Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022-23 CSB TA Teaching Excellence Award! This award recognizes the significant role of Teaching Assistants in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology and their key contributions to the learning experience of students.

This year, the award was earned by graduate students Kevin Xue (CSB350), Tatiana Ruiz-Bedoya (BIO260) Christine Nguyen (BIO130/230) and Ernest Liang (BIO130) based on feedback from undergraduate students in their tutorials.

“I was surprised to learn I was chosen for this award, and grateful that the students showed this faith in me” remarks Nguyen. She confides that she vividly remembers what it was like to be in first year and tries to apply that experience to her teaching.

“I am also grateful” says Xue. “I enjoy working with the students as a TA and it makes me glad to see how their comprehension of the subject grows over time.”

Liang observes that teaching is beneficial for him as well as for his students. “The class is coming to the field fresh so they ask unexpected questions of surprising depth. In formulating a comprehensive answer, I come to understand the topic in a deeper way.”

Ruiz-Bedoya notes of her students, “This course is their first contact with most concepts in genetics so it is inspiring to see their dedication and devotion to learning them in such depth, it makes it all the more fun to find new ways to help them.”

TAs are nominated by undergraduate students enrolled in their course and evaluated based on the following criteria:

• Demonstrates a keen interest and enthusiasm towards teaching and learning
• Ability to effectively organize, structure and facilitate learning in the classroom, tutorials or labs
• Actively engages, motivates, and challenges students
• Uses teaching practices that advance accessibility, equity, diversity, and inclusion
• Demonstrates depth of knowledge in the subject and effectively communicates complex concepts to students
• Utilizes innovative teaching strategies and tools
• Provides timely and constructive feedback to students

Congratulations to these outstanding educators!