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Graduate assistants receive outstanding teaching award for their work

Graduate assistants receive outstanding teaching award for their work
Published: April 25, 2019 Author: Emily Baxstrom

On Tuesday, April 23, four graduate students received the Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award (GAOTA) in the Walter Hall Rotunda during the annual ceremony. The GAOTA program was established in 1987 to recognize excellent teaching in graduate teaching assistants at the University. Each recipient receives a $500 stipend and a framed certificate to commemorate the occasion.

“This award is unique, not just here at OHIO, but across the nation,” said Tim Vickers, director of the Center for Teaching & Learning. “The award’s strength has always been its reflection of student perspectives on teaching and learning, and the meaningfulness of this award comes from the role of students in deciding it. I think it is fantastic that these individuals are recognized for their incredible contributions not just to our students’ education, but to the schools and departments within which they work.”

Unlike other universities with similar events, the selection process at OHIO is conducted entirely by undergraduate students who volunteer their time to serve on the selection committee. This committee then interviews the top nominees and selects the four winners that are chosen annually.

The 2019 GAOTA recipients are:

Cody N. Alderman, Chemistry
Alderman is teaching Chemistry 3080 and 3090 this spring semester, both chemistry labs. He currently is pursuing his Ph.D. in chemistry. “Receiving this award based on just my first semester here at OHIO is a big accomplishment for me,” said Alderman. “I was really nervous to start teaching here as I had never been alone in a classroom. I’m very thankful for my students nominating me and I hope I can inspire every class I teach the same way.”

Holly M. Latteman, Environmental Studies
Latteman currently is a teaching assistant for the ornithology course in the Department of Biological Sciences. She will be graduating in May with a Master’s of Science in environmental studies from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. “It is so fulfilling to invest in a student’s educational career,” said Latteman. “To be recognized for being a part of their success is so humbling and extraordinary.”

Rebecca A. Keogh, Microbiology
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate in biological sciences, Keogh currently teaches “Microbes and Humans,” a microbiology lab for non-majors. “Receiving this award has been the most humbling accomplishment of my graduate career,” said Keogh. “I get so much out of my time in the classroom, and this award has shown me my students feel the same way.”

Natascha Toft Roelsgaard, Journalism
This spring semester, Roelsgaard is teaching JOUR 3700, “Advertising and Public Relations Writing,” and is a teaching assistant for JOUR 4900, “Media and the Civil Rights Movement.” She received her master’s in journalism from Ohio University and currently is pursuing a Ph.D. in mass communication–journalism at OHIO. “Receiving this award is a tremendous honor,” said Roelsgaard. “I felt incredibly honored and lucky when receiving the news. And, obviously, I wouldn't have gotten it without my wicked smart and kind students. I have a lot of gratitude for them and their recognition of the work we did together means the world to me.”

The Office of Instructional Innovation (OII) serves as a catalyst to spark bold experimentation and sustainable discovery of innovative instructional models that fulfill the University’s promise of a transformative educational experience. OII provides a variety of services to faculty, staff, and students in support of academic units and online programs, as well as to advance initiatives to further the institution’s mission. Visit www.ohio.edu/instructional-innovation for more information.