The University of Guelph is recognizing the invaluable impact that teaching assistants (TAs) have on undergraduate education by launching a new campus-wide teaching award. The Associate Vice-President Academic (AVPA) Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence will be awarded for the first time this spring. This is the first U of G teaching award to recognize TA contributions across all seven colleges.

Gavan Watson, education developer at Open Learning and Educational Support, says the award’s selection committee is looking for top notch nominees who exemplify an enthusiastic approach to teaching and learning. He encourages faculty and students to speak to exemplary TAs to determine if they are interested in being nominated. The award is open to all TAs who have taught an undergraduate or graduate course this academic year (Summer 2012 – Winter 2013).

The award will demonstrate the winning TA’s outstanding dedication to the position as well as their commitment to improving their teaching skills, Watson points out. “It will also provide the recipient with external recognition, which will reflect well on the individual when moving on to further studies or when entering the job market.”

The AVPA Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence illustrates the University’s commitment to improving undergraduate education and acknowledges the valuable contribution of TAs, says Watson. “Given the quality of teaching assistants that I have encountered at the University, I have no doubt that we will have a group of exceptional nominees and an outstanding award winner.”

The deadline for the 2013 AVPA Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence nomination package is April 1, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. Along with specific supporting documents, the nomination package must include a one-page letter from two nominators, one of whom is an undergraduate student enrolled in the course for which the TA is being nominated. The award recipient will receive $500 and campus-wide recognition of their achievement.

For nomination forms and guidelines visit OpenEd, or contact Gavan Watson at ifyou have specific questions about the award.