Every year, the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation offers awards to the best Teaching Assistants on campus. Only twelve TAs make it to the short-list among hundreds nominated. Of these twelve short-listed in 2017, one was a PhD student from the Centre for Medieval Studies: Lochin Brouillard. CONGRATULATIONS!
Here are some extracts of the letter written for Lochin by the professor who nominated her. “Lochin has been my T.A. in the VIC 343Y ‘Sex and Gender in the Renaissance’ for the past three years and has gained my absolute trust and admiration for the great work she has done in the course. […] One reason for Lochin’s great success as a TA is her profound dedication to teaching and to helping students do their best. She mentors students on a one-to-one basis, learns their name, draws them into the discussion, and makes them feel at home and valued. Another reason is Lochin’s own character – open, friendly, relaxed, supportive. She epitomizes the best of what a teacher should be. She always has a smile on her lips and great ideas in her mind – she engages with students and contributes to class discussions with ease and elegance, and also with profound knowledge of the materials and the field. And she manages to steer a clear, scholarly course without infringing on anyone’s sensibilities (not an easy task on a course on ‘sex and gender’).”
The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program’s (TATP) Teaching Excellence Award was created in 2003 to recognize the outstanding contributions of teaching assistants across all four divisions in the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. The award seeks to value the work of TAs who regularly inspire and challenge undergraduate students. It means that the individuals who won this award and the ones who were short-listed for it can count themselves among the University’s top TAs!
CMS does not have an undergraduate component to its program. Therefore our PhD students are sometimes frustrated as they cannot TA as much as they would like. The fact that one of the twelve TAs short-listed by TATP this year, two from last year (Amanda Wetmore who won the award and Nicholas Wheeler), and already one in 2015 (Michael Fatigati) were from CMS is the perfect proof that any institution hiring CMS students gets the service of extremely talented and incredibly knowledgeable TAs.