University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Students honor their outstanding teaching assistants

Three students—Nathan “Nate” Bodette, Laura Fox, and Sarah Wegwerth—received 2012-13 outstanding teaching assistant (TA) awards, honored by the students they taught. Nate is a senior undergraduate majoring in chemistry, Sarah is graduate student working in the laboratories of Professor Christopher Douglas, and Laura received her master's in chemistry and is currently pursuing a doctorate in education. Each received an $800 stipend.

Nate received the Robert C. Brasted Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award. Nathan’s students described him as “the best TA I’ve ever had in all of my labs on campus, not just chemistry.  I found myself going to his office hours exclusively, even if it wasn’t his experiment to grade.” “I wanted to give Nate recognition for being quite helpful this semester. He truly cared about my experience in the lab and for that I want to thank him.” “He made lab fun . . . which is saying something considering it’s analytical we’re talking about.”

Laura received the Robert L. Ferm Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Her students wrote: “Laura is a friendly TA who is approachable, fun, ready to help, and very enthusiastic about chemistry. She explains things very well and tries to make sure that everyone understands before moving on.” “Laura made my first lab experience a positive one. She brought enthusiasm and a passion for the subject to the lab every single day, and her friendly conversations, helpful hints, and encouragement really did make the three hours of lab enjoyable. I think the way she relates to her students is what makes her stand out.”

Sarah received the Wayland E. Noland Outstanding Graduate Teaching Fellowship. Some of Sarah’s Chemistry 2311 students wrote: “Sarah is an amazing teacher and makes going to lab enjoyable. She is organized, makes great use of lab time, and can explain concepts clearly. She cares and makes time for all of the students in her section as well as students and TAs in other sections.” “Sarah was an extremely enthusiastic, helpful, fair, and knowledgeable TA.” "She encouraged our section to think critically and work through problems on our own, but also provided assistance when we were truly struggling.”    

Pictured, from left, are Nathan "Nate" Bodette, Laura Fox, and Sarah Wegwerth.