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Queen's University

Centre for Teaching and Learning

W. A. Gorman Teaching Assistant Award

Nature of Award

Teaching Assistants (TAs) play an extremely important role in the educational process. Their close interaction with students in labs and in the field makes a vital difference in how well students learn the material. TAs can make a subject exciting and enjoyable, or can make it tedious and uninteresting.

To formally recognize the incredible dedication and talent that our best TAs bring to their duties, the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen's University will present one teaching assistant with an award honoring their exceptional commitment to the education of undergraduate students.

The Departmental Teaching-Assistant Award is named in honour of long-time faculty member W.A. (Al) Gorman. Gorman arrived at Queen's in 1955 and taught in the Department for more than 50 years, dedicating himself to undergraduate education. He has taught more than 10,000 students throughout his career, all of who remember him fondly.

Nomination Criteria

Any student (undergraduate or graduate) who serves as a teaching assistant in a geology course during an academic year (fall or winter term) is eligible to be nominated for the Departmental W.A. Gorman TA Award. TAs must fulfill the specific criteria found on the nomination form, which includes such qualities as: knowledge of the subject, ability to explain concepts clearly, approachability, enthusiasm for the subject, availability for consultation, etc. We are seeking to reward excellence in teaching rather than simple popularity.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations should be made on the Departmental TA Nomination Form.

The student(s) completing the form must provide the information requested on the form. Please submit a clear and detailed description of the TA's performance. The clearer and more persuasive the information given, the better the chance the nominated TA has of winning the award. The signatures of five other students from the course in question, who are in agreement with the TA's nomination, are requested but are not mandatory.

Completed forms should be submitted to the Department's General Office (Room 240, Bruce Wing).

Selection Process

After the nomination period has ended, a committee consisting of the Head, the TA Coordinator, the Miller Club President or delegate, and the Jolliffe Club President or delegate will review the applications and select a winner. All TAs who have been nominated will be notified that their teaching has been recognized by their students.

Presentation of Award

The winning TA will be presented with a monetary award and a certificate at the TA debriefing and award ceremony to be held early in the week after classes finish in April. A plaque with winners' names will be placed in the Department. The winner's name will also be listed on the Departmental website.

Past Winners

      2014 - 2015 Neil Fernandes
      2014 - 2015 Stacie Jones
      2013 - 2014 Emma Percy
      2012 - 2013 Allison Laidlow
      2010 - 2012 Geoff Reith
      2010 - 2011 Geoff Reith
      2009 - 2010 Chris Yakymchuk
      2008 - 2009 Sarah Duguid
      2006 - 2007 Matt Lato
      2005 - 2006 Steve Beyer

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