Congratulations to Kate Navickas, doctoral candidate in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program, for being awarded a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. 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 following are excerpts from letters nominating Kate for this award:
Kate is a remarkable scholar, teacher, and colleague, and her work exemplifies the excellence we hope for in our teaching assistants . . . . In addition to being an excellent student throughout her time at Syracuse, Kate is an extraordinarily skillful teacher. During her first year in the CCR program, she distinguished herself as one of the strongest teachers in our new class of teaching assistants, and she also provided thoughtful guidance to her peers in that TA training class . . . . Kate has the kind of commitment as a teacher that inspires others to reflect carefully about their pedagogies and to strive persistently to be better teachers.
—Writing Program Chair and Director Lois Agnew
Kate is simply one of the most dedicated teachers I have encountered during my almost 10 years at Syracuse—graduate student or professor . . . . Kate consistently creates courses (whether in the lower division or upper division) in which she is able to embed demanding projects focused on improving student academic writing within contexts that draw students into the work. The "topic" of the course might be a history of student activism, but the architecture is research driven inquiry . . . . It speaks to Kate's ability that she was chosen to be a leader of our CCR 670 TA training course, where she was assigned a group of new TA's to "teach about teaching." Her work with new teachers was simply outstanding.
—Director of Graduate Studies Steve Parks
More than anything, I want to say how much I appreciate Kate's willingness to engage thoughtfully in a dialogue about teaching. Every time I have given her feedback about her teaching or her teaching materials, I have found her willing to listen and look carefully and critically at her teaching practices/materials, and figure out ways to improve and capitalize upon her strengths. Kate pushes herself very, very hard; she is disciplined and is not satisfied with her initial efforts. She is always trying to be better and learn more. In short, she is willing to go above and beyond what is required and meet a higher standard that she sets for herself—a standard that is often impossibly high, but that I, nevertheless, appreciate because it demonstrates how important teaching is to her.
—Professor Eileen Schell
Regarding her award, Kate says, "I am honored and humbled to be given this teaching award! I'm especially grateful for the collaborative teaching environment that is fostered by CCR TAs, the 670 TA training program, and the Writing Program. A special thanks to Eileen Schell and Anne Fitzsimmons, who've been superior teaching mentors to me. I have been privileged to learn and grow as a teacher in a program that values teaching and has provided me with numerous opportunities."