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Stanford University honors Teaching Assistants

STANFORD -- Twenty-nine Stanford University students were honored commencement weekend with the fourth annual Centennial TA (Teaching Assistant) Awards at a June 12 luncheon ceremony.

The TAs, mostly graduate students who help teach undergraduates in the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences and Engineering, were recognized during a ceremony presided over by Ewart Thomas, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

(Thomas is stepping down from the post this fall; his successor is John Shoven, professor of economics.)

Thomas conceived the awards in 1989, saying he felt TAs should be included in the celebration of Stanford's centennial. The late John A. Ditz, a Stanford alumnus (Class of 1942) and former member of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Ann (Class of '46), began the Centennial Teaching Assistant Program with a founding gift four years ago. In the past year, the program received gifts of endowment from other alumni: Bill ('56) and Reva ('54) Tooley of Los Angeles, Mel ('44) and Joan Lane of the Stanford community, and the Rev. Marta S. Weeks ('51) of Miami. Those gifts, Thomas said, enabled the program to continue.

At the ceremony, Thomas reaffirmed his support for the program, saying, "I feel confident that, with this level of endowment support, the program will endure."

In his speech, Thomas spoke about the role TAs play in the education of the undergraduate.

"They are an essential part of undergraduate education at a research university like Stanford," Thomas said. "Already well along in their training, TAs serve as models of the scholarly life to undergraduates, as bridges between faculty and younger students, and as apprentice teachers in labs, discussion sections and reviews."

In addition to the teaching awards, the program also provides grants for TA training programs. Thus far this year, grants (a maximum of $2,500 each) have been awarded to the Department of Mathematics, which will purchase videotaping equipment that it will share with nearby departments, and the Department of Human Biology, which will develop an extensive teaching handbook for its TAs.

The 1992-1993 Centennial TAs and their departments are:

Matti BunzL, anthropology; Claire Chan, mathematics; Peter P. Christiansen, geology; Marcelo Clerici-Arias, economics; Ignacio Corona-Gutierrez, Spanish and Portugese; Judith Dolan, drama; Jonathan A. Eisen, biological sciences; Stephen E. Forrest, geology; Pamela Barrett Gaspers, chemical engineering; Roy D. Haggerty, applied earth sciences; Kimberly A. Hannula, geology; Geoffrey Philip Hoefer, civil engineering; David W. Hyndman, applied earth sciences; Philip A. Kafalas, Asian languages; Dongseok Kim, economics, Dennis F. Kinsey, communication, Eric D. Kolaczyk, statistics; Bryna Kra, mathematics; Christopher D. Manning, linguistics; Thomas Edward Meigs, biological sciences; Douglas Taylor Northrop, history; Manish Raizada, biological sciences; Scott Seligman, computer science; Esther-Mirjam Sent, economics; Mark T. Unno, religious studies; Lon van Geloven, mechanical engineering; Santosh Verma, petroleum engineering; Mitzi Vernon, mechanical engineering; Michelle R. Wright, French and Italian.



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