Graduate Assistant Meritorious Award

The importance of the instructional enterprise in the University system is beyond question. It represents one of three functions which anchor the University's role in the transmission, creation, and application of advanced knowledge. The Graduate Assistant Teaching Awards are made annually to two outstanding graduate teaching assistants (TAs) for their skill in transmitting knowledge in the classroom/laboratory.

To be eligible for the award, the TA must:

  1. have had major responsibility for teaching a lecture or a laboratory course;
  2. have completed at least one full term of teaching, and
  3. have the support of the Department offering the course

Candidates are nominated by faculty, students, or alumni by completing the attached form. The completed form must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of the College in which the student is teaching.

The Dean will appoint a Teaching Awards Screening Committee (TASC) composed of one representative selected by each of the component departments.

The Dean will appoint one at-large member who will serve as Chair. (In A & S, this committee is a sub-committee of the College Council for Graduate Studies and Research. (The Dean will provide secretarial support to the Committee.)

The TASC will review all applications submitted to the Dean's Office and select a maximum of two nominees from that college.


 The College of Arts and Sciences may forward a maximum of two nominees from each of two subdivisions within the College:
  1. natural, physical, biological, and mathematical sciences,
  2. humanities and social sciences

The selected nominations from each of the colleges are sent to the Teaching Awards Committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Free standing graduate units may send nominees directly to the Committee. In no case should these exceed ONE from each unit.

The Awards Committee will review all applicants according to the following criteria:

  1. innovations and/or creative approaches to the teaching function
  2. impact of the TA upon student attitudes and/or learning skills
  3. assessment by faculty supervisors and/or others familiar with the TA's teaching ability
  4. evidence of the TA's potential as a scholar.

The Awards Committee will send names of the two successful candidates to the Dean of the Graduate School. No teaching award may be made to the same individual more than once in a six-year period.

Student Instructional Rating Forms

Include two complete sets of SIRS forms (or other applicable student evaluation system) for two courses/sections taught. Be certain to include open ended responses. Identify the course and section numbers and the specific terms during which the evaluations forms were administered.

Letters of Support

  • From Nominator: Evaluate the TA's capabilities in discharging instructional assignments. Note particularly those criteria to be used by the awards committee to frame your statement. It is appropriate to comment on both the quality of instruction rendered by the TA and the contributions by the TA to course design and evaluation.
  • From Faculty: Include at least one, but no more than three letters, from colleagues familiar with the nominee's teaching skills.
  • From Nominee: Attach a one-page statement of your view of the role/importance of teaching in a university.
  • From Students: Include at least one, but no more than three letters, from students who have been taught by the nominee. Refer to the criteria to be used by the Awards Committee; particular attention should be paid to innovations or creative approaches to teaching and to the impact of the TA on student attitudes and learning.