Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Awards
Tiffani Everett, a sociology doctoral candidate, has taught 10 courses for junior- and senior-level undergraduates on social psychology, social interaction and classical sociological theory. Everett’s classes focus on student interaction and discussion. Near the beginning of each class, she holds a “group quiz” for students. Her goal is to foster student engagement with one another and maintain that collaborative work style through the semester. Everett balances her coursework with contemporary and real-world work alongside traditional sociology readings. Additionally, Everett mentors other graduate student teachers on how to teaching methods and lends them teaching materials as examples.
Lincoln Larson, a Ph.D. candidate in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, has been the co-instructor or teaching assistant for six forestry courses, including natural resources conservation, renewable resource economics, and society and natural resources. In addition to normal teaching assistant responsibilities, Larson designs essay exams and discussions that require students to debate diverse perspectives on controversial issues and develop critical thinking on conservation. He has also created online wikis and discussions boards to encourage student interaction outside the classroom. Lincoln began the monthly Warnell Seminar Series on Teaching last year to promote professional development for future science instructors. The monthly brown bag seminar attracts graduate students and faculty members from several departments.
Christopher Lawton, a history doctoral candidate, has taught three different history courses as the instructor of record on the American South, the Antebellum South and early American history. Lawton uses a multi-disciplinary approach while instructing students, incorporating art history concepts into his history classes. For example, Lawton uses literature, movies, and music case studies to illustrate Southern history and culture, and he holds class discussions in libraries, museums, and historic sites in addition to the classroom. In one Southern history class, Lawton provided his students with a hands-on research opportunity by collaborating with the T.R.R. Cobb House in Athens. Students developed research ideas with the museum curators and perused historical archives to learn about Southern culture and lifestyle during the 1850s in Georgia. His contributions to history and teaching have been recognized by the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State and the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board.
Dave Marancik, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Pathology, primarily teaches veterinary pathology courses for second- and third-year veterinary students. As a laboratory instructor, Marancik instructs veterinary students on the intricacies of identifying and treating diseases in clinical situations. He collects specimens from recent animal necropsies to create case study projects for students. Outside of the laboratory, Marancik designs web-based assignments and develops interactive PowerPoint lessons. He also serves as the Teaching Assistant Advisor to mentor other graduate students on teaching methods. In this position, Marancik helps graduate student teachers prepare lessons, compile teaching materials and develop successful teaching strategies.
Brandon Samples, a mathematics doctoral student, teaches calculus, precalculus and analytic geometry. In addition to working through mathematical problems, he instructs his students on how to write and verbally discuss mathematical concepts. He holds extended office hours and study sessions, often filling his office to a maximum capacity. Samples developed a graduate seminar course on teaching mathematical concepts for first-time mathematics teachers. In the seminar, the graduate student teachers held mock calculus lectures, created teaching materials, and compared the teaching style of experienced and inexperienced teachers. Samples also mentors other graduate teaching assistants by observing their lectures and providing them with one-on-one feedback.