Outstanding Teaching Assistants, Students honored for 2019-20

The Department of Chemistry honored its outstanding teaching assistants and those earning 4.0 GPAs for the 2019-20 school year.

4.0 GPA

4.0 GPA honorees were Gretchen Burke who is advised by Professor Michael Bowers, Joshua Gavin who is advised by Professor Courtney Roberts, Kathryn Rynders who is advised by Professor Nicholas Race, and Daniel King and Abhishek Mitra who are advised by Professor Laura Gagliardi.

Outstanding Teaching Assistants

Three students were honored with outstanding teaching assistant awards including graduate students Margaret Clapham and Beza Tuga who received the Robert L. Ferm Outstanding TA award, and undergraduate Mitchell Chiesl who received the Robert C. Brasted Outstanding Undergraduate TA Award.

Here's what their students wrote about their teaching skills:

Margaret Clapman: "Margaret was the best TA I have ever had. She is very enthusiastic about organic chemistry and extremely eager to help her students. Margaret answered my questions in a straightforward way that helped me understand the concepts more deeply. During lab, she was very calm in handling complications. Margaret seems to truly want her students to succeed and she goes the extra mile to make sure they do."

Mitchell Chiesl: "Mitchell is always so excited for lab and ready to start each lab with lots of enthusiasm. He is constantly walking around lab asking if anyone has questions or needs help. He makes sure he doesn't just answer our questions, but pushes us to think about it and use our background knowledge to figure it out. He makes sure every one understands the lab and is ready to move on before doing so. During the switch to online lab he was very understanding and willing to answer any question, even if it had already been asked before. Overall, Mitchell is an amazing TA."

Beza Tuga: "Simply put, Beza has been the best TA of any subject during my time here at the University of Minnesota. No other TA had the ability to clearly explain tasks, make chemistry interesting, or relate to her students as well as Beza did. My excitement for chemistry was heightened through her teachings, and most importantly, her clear instruction was an integral part in helping me fully grasp and excel in not only Chem 1066, but in Chem 1062 as well."

Honorable Mention Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants who received honorable mentions for their work in 2019-2020 were Caroline Buchholz, Michael Dorantes, Ryan Leighton, Hannah Lembke, Drew Marshall, Allen Nguyen, Hung Pham, and Connor Reilly.