GA/TA Award for Educational Practice
Rebecca (Becky) Hill
As an M.A. student in History, Becky Hill has already developed a reputation as a well-rounded teacher of uncommon talent and dedication. Recognized by professors, colleagues, and students alike for her singular blend of skill, knowledge, values, and personality, Becky also uses her gifts as a peer mentor at the Aboriginal Education Centre (Turtle Island House). “Through innovative tactics, a relaxed atmosphere, and a great deal of professionalism, Rebecca has made an enormous impact on my learning experience,” writes one of her students.
Ben F.T. Cooper
After several years of experience as a graduate assistant in Chemistry, Ph.D. candidate Ben Cooper has developed a reputation for being able to help students understand practically anything. Combining a flair for Socratic questioning with a penchant for explaining thing six different ways, Ben has become the go-to person in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Resource Centre. As one of his nominators writes, Ben “has recognized that the best instructors are not those that spoon-feed their students, but those that inspire and guide and help their students to develop critical thinking tools that will be of benefit throughout their lives.” Ben also inspired his GA/TA colleagues by co-creating and co-teaching a workshop at GATAcademy 2009.
Currently finishing up a Ph.D. in Biology, Jennifer Rosati is widely regarded as a model of what instructors should be: a life-long learner who cares deeply about student learning, adapts to the needs of her students, and is reliable, respectful, and available for extra help. Jennifer has gone beyond the standard GA work by creating a lab manual for students and organizing field trips for powerful experiential learning. Jennifer also inspired her GA/TA colleagues by co-creating and co-teaching a workshop at GATAcademy 2009.
GA/TA Award for Educational Leadership
Shaelyn Kavanaugh, Julia Colella, and Shawna Scott
Shaelyn Kavanaugh, Julia Colella, and Shawna Scott won as a team for their remarkable work as head teaching assistants for Foundations of Academic Writing. Examples of this team's dedication, responsibility, initiative, organization, and hard work were detailed by their nominators and referees. Among their many accomplishments, the “FAW Team” created and taught professional development workshops and training sessions for other course TAs, wrote handbooks and other resources, and deftly organized and oversaw the work of more than fifty peers. These accomplished undergraduates set a high standard for TAs and GAs alike.
Described as an “initiator,” Dramatic Arts teaching assistant Alexandra Leafloor tirelessly creates new opportunities for herself, her students, and her colleagues to develop and showcase their abilities. Hailed as an inspiring multi-tasker, mentor, organizer, and collaborator, Alexandra seems to live and breathe dramatic education, as recognized by her nominators and referees. As one nominator wrote, “Alexandra has counseled and rehearsed many student colleagues, offering intelligent and thoughtful solutions to problems and motivating them to transform their potential into reality… She contributes to a successful and rich, learning-centred environment.”
A graduate assistant in Mechanical, Automotive & Materials Engineering, Rob Rieveley surpassed expectations by initiating and co-developing the production of the “Virtual Grand Prix,” a collaborative project in which students design virtual race cars and analyze their performance in simulated races. Rob “worked tirelessly to develop a suite of software programs to assist the students in their analyses, and to interface the data submitted by the students with the CarSim software [which conducts the simulations]. In addition, the vehicle design data submission process was all web-based, and the server software that allows the students to upload their virtual vehicle specifications was also developed by Rob!”