The purpose of these awards is to acknowledge and recognize outstanding graduate teaching assistants for their contributions to the teaching mission of Northern Illinois University.
Each recipient of the award will be presented with a plaque and recognized at the Graduate Student Reception sponsored by the Graduate School at the end of the spring semester. Usually three awards are presented, and at least one of the awards will be presented to an outstanding graduate teaching assistant pursuing a master’s degree at NIU.
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 2 years at NIU as a graduate teaching assistant for one or more semesters, excluding the semester of nomination,
- have been responsible for teaching a course fully as the primary instructor of record or teaching-related support (example: leading discussions, grading, tutoring, recitation, etc.) which involved student contact as part of the graduate teaching assistant employment,
- have contributed above and beyond the general expectations of the position,
- have not previously received this award at NIU.
Nomination Process and Deadline
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/school for the awards. Nominations should be submitted by the head of the academic department/school or designee. Nominators must complete the nomination form for each nominee and email it with any supporting documents by Friday, March 6, 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Nomination for 2015 Outstanding TA Awards”.
For additional information, please check the Frequently Asked Questions section or contact Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at 815-753-8100 or email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the criteria applied for selecting award recipients?
The criteria applied for selecting award recipients are the nominees’ eligibility for the award and the information provided in the “Nominee Information” portion of the Nomination Form.
- My school/department has several majors/programs and so can we nominate a TA from each major/program?
No, each school or department can nominate only one TA at the master’s level and one TA at the doctoral level. If there are many outstanding graduate teaching assistants in several programs within the department/school, then you may want to select the best one among them and nominate that individual for that award.
- Our unit is not a department or school but is an independent academic program/center. Are our teaching assistants eligible for the award?If your TA is teaching a course or providing teaching-related support for your academic program/ center that is independent of an academic department or school, then you can nominate that TA as a nominee from your program/center for the award.
- Can I nominate a TA teaching or providing teaching-related support in my department/school but pursuing a degree in another department/school?Yes, you can nominate that TA as a nominee from your department/school.
- How can I find out which TA development programs our TA attended at Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center?If your TA does not remember the TA development programs he or she had attended, you can obtain a list of TA development programs your TA attended at Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 2 working days before the nomination deadline.
- What makes a nomination stand out and improves the nominee’s chances for being selected for the award?Along with providing information for all the items in the nomination form and clearly indicating that the nominee satisfies the eligibility criteria, the nomination form should provide:
- A detailed explanation of nominee’s contributions to teaching above and beyond the general expectations of the TA position, that is, outstanding contributions.
- Tangible evidence such as summary of nominee’s student evaluations to support nominee’s outstanding teaching or teaching-related support.
It helps if a nominee has received or has been nominated for departmental/school or college teaching awards and has attended or presented professional development programs to enhance his or her teaching skills.