Teaching

I have taught multiple classes as an instructor of record, both in person and online, at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond. I currently teach a graduate international relations seminar. My teaching interests center on international relations, international political economy, and the political economy of international migration. I also have a teaching interest in political methodology. Please see below for links to three syllabi I created as an instructor of record: Introduction to International Relations, Introduction to International Political Economy, and Graduate Seminar in International Relations.

Syllabi

What students have said about my teaching

  • "I would like the professor to know how much I truly gained from this class. The material was presented in a way that was clear as well as concise. If a topic was ever difficult to grasp I was not afraid to ask for a little bit more clarity and always received just that." (Student in Intro. to IR, Summer 2022)

  • "This is one of the best intro courses I've taken at UVA. The lectures are easy to follow and Professor Helms is always willing to meet with students if they need help. He explains class concepts with clear and understandable language and is always open to questions and comments during lectures." (Student in Intro. to IR, Summer 2022)

  • "In a course focused on politics and international relations, I was surprised at how welcoming Professor Helms was of perspectives on both sides of the philosophical spectrum. Our discussions fostered deeper thought and reevaluations of premises for belief, etc." (Student in Intro. to IR, Summer 2022)

  • "This class made me realize how much I want to study political science! Professor Helms is really approachable and is willing to work outside of class. He allows for people to make mistakes which is always refreshing from a professor!" Student in Intro. to IR, Fall 2020

  • "I was not expecting to enjoy this course as much as I have. I had never taken a political science class so was not sure what to expect but it turned out to be my favorite class this semester. I learned about ideas and topics that I always heard about in the news but never really understood and I now know I have a better grasp on dynamics in the world." Student in Intro. to IR, Fall 2020

  • "Ben was extremely well prepared for class every day and made a difficult political science class a lot easier. His PowerPoints were helpful in compartmentalizing difficult subjects and answering any and all questions. He was always available for office hours." Student in Intro. to IR, Fall 2020

  • "This was probably one of my favorite classes I've taken at UVA. It was challenging but doable, and I thought the content was presented in a way that helped facilitate understanding of hard concepts easily. The instructor was also super helpful during office hours and enthusiastic to interact with us and hear our ideas!" Student in Intro. to IPE, Fall 2020

  • "Ben did an incredible job stopping for questions and creating an environment where nobody was afraid to speak up for fear of being wrong because he welcomed any and all ideas." Student in Intro. to IPE, Fall 2020

  • "Professor Helms welcomed everyone's ideas whether they were factual statements or personal opinionated beliefs and this really allowed for an environment of enriched intellectual discussion and debate. I think what made this course so valuable was that you were able to see the opinions of others and how their decisions were affected by either where they live or by what their parents do." Student in Intro. to IPE, Fall 2020

  • "Ben was fantastic, knows so much about IPE, and was able to effectively relate that (which I can imagine would be especially hard in the online format). I don't think he could improve anything." Student in Intro. to IPE, Summer 2020

  • "Honestly, I very much so enjoyed the class as it is. I haven't had an instructor be so clear and concise with the taught information." Student in Intro. to IPE, Summer 2020

  • "I felt that Ben communicated the concepts extremely well, especially complicated IPE theories. The lectures complemented the readings rather than just reiterated the information, and discussions were inviting and poignant. Course was engaging and challenging, but Ben provided the tools to seek clarification where it was needed." Student in Intro. to IPE, Summer 2020