TAs honoured at celebration of teaching excellence

The dedication and commitment of Brock’s teaching assistants (TA), seminar leaders and lab demonstrators was celebrated at a recent lunchtime gathering.

On Monday, April 10, TAs along with their family, friends and Brock colleagues attended the annual TA Awards celebration hosted by the University’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI).

The University relies on hundreds of teaching assistants, who aid students in Brock’s seven Faculties, and gathers together to honour their achievements every April.

During this year’s celebration, individual awards were presented in four categories to recognize outstanding teaching assistants.

Among the recipients was Nwakerendu (Kay) Waboso from the Department of Child and Youth Studies, who received the Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

Waboso said she was humbled, happy and grateful to be celebrated with the award after taking CPI-led courses to help her re-examine her teaching and techniques.

“I continue to learn that teaching is one side of a two-sided coin,” she said. “The other side of that coin is all that I learn from students. It is both humbling and grounding in the best possible way.”

The event also saw the following awards presented:

  • Teaching Assistant Award, Oya Pakkal, Department of Psychology;
  • International Teaching Assistant Award, co-recipients: Thien Bao Le, Biological Sciences, and Zihang Bu, Department of Child and Youth Studies; and
  • Novice Teaching Assistant Award, co-recipients: Alison Smoke, Department of Health Sciences, and Rebecca Rios, Department of Health Sciences.

The event also took time to present certificates for the completion of four CPI-led programs:

  • Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (6 credits);
  • Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (8 credits);
  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (16 credits and a statement of teaching philosophy); and
  • The Graduate Teaching Assistant Practicum.

The centre’s Associate Director of Educational Development Natalie Currie-Patterson, who runs the certificate programs, said she continues to be impressed and inspired by the University’s teaching assistants and their dedication to supportive and student-centred learning.

“CPI recognizes the crucial role TAs play in Brock’s teaching and learning community and the importance of providing them with opportunities to engage in professional development,” she said. “As demonstrated by these exemplary recipients, Brock TAs translate CPI’s professional learning opportunities by creating equitable, accessible and inclusive classrooms.”

To learn more about the TA awards, visit CPI’s Teaching Assistant Awards website.

Six people stand holding framed awards in an outdoor setting.

Award winners (from left) Thien Bao Le, Oya Pakkal, Zihang Bu, Alison Smoke, Nwakerendu (Kay) Waboso and Rebecca Rios each received honours at the annual TA Awards hosted by Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation Monday, April 10.

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