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Centennial teaching assistants honored

STANFORD -- Twenty-seven of the people who play a very important role in teaching at Stanford University were presented the second annual Centennial TA (Teaching Assistant) Awards.

The TAs, graduate students who help teach undergraduates in the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences and Engineering, were honored at a ceremony June 15 attended by the deans of those schools -- Ewart A.C. Thomas, W. Gary Ernst and James F. Gibbons.

Thomas, who conceived the awards in 1989, said the Centennial TAs "serve as models of the scholarly life to undergraduates, as bridges between faculty and younger students, and as apprentice teachers."

Thomas said he started the program because he felt TAs should be a part of the celebration of Stanford's centennial, and he wanted their roles recognized during the historic year. A gift from John A. Ditz (a Stanford alumnus and former member of the Board of Trustees) and his wife, Ann, provided initial funding for the program. The Centennial Organizing Committee also contributed.

While initially developed for the School of Humanities and Sciences, the program was immediately expanded by Deans Ernst and Gibbons into Earth Sciences and Engineering schools.

Centennial TAs are chosen by their departments. Each receives a certificate and $500 award.

At the awards ceremony, Thomas expressed his hope that the Centennial TA program would soon be endowed in perpetuity.

He also announced that departments in Humanities and Sciences could submit proposals to the Centennial TA Program for funding of new or improved TA training efforts. Proposals are typically designed by graduate students and faculty members and include such projects as producing a department handbook for TAs, developing a departmental orientation to teaching, or starting a program to videotape TAs in action.

This year, TA training grants were awarded to the departments of anthropology, chemistry, communication, economics, english, French and Italian (in association with Spanish and Portuguese), linguistics, music, political science, and Slavic languages and literatures.

The 1990-91 Centennial TAs in the School of Humanities and Sciences:

Susan Elizabeth Alexander (biological sciences), Rob Fleck (economics), Ariela Gross (history), Joe Harris (mathematics), Cyrma Haskell (mathematics), Edward Isser (drama), Caridad Kenna (Spanish and Portugese), Chris Kilby (economics), Matthew Lombard (communication), Bonnie McElhinny (linguistics), Kerry Ellen Pannell (economics), John Leonard Pender (food research), Audrey Southwick (biological sciences), Gregory S. Starrett (anthropology), Steven Stern (statistics), Donna Storey (Asian languages), John Taylor (religious studies) and Dong X. Yin (biological sciences).

In the School of Earth Sciences:

Roland Burgmann (geology), Geoffrey Hoefer (applied earth sciences), John Hornbrook (petroleum engineering) and Dale Richards (geophysics).

In the School of Engineering:

Matthew Stuart Grob (electrical engineering), Dean Michael Murphy (industrial engineering), Teresa Nauenberg (mechanical engineering), Jeffrey A. Pierce (chemical engineering) and Joel Swisher (civil engineering.)



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