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University of Iowa News Release


May 27, 2008

UI names outstanding teaching assistants

The University of Iowa has named 31 teaching assistants (TAs) as winners of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards for 2007-08. Winners receive a certificate of achievement and $1,000. They were honored at an award reception on Friday, May 9.

Mary Trachsel, Chair of the Council on Teaching, thanked the award-winning teaching assistants for their dedication to undergraduate teaching and for their outstanding service to the university.

"Selecting and honoring these outstanding TAs is one of the most important things we do as a council," Trachsel says. "These excellent teachers play a key role in carrying out the university's mission, and they've done an admirable job fulfilling that responsibility. But most of all, they've each had a made a real difference to the undergraduates in their classrooms."

Tom Rocklin, UI vice provost, said: "The fact that these graduate students are actively engaged in the discovery of new knowledge and in the creative process translates into very special learning experiences for the undergraduate students they teach."

The council has presented the awards each year since 1988. The awardees are teaching assistants who taught for at least one semester during the spring, summer, or fall of 2007. Nominations for the awards are sought from students, faculty, colleagues, departmental officers and deans.

The 2007-08 Outstanding Teaching Assistants are:

Biology: Demelza Koehn
Chemistry: Travis Owen
Cinema & Comparative Literature: Jennifer Fleeger
Classics: Lindsay Samson
English: Erica Daigle
General Education Literature: Adam Bradford
General Education Literature: Laura Capp
German: Kirsten Kumpf
History: Heather Cooper
Journalism & Mass Communication: Robin Johnson
Journalism & Mass Communication: Yeon Kyeong Kim
Journalism & Mass Communication: Rob Kuennen
Mathematics: Ian Besse
Mathematics: Susan Brooks
Mathematics: Jonas Meyer
Mathematics: Heather Mollé
Mathematics: Jitka Stehnova
Mathematics: Jon Van Laarhoven
Music: Ward Miller
Philosophy: Heather Libby
Physics & Astronomy: Jim Rybicki
Political Science: Brian DiSarro
Political Science: Benjamin Knoll
Rhetoric: Monica Brasile
Rhetoric: James Lambert
Sexuality Studies: Wanda Raiford
Spanish & Portuguese: Maria Laura Bocaz-Leiva
Spanish & Portuguese: Stephanie Mueller
Speech Pathology & Audiology: Vicki Samelson
Statistics & Actuarial Science: Wade Daniluk

Preventive & Community Dentistry: Bianca Wolf

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kris Yows, Office of the Provost, 319-335-3566,; Mary Trachsel, Council on Teaching, 319-335-0185,; Charles S. Drum, University News Services, 319-384-0048,