on. My mission to promote curiosity and generalizable growth was born.

My tutorials took on a form of their own. From the resource collection that I spent countless unpaid hours making to the weekly life advice rants that my students were vocal about valuing, every action that I took was to fulfil my personal commitment. The efforts paid off.

Now I am here, at the end of my second term, back in a state of introspection much like that from which I began, and amidst all the kind words and awards, my mind continues to wanders back to one thought: I would totally do this job for free.

Above you will find a few of the many resources that I have created for my students. New projects may replace those listed as my experience grows.