Tis the season to award graduate students for their outstanding teaching here at UCSB. In a few short weeks, the Graduate Student Association will be awarding the GSA Excellence in Teaching Awards. This year we had 32 nominees.
At the last Faculty Legislature meeting held on Thursday April 22nd, four graduate students were presented with the 2010 Academic Senate Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. https://senate.ucsb.edu/awards/2009.10/
Congratulations to our outstanding teaching assistants!
Music Department: Denise Gill
Department of Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology: Brian Janssen
Department of English: Joomi Kim
Department of Film & Media Studies: Nicole Starosielski
For her exemplary work as a Teaching Assistant, we are pleased to announce that Denise Gill is a recipient of a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Denise is a Ph.D. candidate in the Music Department with a Feminist Studies Doctoral Emphasis. She has served as both a Teaching Assistant as well as a Teaching Associate for classes in both departments, and she expects to receive her PhD this summer.
A professor of hers in the Music department comments that Denise is “the finest Teaching Assistant that I have had the pleasure of working with.” He notes that she is an “exceptionally creative and effective teacher” and that he has “…personally learned much from her discussion techniques, the way she designs essay questions, and her ability to be both supportive and challenging with undergraduate students.”
One of her supporters notes, “The teaching evaluations that Denise has received demonstrate her excellence in the classroom and support of diverse students. In every evaluation category, she is ranked between Excellent and Very Good.”
Another writes that Denise “is positioned to be a truly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary instructor as well as scholar. She is an enthusiastic and energetic instructor with a strong sense of how to bring together the important arguments in a field and the abilities of the students who face her.”
Finally, one of her students offers the following, “Denise always encouraged her students to think beyond the question and to never resort to ‘lazy thinking.’ … [S]he also urged us to delve deeply into subjects that we had never questioned and think critically not because we were supposed to, but because we were too intelligent not to. Looking back, I do not only feel fortunate that Denise was my teaching assistant, but that I had her during my first quarter in college.”
For her dedication to excellence in teaching, Denise Gill is awarded a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations!
Brian David Janssen
Brian Janssen is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology, and is a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Brian has advanced to candidacy in the PhD program and is close to finishing his thesis work.
His nominator writes of him, “He has worked to hone his teaching style, serves as an excellent sounding board and as a source for new ideas regarding course content and style, and works tirelessly to help the students in the class. He has mastered the skill of being approachable and helpful while maintaining the line between student and teacher – he has earned the respect of the students and challenges them to tap into their potentials”
One of his faculty supporters who he works with as a TA in Developmental Biology states simply, “I have taught this course for 15 years – Brian Janssen is the best TA that has ever served with me in this lecture course.”
Students in one of his classes write, “His eagerness to teach was apparent and his enthusiasm for the subject material was contagious; he motivated us to attend his 8 AM sections on Fridays and participate in discussion.” They continue with, “…Brian was the best TA we have had at UCSB. He went above and beyond what was required of him, and for his great attitude toward us and his concern for our education, it is a privilege to nominate him for this prestigious award.”
For his hard work and dedicated teaching Brian Janssen is awarded a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations!
For her exemplary work as a Teaching Assistant, we are pleased to announce that Joomi Kim is a recipient of a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Ms. Kim is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, where she has been a graduate student since 2001. She notes that as an undergraduate student in South Korea, she never had a Teaching Assistant for any of her classes, and “that being a Teaching Assistant was initially a voice-trembling experience.” Despite this, a professor of Asian American Studies notes that she “has consistently rated among the best TAs in [the] department.” He continues, stating, “Because she has been such an excellent teaching assistant throughout her time at UCSB, she has never had any trouble finding a job in our department, or in the English Department, or in the Writing Program. She is quite clearly an excellent, gifted teacher.”
One of her supporters notes, “[H]er students consistently praise her ability to help them with difficult concepts, and more than a few have described her discussion section as a ‘pleasure’ to attend, and ‘fun,’ too.”
Another faculty nominator states, “I know Ms. Kim … to be a thoughtful and caring instructor, and a true advocate for her students, unstinting in the time and energies she devotes to their learning.” And continues, noting “Ms. Kim is kind enough to over-enroll students in each section, to mitigate the shortage in available spaces, this means not 46 but up to 72 pieces of student prose to correct each week. Yet she handwrites comments on each of her students’ many homework assignments …a notoriously intricate task in literary criticism.”
Finally, a former student of her Asian American literature class offers the following: “As a math major I mainly take math and science classes. I had some interest in the subject but mostly took this class to fulfill general education requirements. I started out mildly interested in the class, but by the end I was completely engrossed in it, and this is mostly due to Joomi…. Joomi wanted us to succeed in the course, and she did as much as she possibly could to help us…. To put it simply, Joomi Kim is one of the best teachers I have ever had.”
For her hard work and excellence in teaching, Joomi Kim is awarded a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations, Ms. Kim!
For her exemplary work as a Teaching Assistant, we are pleased to announce that Nicole Starosielski is a recipient of a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Nicole is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Film & Media Studies, where she has been a graduate student since 2005. She is also pursuing certificates in Technology & Society and Global Studies and is scheduled to defend her dissertation this summer.
The chair of her department (as well as her dissertation committee) writes that she has “utterly excelled in the areas of teaching, research, and professional participation.” Another faculty member describes her as “a tremendously talented, intelligent, creative, generous, and enthusiastic young scholar.” Furthermore, she adds, “It is not adequate to say that Nicole is in the top 1% of teaching assistants I have had or come across in my career—she is the best.”
One of her students praises Nicole for her mentorship as a TA. The student describes how Nicole appointed her to head a project, and then spent months working with her to have it realized. She states, “While Nicole allowed us to experiment and learn independently, she successfully served as a creative guide for our group to create a film that we were proud of. Her intellect and tireless effort to really do something unique and important in our department and the community, was very apparent to me from the beginning.”
She is noted for helping students “to think critically and independently.… She does not merely lecture or talk ‘at’ us like many. Instead, she works out ideas with us.”
Finally, one student comments, “In Nicole’s classes, I feel like my brain is really working, not just listening and taking in information, but actually exercising, searching, struggling, and growing.”
For her hard work and dedicated teaching Nicole Starosielski is awarded a 2010 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations!