Teaching 2024 Penn Prize for Excellence in Graduate Teaching Awardees

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2024 Penn Prize for Teaching Excellence by Graduate Students! Each year, graduate students are nominated by Penn undergraduate and graduate students for their profound impact on teaching at the University. 

This year's call for nominees yielded 114 nominations for 40 graduate student instructors from across the university. Determining 20 finalists and the 10 recipients presented the Committee with many difficult decisions. This year’s Selection Committee was chaired by Professor Steve Zdancewic from the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.  He was joined by Professor Sarah Gronningsater from the School of Arts & Sciences; 2 former Penn Prize awardees who are still graduate students; and a representative from the Undergraduate Assembly and SCUE.

The selected students represent the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM), Wharton, Annenberg School of Communication, and Graduate School of Education (GSE). A reception honoring these recipients will be held in the Graduate Student Center on Thursday, April 25, 2024. 

Penn Prize for Teaching Excellence by Graduate Students 
2024 Recipients 

Jeongmoon Choi

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (SEAS)

Jonathan Dick English (SAS)

Jamie Galanaugh

Neuroscience (PSOM) 

Joyce Kim

Sociology (SAS/GSE)

Nipun Kottage

Anthropology (SAS/PSOM)

Marissa Shandell

Management (Wharton)

Azsaneé Truss

Communication (Annenberg)

Jacqueline (Jacqui) Wallis

Philosophy (SAS)

Caroline Wechsler

History & Sociology of Science (SAS/PSOM)

Hannah Xiao

Data Science (SEAS)


Student quotes:

  • They not only provided a very layered and impactful understanding of the course material they were also incredibly supportive and I'm certain their guidance will stick with me throughout my time at Penn.

  • The most genuine and humane TA I have ever had. As a senior, I have had a lot of TA’s and none have come close to being as caring and kind and passionate as them.

  • …rather than simply reading through slides or problem set answers (like just about every other TA I have had), they exclusively used the chalkboard, clearly illustrating concepts in an interactive format. They used a fill-in-the-blank teaching format where we called out the answers as they reviewed a topic while simultaneously illustrating it on the chalkboard. As a result, recitations were engaging and dare I say fun. Additionally, I was able to learn from this review style about how to study more effectively for my STEM classes.

  • They went above and beyond as a TA. Their office hours were incredibly helpful as they weren’t just a time where they would give us answers to the homework, but rather helped guide our thinking in order to fully understand a problem…they found many ways to explain the same concept so that we could understand it. Above all, they were incredibly kind and helped motivate us all….not only were they a great instructor, they were also a good mentor.

  • They were an amazing TA who was always willingly to support the students and bring us joy! …They explained the content very clearly and engaged the class in various ways: class discussion, white board break out groups, and presentations. There are so many opportunities in their class to showcase your participation and interest … I felt supported by their care and enthusiasm. I loved their feedback on not only my class projects, but also my career and life goals.

  • They were not only one of the best graduate student instructors I've had at Penn, but one of the best instructors I've had here period….They were an excellent discussion leader, letting us share our own ideas with the class while providing relevant and enriching comments in response…I honestly miss our class so much, because the conversations were so fun and so exciting to be a part of….They created a class environment where I could be the best student possible.

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