Mark Miller (Biochemistry graduate student) and Andrew Spracklen (MCB Graduate Student) have won 2014 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards from the University of Iowa Council on Teaching.
Mark, who was nominated for his work in Biophysical Chemistry 1 in the fall of 2013, was lauded by students for his “welcoming nature,” “concern for his students,” and “sense of duty.” Dr. Pufall commended his teaching ability, writing, “Mark is gifted in the way he explains complex material, and in his patient, but unyielding instruction.”
About his classroom approach, Mark says, “My main focus in teaching was to view knowledge not as coming from me, but to empower students to solve problems on their own.”
Andrew was nominated for his work in Biochemistry II in the spring of 2013. He earned the admiration of both students and faculty for his ability to step in as a replacement TA several weeks into the semester. One of his students from that semester wrote, “He embodies all things educators and students at our university should strive to attain: intelligence, kindness, willingness to help, and excellent communication skills.”
According to Andrew, “I find that if students are able to connect the course material to their own interests, they not only recall the information better, but also are more capable of integrating the core course concepts into their daily life.”
Congratulations to both TAs for their excellent work!