2017 Outstanding TA Award: Chad Seader

May 1, 2017

Chad SeaderCongratulations to Chad Seader, doctoral candidate in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program, for being awarded a 2017 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Selection for the Outstanding TA award is made by a university-wide committee of faculty recognized for their teaching excellence, and is given to approximately the top 4% of all TAs campus wide.

Asked to comment on his award, Chad responded, "I see teaching as a means of creating and strengthening relationships with others in the department, on campus, and across Central New York. I take pride in my work, and receiving this recognition is an honor. This award also reflects the consistent support I've received from my mentors and peers, and it speaks to our commitment in the Department of Writing Studies to develop engaged, mindful approaches to pedagogy that could potentially make positive and lasting impacts on our students and the communities that matter to them."

The following are excerpts from letters nominating Chad for this award:

"Chad's creativity and commitment as a teacher were evident the moment he began his doctoral study in CCR. During his first year in our program, he impressed me with his thoughtful reflections on teaching, interest in exploring ways in which community engagement could foster students' development as writers and thinkers, and ability to connect insights from his course work to classroom issues. Following that first year, I have had ample opportunities to note Chad's persistent determination to develop new insights that sustain and extend his pedagogical expertise. Chad seamlessly integrates teaching with learning. He is committed to learning from his students and from his colleagues, and this commitment ensures that all of us are able to learn from him in turn. Chad's strength as a teacher derives from his fundamental belief that he can never know enough about teaching . . . . [h]e is constantly attentive to putting his theoretical understanding to practical use in ways that will be accessible to students and colleagues. He also shows remarkable humility in his approach to teaching; he persistently interrogates his teaching practices, constantly initiates revisions that make strong courses even better, and challenges himself to adhere carefully to each course's learning goals even as he finds innovative ways to connect those courses with new insights he has acquired . . . . Chad Seader's thoughtful approach to teaching, commitment to student learning, and dedication to working with other teachers have enabled him to make an outstanding contribution to our department." —Lois Agnew, Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric, Chair

"Chad has hit his stride over the last two years as both a teacher and scholar, passing his doctoral exams, starting a promising dissertation project, and earning stellar teaching evaluations and contributing greatly to our WRT 307 course . . . . In sum, Chad is a truly outstanding teacher, but he is also that rare graduate student community member who thinks about the whole department and the bigger picture of higher education rather than just his slice of it. He has my highest recommendation for the Outstanding TA Award." —Eileen E. Schell, Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric, Graduate Director

"Since he began teaching WRT 307: Professional Writing, I have been consistently impressed with the ways that Chad Seader has engaged with this course. At first, this engagement came from close attention to the ways that he was carefully aligning his own classroom with our shared outcomes and syllabus, and then to refining his approach to incorporating service learning aspects. He not only met with me, but also consulted with several experienced instructors and regularly attended our 307 Conversations group. With his appointment to the Major/Minor Committee in August 2016, he has become an important voice in the ways that we are thinking about the administration of this course. He has offered thoughtful considerations of issues related to teacher recruitment and retention as well as continuing professional development issues. In response to committee discussions on this topic, he has proposed and planned an innovative colloquium on the ways that instructors have applied the theoretical training offered for our introductory writing sequence to 307." —Krista A. Kennedy, Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric, Director of the Major & Minor

"Through [our] conversations I have become deeply impressed with Chad's sophisticated, research-informed understanding of literacy and learning, and his constant inquiry into his own teaching practices. With Chad, there is little distinction between his teaching work, his scholarly work, and his work in the community-those realms merge together into a singular way of being and working as a professional. So, for instance, Chad doesn't just make assignments because they might be interesting or because others have used them: he draws on his understanding of research in the field to consider assignments in terms of the stances they invite from students and what they potentially teach students about genre, language, situation, etc. The issues of the field of writing research are the issues of his pedagogy." —Tony Scott, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, Director of the Lower Division

"Not only did [he] instruct this course well, he did so professionally, treating his students as if they were adults in the real world, personally meeting with them one-on-one to make sure their needs were being met and feedback given, and providing the best attitudes and highest enthusiasm towards a subject that can be seen as extremely intimidating." —Ashley Balzer, Industrial & Interaction Design. Class of 2018

May 2017