Beginning in 2014, recipients of the Teaching Effectiveness Award (TEA) have been invited to apply for an additional teaching award for GSIs, the Teagle Foundation Award for Excellence in Enhancing Student Learning. This award program is sponsored by the Graduate Division’s GSI Teaching & Resource Center, with funding from the Teagle Foundation Graduate Student Teaching in the Arts and Sciences Initiative.

The goal of this award program is to give TEA recipients the opportunity to connect effective teaching strategies to the research on how students learn in a new, brief essay. TEA recipients are encouraged to build on the content of their TEA essay, but they may also select another teaching activity. The essays must:

  • draw on resources on the GSI Center’s How Students Learn website;
  • identify an area of research that relates to a teaching and learning activity that the TEA recipient implemented;
  • explain how the activity explicitly connects to the research;
  • lay out steps that could be taken to further improve the activity, based on the research on how students learn;
  • identify ways to strengthen the assessment strategy used to evaluate the activity’s impact on student learning; and
  • be no more than 750 words in length.

Applicants may use the following guidelines and questions in writing their essays:

  1. Describe the teaching and learning activity.
  2. How did you know it worked?
  3. How does the research on how students learn help you explain the effectiveness of this activity? Using resources from the GSI Center’s How Students Learn website, make explicit the relationship of this activity to the literature on how students learn.
  4. Based on the literature, how could you improve on and expand this activity?
  5. How could you improve the assessment strategy you used to evaluate the impact of this activity on student learning?

All submitted essays are reviewed by the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs. Two awards of $1000 will be given this year; the essays receiving the award are published on this website, listed and linked below.

Past Award Recipients


Eduardo A. Escobar, Constructing Live Knowledge from Dead Civilizations

Mercedes Taylor, Thinking like a Chemist: Enculturation, Disciplinary Practice, and Problem-Solving


Britney Kitamata-Wong, What’s in Your Chair? Enhancing Volitional Recall using Case-Based Encoding Strategies

Shelly Steward, Tweeting Sociological Theory as Situated Learning

Rong “Rocky” Ye, Prompting Critical Thinking through Metacognition and Electronic Scheduling


Jesse Cordes-Selbin, English. Learning from the Periphery: Collaboration and the Uses of History

Elise Piazza, Vision Science. How Research on Student Learning Explains the Effectiveness of Empirically-Driven Classroom Activities

Julie Wesp, Anthropology. Well, Isn’t That Humerus? Biological and Cognitive Changes through Making Learning Meaningful