Athens, Ga. – Five graduate student teachers at the University of Georgia were honored with the Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award.
The 2016 recipients are:
Chelsey Bahlmann Bollinger, a doctoral candidate in the department of language and literacy education, stresses the infusion of technology into literacy instruction for pre-service teachers and incorporates multiple, user-friendly digital tools into her curriculum to help the student teachers experiment with new learning technologies. She has served as the instructor of record for 10 courses and as graduate assistant for six courses. Bollinger has mentored several doctoral students as they teach courses for the first time by sharing teaching materials, guiding them through the process of grading, assisting them in creating a Google Site, and using online systems to support their courses. Bollinger also encourages her student teachers to serve as volunteers at the Awesome Clubhouse, a community-based informal learning center in Athens in partnership with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.
Nastassja Saramago de Araujo Pugliese, a doctoral candidate in the philosophy department, is motivated to make learning logic and critical thinking more accessible and interesting to students. Her goal is to foster students’ intellectual autonomy so they can apply their learning beyond the formal classroom setting and experience the positive impact of philosophy in their lives. She believes that education is an instrument of social justice and is particularly interested in the problem of the absence of women philosophers across the history of the philosophy curriculum. She is involved in multicultural research on new methods to teach logic to underserved populations and diverse learners in the U.S. and Brazil. Pugliese has served as the teaching assistant, co-instructor and instructor of record for both introductory and upper level courses, including Symbolic Logic and Classics of Modern Philosophy.
Sarah Lowman, a doctoral candidate in Hispanic studies in the department of Romance languages, has served as a teaching assistant and instructor of record, as well as program faculty at the UGA Costa Rica campus. Her goal as a teacher is to facilitate and empower students to take control of their own learning by providing relevant and authentic materials, guiding by example, and giving targeted feedback. She aims to help students break down language barriers, inviting a new perspective on language learning by shifting the goal from decontextualized lists of vocabulary words and grammar rules toward the innumerable uses of the language in authentic contexts. She also leads the Nahuatl Study Group at UGA, which meets weekly to study Nahuatl language and literature. She currently serves as vice president of the Romance languages department’s graduate student organization.
Julie Stoudenmire, a doctoral student in the department of microbiology, has served as the instructor of record, teaching assistant and laboratory teaching assistant for a variety of courses in the department including those at the introductory and advanced level, both on campus and online. In addition, she helped transition MIBO4600L, an advanced undergraduate microbiology laboratory, to an authentic research experience based on using original research. Stoudenmire has served twice as a co-organizer of the microbiology department’s National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Prokaryotic Biology Program and has mentored numerous undergraduate students as part of the REU program and within her department. In 2015, she earned the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from her department and is currently participating in the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Future Faculty Program and pursuing the graduate interdisciplinary certificate in university teaching.
Benjamin Hudson, a doctoral candidate in the department of English, encourages students to highlight their individual talents as readers and writers. In addition to teaching freshman composition courses, he taught a survey of British literature and led a course in Victorian Studies, the area of his research. He piloted workshops in freshman residence halls to guide students in first-year writing courses through their final projects. With Elizabeth Davis, he helped develop and implement a series of seminars for UGA faculty in the pilot First-Year Odyssey Program to help them incorporate writing as an essential element of their courses. Hudson has been the instructor of record for 11 classes. He came to UGA after a tour in the Peace Corps as an English instructor at Lanzhou Jiaotong University in rural Gansu Province, China.
The Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes the significant contribution graduate students make to the instructional mission of UGA. The Graduate School established the award to recognize students who have demonstrated superior teaching skills and who have contributed to teaching beyond with own classroom responsibilities. Five students are selected each year from departmental nominations.