Reception honors top teaching assistants

5/2/2007 7:00:00 AM

The Excellence in Teaching Program hosted a breakfast reception at the Jot Travis Student Union Wednesday, May 2 to recognize this year's Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award recipients.

Seth Boyd, a doctoral student in English, is the Distinguished TA in the Liberal Arts category. Kate Ingram, a master's student in Biology, is the Distinguished TA in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics category.

In addition, four additional graduate students have been recognized as Outstanding Teaching Assistants in each category. The Outstanding TAs in the Liberal Arts are Waleed Abusrour (Political Science), Jared Chase (Psychology), Marcia Kmetz (English), and Regina Smith (Educational Specialties).

The Outstanding TAs in the Sciences are Matt Fockler (Geography), Kevin Hayden (Mathematics), Morgan Lind (Biology), and Naveen Tera (Electrical Engineering).

Each Distinguished TA will receive a $500 honorarium, and each Outstanding TA will receive $250. In addition, the Distinguished TAs will be recognized at the University's annual Honor the Best ceremony on May 16th.

In addition to the Distinguished and Outstanding TA recipients, graduate students receiving framed Teaching Recognition Award Certificates were Sudarshan Dhungana (Physics), Michael Gortari (Sociology), Sergiy Kalnaus (Mechanical Engineering), Irina Timchenko (Mathematics), Denice Turner (English), and William Walters (Music).

Representatives from the Provost's Office, the Graduate School, and a number of department chairs and faculty will attend.

Barbara Millis, director of Excellence in Teaching Program, remarked, "This is one of my favorite ETP projects. It is inspiring to see the quality of teaching that occurs in classrooms taught by sometimes under-appreciated graduate assistants. We are so pleased that we can bring recognition to these talented, hard-working people."

ETP, the Graduate Student Association, and the Core Curriculum Office jointly sponsor the Distinguished Teaching Assistant awards, an annual competition designed to identify and recognize graduate teaching assistants whose service to the undergraduate community has been particularly noteworthy.

Thirty-eight graduate assistants were nominated this year by either students or faculty. A highly competitive selection process, overseen by a faculty/GA committee, includes a review of selected materials and in the case of the 16 finalists, classroom observations with detailed write-ups, which are later shared with the GAs as feedback and potential inclusion in their professional portfolios.


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