First Annual Anthropology TA Awards

Earlier this month the Anthropology department hosted the  First Annual TA Awards. The event was established to recognize the valuable work and outstanding commitment of our many teaching assistants.

Winners Megan and Sophie (Michelle not pictured) with Dr. Amirpouyan Shiva

Our first awards went to the following TAs:

Megan Nguyen, Most Engaged UTA award

Megan has demonstrated exceptional commitment and enthusiasm in fostering a positive learning environment. While leading discussion sections is not typically assigned to undergraduate TAs, in fall 2023 Megan excelled in her role as a UTA and a discussion leader. She was exceptionally dedicated in her role as a UTA. During the professor’s office hours with students, several people praised Megan’s invaluable support with reading materials, writing assignments, exam reviews, and addressing questions. Megan’s proactive approach, effective communication, and genuine passion significantly enhanced the educational experience for students in her tutorial, making her a highly deserving candidate for this award.


Michelle Hak Hepburn, Outstanding Support for Instructor award

Michelle is an exemplary teaching assistant and junior colleague. In her role as a TA she attends to her duties well beyond the level expected of a teaching assistant. In fall 2023 in her role as senior TA, Michelle provided support and collaborative leadership working with four TAs.  Michelle’s tutorials were very well attended and she provided highly detailed and supportive feedback to her students. When required, Michelle was also able to step in to the main lecture to take part in instruction. Moreover, Michelle was excellent in offering a first line of approach in providing advice and mentorship to students, many of whom are new to the university experience. Overall, Michelle was a critical and inspiring member of the ANTH100 teaching team.


Sophie Walters, Exemplary Student Support award  

Sophia (Sophie) demonstrates exceptional dedication and commitment to providing outstanding assistance to students. Sophie consistently goes above and beyond, delivering clear explanations, valuable guidance, and fostering a supportive learning environment. In her role as TA Sophie has consistently demonstrated genuine care for her students. For instance, as a TA for ANTH100 in fall 2023, in communicating with students, including by email, she exhibited empathy, advocacy, and a willingness to accommodate student needs. Her approachability, responsiveness, and proactive engagement significantly contributed to the overall positive experience for students as they engage, often for the first time, with anthropological approaches to thinking about the world.