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Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award

Graduate students in the National Capital Region attend class with peers via teleconferencing

The Graduate School presents two teaching awards each year to honor students who demonstrate excellence during their teaching assistantships. This award is sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Winners receive a plaque and $1,000 in each category.

Category 1: GTA Instructor of Record: Primary instructor of course or course section. GTA typically has more control of the content and delivery of the material and assigns grades for students. Student SPOT evaluations are completed regarding the nominee.

Category 2: GTA - Assistant Award: Provides support to faculty instructor of record. Duties may include: grading, occasional lecturing, student office hours and similar tasks. College, department, or course specific evaluations may be collected in place of SPOT evaluations.

Award criteria

  • Teaching or instructional support must have been done at Virginia Tech by GTA for at least a full semester in Spring, Summer or Fall 2020 (P14 or wage appointments are not eligible)
  • Only one nomination in each category per department
  • Excellent teaching as evidenced by:
    • Thorough knowledge of the subject matter
    • Effective communication skills
    • Enthusiasm for the subject
    • Learner-centered pedagogy
    • Demonstrated evidence of participation in teaching-effectiveness seminars, classes or FDI programs
    • Ability to motivate students to learn
    • Demonstration of innovation

Nomination requirements

  • Completed and signed nomination form verifying student as the department's nominee
  • Two recommendations addressing criteria of excellent teaching (maximum one page each)
    • One from a supervising faculty member
    • One from faculty or staff member, or graduate student who has observed the nominee's teaching skills
  • Student evaluations (summaries only – maximum 2 pages) or alternative measure of outstanding performance
  • Statement of personal teaching philosophy from the nominee (should include summary of primary teaching accomplishments - maximum one page)
  • Curriculum vitae from the nominee highlighting information relevant to teaching excellence (maximum 2 pages)
  • Complete nomination packet not to exceed 8 pages

To nominate a student, compile signed nomination form and all supporting documents on the checklist (in the above order) in a single PDF file. Upload this package through the following survey:

Deadline:  January 29, 2021


Additional Information

For more information, contact 540-231-4558 or email (type GEW Awards in the subject line.)