Graduate Teaching Awards

Graduate Studies invites nominations for the Chancellor, Carlin, and Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards to recognize excellence in teaching by graduate students at the University of Kansas. We thank the Chancellor, the KU Endowment Association, and Diana Carlin for generously providing funding for these awards.


October 23 - November 10, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST


Each nominee must be a graduate student meeting the following criteria:

  • enrolled in a master's or doctoral program at the time of nomination
  • completed at least one term of teaching at the time of nomination
  • appointed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) in Spring, Summer or Fall 2023
  • in good academic standing during the term of teaching for which they are nominated

Award Details

The Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards are divided in three categories:

  1. Chancellor's GTA Award                              
  2. Carlin's GTA Award                                      
  3. Graduate Studies Outstanding GTA Award  

Awardees will receive a monetary prize of $1000 for Chancellor's GTA Awards, $750 for Carlin GTA Awards, and $500 for Graduate Studies Outstanding GTA Awards. In addition, awardees will be highlighted in the Graduate Studies website and social media channels.

The top doctoral and top master's awardees with a Teaching In Action video (currently required by MAGS) will be nominated for the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Award in January 2024.

Nomination Process & Documents

Each department/program may nominate up to two (2) Graduate Teaching Assistants via the nomination form below. All the documents listed below must be submitted as a PDF, except for the optional Teaching in Action video link.

A nomination statement from the nominee's department or program. The letter/statement should include any descriptions of departmental honors awarded to the student for excellence in teaching.

Current curriculum vitae for the nominee. Please highlight any awards for teaching excellence. 

Undergraduate and/or graduate student letters/statements of support for the nominee. Please combine all supporting documentation as one PDF. 

The portfolio should be no longer than six (6) pages, double-spaced, 12-point font with 1-inch margins that includes the following components:

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

The nominee should convey their core ideas about being an effective teacher, share their beliefs and values related to teaching and learning, and discuss their goals and the methods or strategies they use to achieve those goals.

Evidence of Instructional Design for Improved Student Learning

The nominee should explain how they have used instructional design to develop learning materials, experiences, and environments that promote better student learning through their experience as an instructor. This could include content production, learning activities, student-instructor interaction, peer-to-peer interaction, and effective assessments, among others.

Evidence of Effective Student/Colleague Mentoring

The nominee should describe their experience with mentoring students outside of the classroom, either related to the course or in other settings. Additionally, the nominee should describe any experience they have with mentoring peers or colleagues in the context of teaching.

Evidence of Professional Development

The nominee should explain or describe how they have used professional development opportunities to grow in their teaching excellence. If applicable, the nominee should also convey how they have aligned professional development in the feedback they have received on their teaching?

The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) has invited nominations for the MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award, which require a Teaching in Action video as part of the nomination. The award includes a citation and a $750 honorarium that will be presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) that will take place from April 3-5, 2024 in St. Louis, MO.

Students interested in being eligible for the MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award must submit a link to their Teaching in Action video that meets the guidelines described below.

Maximum Length

10 minutes


The video should  demonstrate how the nominee has implemented key elements of their teaching philosophy or instructional design. A variety of teaching settings may be used for the video including but not limited to lecture, facilitated discussion, lab, etc. as appropriate to the course. Rather than expertise in creating the video, the focus should be on activities that demonstrate improved learning, such as student engagement, personalized learning, project-based learning, etc.

For asynchronous online courses, a video presentation from the instructor showcasing the learning environment, learning activities, and interactions would be a good way to give the committee a good sense about their online asynchronous course. Also, showing student work, or peer-to-peer interactions are great examples of evidence showing exceptional pedagogy. The MAGS committee defined this criterion broadly so as to give nominees an opportunity to be creative when presenting their work.  

Nominators will receive a system confirmation that their nomination was successfully submitted upon completion of the online form.  

Selection Criteria

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Awards are given to graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding professional interaction with students and faculty while working as a GTA. Nominees will be evaluated on these criteria:

  • Strength of the letters of recommendation from faculty and/or students
  • Depth and level of teaching experience
  • Strength of the nominee’s teaching portfolio
  • Specific qualities that distinguish the nominee from other good teachers
  • Optional 10-minute (maximum) video recording of the nominee teaching in action. 

Nominations are reviewed and awarded in fall by members of the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty. 



  • Pan (Jackie) Liu, School of Journalism & Mass Communications

  • David Dayoub, Tuba-Euphonium/Jazz


  • Marcy Quiason, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • Ryan Frier, Mathematics

  • Dana Comi, English

  • Elise Higgins, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • Rohith Giridhar, Aerospace Engineering

  • Margarita Pavlova, Psychology

  • Juan Pablo Román-Alvarado, Spanish and Portuguese


  • Arnab Chakraborty, English

GTA Awards Nomination Form

The nomination period is October 23, 2022 to November 10, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST.
Nominate Here