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Outstanding graduate TAs sought for awards

January 6, 2012

Photo of an NIU teaching assistant in front of the classroomNIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is seeking nominations for the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.

These awards acknowledge outstanding graduate teaching assistants for their contributions to the teaching mission of NIU.

Each recipient of the award will be presented with a plaque and recognized at the Graduate Students Reception sponsored by the Graduate School at the end of the spring semester.

At least one of the awards will be presented to an outstanding teaching assistant pursuing a master’s degree.

To be eligible for this award, each candidate must:

  • be enrolled as a graduate student in good standing at NIU during the semester the award nominations are due;
  • have been employed during the past two years at NIU as a graduate teaching assistant for one or more semesters, not counting the semester of nomination;
  • have been responsible for teaching a course fully or teaching-related support (examples: leading discussions, tutoring, recitation, teaching-related laboratory development/supervision, etc.) which involved student contact as part of the graduate teaching assistant employment;
  • have contributed above and beyond the general expectations of the position, and
  • have not previously received this award at NIU.


Each academic or academic support unit that employs graduate TAs for teaching and related activities is invited to nominate two (2) outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistants, one at the master’s level and the other at the doctoral level, from its department for the awards.

Nominations must include supporting documents to be considered for the awards.

The nominations can be submitted by the head of the unit or designee, and each nomination should include five hardcopies of the following:

  • Nominee information – name, degree and major, phone, and email address, department where graduate teaching assistantship was/is held, semesters and years employed as a GTA in that department, course(s) responsible for as a GTA, and description of responsibilities handled (primary responsibilities for teaching, or tutoring, grading, recitation, lab development/supervision, etc.).
  • Nominator information – name, title, department, phone, email address, how long have known the nominee, and in what capacity related to the nominee’s GTA responsibilities.
  • Reasons for nomination – explain the nominee’s contributions above and beyond the general expectations of the position, impact on the course(s) handled by the nominee and the students, and the efforts made by the nominee to improve teaching by participating in TA development programs.
  • Supporting documents – evidence of outstanding teaching or teaching-related support, such as student evaluations, classroom observations/performance reviews by supervisors, letters of support by supervisors, department/college/external recognitions, unsolicited feedback from students, etc.

A subcommittee of the Faculty Development Advisory Committee will review the nominations and select the recipients of the award. The committee may request additional information or clarifications from the nominees or nominators.

Five hard copies of each nomination packet with all the documents should be submitted to “Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards Committee, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, 319 Adams Hall, Northern Illinois University” by Friday, March 9.

Call (815) 753-0595 or email [email protected] for more information.