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All graduate students who serve as teaching assistants in a physics course during the academic year are eligible for the award, except for the previous year's recipient, who serves on the selection committee with faculty members.
The Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award recognizes excellence in the ability of a graduate Teaching Assistant to convey physics concepts and analytical and laboratory skills effectively to students, mastery of physics subject matter, and engagement in professional development activities that foster excellence in graduate teaching.
Finalists for the award are chosen from the results of an online survey of all students enrolled in physics courses in a particular academic year, and from a similar survey of faculty members. The selection committee asks each finalist to prepare a portfolio that includes (i) a CV as it pertains to teaching, (ii) a statement of teaching accomplishments and philosophy, and (iii) up to three non-confidential letters of recommendation, of which two must come from university faculty members. The selection committee chooses the award winners based on the portfolio, teaching evaluations, and other evaluative materials.
A web-based survey of students is conducted during the first 4 weeks of Spring term. The finalists are announced in the 5th week of spring term, and application portfolios are due in the Graduate Coordinator/Main office by 4pm on the Friday of the 8th week of term. The award is announced at the picnic at the end of Spring term.