Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistants are an essential part of the teaching team in the Department, providing a crucial personal link between the Professor and the students. With the instructor's assistance, Teaching Assistants prepare and lead the labs and/or tutorials, and grade student work. Because of their close contact with the students, Teaching Assistants play an important role in helping students learn the material, and commonly serve as mentors and career advisors. Without Teaching Assistants, the educational experience of our students would not be as rewarding as it is.

To recognize the best of our Teaching Assistants, various individual and corporate donors have created a significant number of Teaching Assistant Awards. These awards, which are given on the basis of nominations by students and faculty, carry no additional monetary value for the student so honoured.  However, the funding supplied by the donors to this program, is an essential contribution to the Department's ability to maintain good quality teaching in our laboratories and field schools, and is gratefully acknowledged. However, receipt of one of these awards is recognition of outstanding performance as a Teaching Assistant, and can be used on CVs and applications for scholarships and/or graduate school as an indication of communication and interpersonal skills. 

W.A. Gorman Teaching Assistant Award

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

Named Teaching Assistant Awards

The Named TAship program is an essential contribution to the Department's ability to maintain an excellent instructor:student ratio, in order to ensure high quality field and laboratory instruction. Providing funding to the graduate or undergraduate students holding the TAs, these named TAships are awarded on the basis of nominations from the students taking the courses

Named TAship Donors:

BGC Engineering Inc.
Class of Sci'04 (Katie Anne MacInnis)
Endeavour Silver
Wayne Foo and Lynne Marshall 
Al Gorman TAship 
Greg Heath
Paul and Coryn Hemsley
Colin Joudrie and Dawn Russell
Gord & Katherine Keep 
Desmond Lee
Dr. William Pearson
Roger & Lorna Smith
Frederick Young

Please consider nominating an exceptional TA you know so that their dedication can be recognized formally. Any questions and concerns may be directed to the Department Head, geolhead@queensu.ca.

Nomination Criteria

Any student (undergraduate or graduate) who serves as a teaching assistant in a GEO course during the academic year (fall or winter term) is eligible to be nominated for one of the Departmental TA Awards. Please consider nominating TAs who demonstrate: 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

Twice a year a call for nominations will come from the Department. However, nominations can be made anytime throughout the academic year by emailing geolalum@queensu.ca with the TA’s name, course information, and a brief description of their exceptional TA performance.

Selection Process

After the nomination period has ended, a small committee of professors will review the nominations applications and select an awardee. All TAs who have been nominated will be notified that their teaching has been recognized by their students.

Presentation of the Award

The award recipient will be presented with a certificate at an award ceremony to be held early in the week after classes finish in April.

Graduate students who are within terms of support are eligible to serve as Teaching Assistants in introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses, in subject areas in which they have some experience. Students who are interested in applying for a Teaching Assistant position should complete an online application form. To view more information on courses, download the PDF below. Please contact the Laboratory Coordinator, Anne Sherman, for more information.

All Teaching-Assistant appointments are governed by the Collective Agreement between the University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). In addition, Teaching Assistants and the instructor of the course are asked to sign a Teaching Assistant Contract which sets out the expected duties of the position.

General PSAC website