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Watson and Celeste Named Outstanding TAs

Two WP nominees have been awarded 2012 Outstanding Teaching Assistant awards. The award recognizes teaching assistants who demonstrate excellence in significant instructional capacities. 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. The Outstanding TA Award reception will be held on Thursday, April 26 from 4:00-5:30 pm at the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.

Missy Watson

Past Outstanding TA Award Recipients:

2011: Zosha Stuckey & Megan Poole
2010: Laura Davies & Laurel Ahnert
2009: Laurie Gries & Stacey Petrek
2008: Tamika Carey
2007: Elisa Norris & David Eye
2006: Gale Coskan-Johnson
2005: Ryan Sennett
2004: Susan Adams
2003: Amy Barone-Phillips & Paul Butler
2002: Heather Shearer & Cristina Stasia
2001: Seth Kahn & Chris Boucher

Congratulations to Missy Watson, ABD doctoral candidate in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program, for being awarded a 2012 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. In his nomination letter, her Future Professoriate Project mentor, Assistant Professor Iswari Pandey, comments on her WRT 600 writing enrichment class for international graduate students,

I was amazed by how easily these students were using rhetorically sophisticated vocabulary to discuss academic writing, its genre conventions, and underlying assumptions. . . . Her students truly admired her work, and I left the class thinking how lucky her students were. In fact, I happened to run into two of the same students later in the semester, and I began to realize the value of the class that Missy first worked hard to design and then taught. Those international graduate students clearly thought that Missy’s class was the best form of introduction to US academic culture and writing for them. What a great achievement!

In her nomination letter, Writing Program Director and Chair, Eileen Schell, adds,

Last spring, I invited her to serve on the WRT 205 course revision subcommittee that piloted a new version of WRT 205. Missy did a wonderful job of writing challenging assignments that enacted the proposed new learning goals. She reflected on her assignments and classroom practices in our monthly meetings, and she generously shared her time and insights. . . . In her capacity as the Writing Center intern, Missy worked very hard to consider ways the Writing Center could better support international students for whom English is not their first language

Regarding her award, Missy says, "I'm so humbled by Iswari's and Eileen's nomination and by the award committee's decision to name me as an Outstanding TA! The teaching opportunities made available in CCR have afforded me the space to invent, reinvent, and grow as a teacher. I couldn't ask for more!"

Congratulations to Mark Celeste, a second year MA student in English, who is currently completing his fourth semester teaching in the Writing Program, for being awarded a 2012 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

In her nominating letter, Teacher Training Coordinator, Anne Fitzsimmons wrote,

It is apparent to anyone who watches Mark in the studio classroom that owns the material he is teaching—both the content pieces and the curricular concepts. He deploys course-specific terms with confidence and flair, he has deep understanding of the inquiry and the readings, and he knows how to encourage and inspire students to attend to him and to actively participate in the work of the day. He does so partly by asking great questions, questions that reinforce the key concepts of the unit and that also remind students of things they did and learned in previous classes, and partly by giving students meaningful and topical things to look at and think about. In his reflections on his teaching Mark is immensely respectful of students and attuned to their interests and learning. It’s no wonder, then, that his evaluations are so full and so positive; his students can see how carefully he attends to them and how invested he is in their having a meaningful experience in their writing class.


Mark Celeste

Writing Program Director and Chair, Eileen Schell, adds,

I have found Mark to be a supportive and engaged colleague. I run into him frequently . . . and I often find myself having insightful conversations about a number of ongoing current events as well as his teaching. His excitement about teaching and working with students is palpable.

Of his award, Mark says, "I'm very thankful for this award. More than just a reflection of my own performance, this recognition speaks to the hard work and diligence of the whole 670 team as well as the support of my TA peers. A special thanks to Anne Fitzsimmons for her guidance—and patience! My time with the Writing Program has helped shape me from a fresh undergraduate to a junior member of the profession."