Carnegie Mellon University

Dietrich College Graduate Student Teaching Award

To recognize exceptional graduate student teaching, the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers two annual awards: The Graduate Student Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding expertise in all areas of teaching—such as curriculum development, classroom teaching, student mentoring and assessment— and the Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award, for those who have held the role with remarkable distinction, dedication and creativity.

All Dietrich College graduate students are eligible for nomination. Each department in the college may nominate one graduate student per award. Departments may solicit letters of recommendation for more than one candidate per award, and use these letters to decide which candidate will be the departmental nominee for each award. Students who have been nominated in the past, but who did not receive the award for which they were nominated, may be re-nominated.

Selection Committee
The award recipients will be chosen by a college-wide committee appointed by the dean.

Nominations should be submitted to the Dietrich College Dean’s Office by the first Monday in November.

The nomination packet should include:

  • A covering letter addressed to the Dietrich College Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee that summarizes the individual’s accomplishments.
  • The candidate’s projected graduation date.
  • The nominee’s current CV.
  • Up to three letters of recommendation from faculty who are familiar with the nominee’s performance in the role of teacher or teaching assistant.
  • Testimonials from undergraduate students.
  • FCE scores (only needed for Teaching Award nominees).
  • Additional materials, such as comments from FCE forms, teaching statements, other measures of teaching effectiveness, problem sets or curricular materials created by the nominee, are also welcomed. Letters from previous nominations as well as letters solicited in connection with other teaching awards may be used.

The award selection committee has developed the following metrics for a baseline framing of nominees. These can be included in other nomination materials and will be ranked by the committee as superior, very good and good.

  • Intellectual coherence
  • Overall impact to the university and college over time
  • Number of students taught
  • Number of courses taught
  • Contributions to pedagogical scholarship
  • Appropriate pedagogy for discipline
  • Student letters / FCEs
  • Resourcefulness and development over time
  • Professionalism
  • Portfolio quality

Past Winners

Nisha Shanmugaraj, English (Teaching Award)

Nuria Ballesteros Soria (Teaching Award), Modern Languages
Cassie Eng (Teaching Assistant Award), Psychology

Alexis Adams (Teaching Award), Modern Languages
Patience Stevens (Teaching Assistant Award), Psychology

Xiaofei Tang, Department of Modern Languages

Andras Molnar, Sophie Qin and Jamie Smith (co-winners of the Teaching Award), Social and Decision Sciences, Modern Languages and English; Andras Molnar (Teaching Assistant Award), Social and Decision Sciences

Aidan Kestigian and Mary Glavan (co-winners), Philosophy and English

Ana Cooke and Sihui (Echo) Ke (co-winners), English and Modern Languages

Dan Walter, Modern Languages

Sheila Liming, English

Doug Cloud and Ryan Miller (co-winners), English and Modern Languages

Heather Steffen and Yun (Helen) Zhao (co-winners), English and Modern Languages

Shuai Li, Modern Languages

Emily Klein, English

David Gray, Philosophy

Alex Bennett and Chan Lu (co-winners), History and Modern Languages

Necia Werner, English

Yuki Yoshimura, Modern Languages

Yuki Yoshimura, Modern Languages

Susan Hagan, English

Eiko Ushida, Modern Languages

Rebecca Kluchin, History

Susan Lawrence, English