The University at Buffalo has a long tradition and a firm
commitment to providing all of its students with instruction of the
highest quality. The instruction delivered by graduate students who
serve as teaching or graduate assistants or as instructors is a
critical element of that institutional commitment.
The Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching
Assistants is awarded by the Graduate School, in recognition of
exceptional ability in teaching by UB graduate students. Students
will be selected based on superb and creative performance in the
classroom or laboratory, engagement with mentoring and advisement,
and a commitment to the high academic standards in teaching.
- The nominee must be a current, full-time UB graduate
- The nominee must not have been previously nominated.
- The nominee must have been involved in teaching at UB for the
equivalent of at least one academic year (does not have to be
during consecutive semesters).
- The nominee must be enrolled in the spring 2018 semester.
All teaching assistants who supervise laboratory sections,
recitation sections or their own courses are equally eligible.
Nomination packets must not exceed 30 pages in length, not
including UB course evaluations.
Any member of the faculty may initiate a nomination.
Self-nominations are strongly discouraged.
The nomination process will be coordinated at the decanal level.
Please contact your academic dean’s office for information
regarding the due date by which that office must receive nomination
Academic deans should submit all nomination packets. Each
nomination needs to be a single, integrated PDF file containing all
required documents. Please email completed nomination packets to
Emily Luchterhand in the Graduate School at email@example.com by Monday,
February 5, 2018 at 5 p.m.
The following must be provided by the candidate's
1. Nomination form/cover sheet (found in the nomination packet
2. Selection criteria form (found in the nomination packet
materials). The candidate’s sponsor should clearly address
how the candidate’s performance specifically fulfills each of
the following award selection criteria.
- Teaching skill. The nominee must perform superbly and
creatively in the classroom or laboratory (evidence from
quantitative assessments of teaching and/or summaries of
qualitative evaluations and course materials).
- Mentorship/advisement. The nominee must be concerned
with the intellectual growth of individual students, must
measurably facilitate their growth and must help students achieve
academic excellence (evidence of accessibility outside of the
classroom and a description of mentoring/advising activities and
effectiveness in UB course evaluations and the candidate’s
- Academic standards and requirements. The nominee must
set high standards for students (evidence from duties and
responsibilities, course materials presented, degree of course
3. Copy of candidate’s current unofficial transcript.
4. Course information, to include the following:
- A one page “at-a-glance” listing of the
nominee’s teaching history. This should include the semester,
name of course taught and the number of students enrolled in each
- A specific description of the candidate’s teaching role
and duties in each course/section.
- An indication of the candidate’s responsibilities for
- Faculty observations. First-hand commentary from sponsors and
other faculty members who have witnessed a candidate’s
in-class performance. Place the candidate’s work in an
appropriate professional, disciplinary and/or pedagogical
- Up to two testimonials from a candidate’s own students
using the Student Testimonial Form for each. Testimonials that
address the selection criteria of teaching skill,
mentorship/advisement, and academic standards and requirements are
- At the end of the packet, please include all UB course
evaluation summary reports, both quantitative and qualitative,
negative and positive. Do not submit raw data. The committee will
not be able to perform individual calculations to understand the
raw numbers associated with student evaluations. Negative comments
round out the picture of a candidate’s total
The following must be provided by the
1. Personal statement. The candidate should submit a two-page,
double-spaced statement describing the following:
- Teaching approaches in the classroom or laboratory.
- Philosophy of mentoring/advising and methods used to
mentor/advise individual students.
- Academic standards and requirements, including methods used to
evaluate student performance and the reason those methods were
2. Course information. The candidate should include a syllabus
summary for up to two courses or laboratories taught, only if the
candidate created the syllabus. Please include the following:
- A course description, course materials and methods of
evaluation and assessment.
- A description of the candidate’s responsibilities (design
of experiments, design of case studies, design of PowerPoint or
other presentations, etc.) for the course(s).
- A short description of any innovative or extraordinary aspects
of the course(s) adopted to improve students’ educational
Do not include grade distribution information or testimonials
from fellow graduate students. Nomination packages must not exceed
30 pages in length, not including UB course evaluations.