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Amy Natyshak, Katie Hirsch, and Hio Tong KuanAmy Natyshak, Katie Hirsch, and Hio Tong Kuan are 2020 recipients of GA/TA Awards.

Awards recognize excellence in teaching by graduate and teaching assistants

Three students from different fields claimed top honours in the awards for graduate and teaching assistants from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Hio Tong Kuan, doctoral candidate in applied social psychology, and Katie Hirsch, doctoral student in the Faculty of Human Kinetics, are the recipients of the GA/TA Award for Educational Practice. Amy Natyshak, a concurrent education and French Studies major in her fifth year of the program, is the recipient of the GA/TA Award for Educational Leadership.

Serving on the selection committee, Michelle Bondy, experiential learning specialist in the Faculty of Science, said this year’s winners demonstrated that there are many ways to have a positive impact as a graduate or teaching assistant.

Bondy said the selected winners demonstrated, among other things, a commitment to a learning-centred environment, dedication behind the scenes by mentoring and supporting fellow TAs, development of processes to achieve consistency and clear communication in a large course, and continued teaching development.

Elizabeth Ismail, digital outreach co-ordinator of the GATA Network, said GAs and TAs can benefit immensely from the experience of submitting a nomination and the committee received many applications from students in a variety of academic departments.

“Winning aside, the self-reflection required for the nomination process encourages GAs and TAs to view their teaching through a scholarly lens, which helps to promote professionalism and can guide future decision-making,” she said. “It also provides an opportunity for GAs and TAs to showcase their influence to the larger campus community.”

The Centre for Teaching and Learning will honour the three GA/TAs at its annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence, which will be held virtually Feb. 24, 2021.

Read more about the award winners.