Out of thousands of dedicated GSIs, 276 are named especially outstanding Published: June 1, 2012 By: Dick Cortén TOP: Graduate Dean Andrew Szeri shook each hand (such as that of winner Maya Smith) while family and friends recorded the moments for posterity in stills and video (example: a colleague captured Scandinavian grad student Verena Hoefig onstage). MIDDLE: Hundreds of this year’s Outstanding GSI Award winners cheered for each recipient as he or she crossed the stage at the commencement-style ceremony May 1 in I-House Auditorium. BOTTOM: It was a day for families, both biological and academic. Ethnic Studies GSI Michael-Schulze-Oechtering had numerous relatives on hand, including his wife and baby. Two Materials Science and Engineering GSIs were award winners — Elizabeth Boatman and James Mastandrea — and they celebrated with MSE professor Ron Gronsky, a former chair of the Academic Senate, who earned two graduate degrees here ( M.S. ‘74, Ph.D. ‘77). (photos: Peg Skorpinski) A capacity crowd of GSIs and their family and friends filled the Chevron Auditorium in International House on May 1, there to celebrate the presentation of the annual Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards. The Graduate Division’s GSI Teaching and Resource Center and the Graduate Council Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs run the selection process — choosing 276 high-performing GSIs in 61 academic programs this year out of the more than 3,000 GSIs who were eligible. Students are nominated by their departments, and may receive this honor only once during their studies here (although many recipients continue to be GSIs as well as outstanding, if without the capital “o.”) The award recognizes the excellence of their teaching. Selections are made according to detailed guidelines, following criteria which may include skills in presenting course materials, capacity to promote critical thinking, and skills in developing course materials that promote learning, as well as evidence such as evaluations by students, letters of nomination by faculty or students, and classroom observation by faculty. Thse awards have been given for more than two decades. A complete list of this year’s winners, by department, as well as winners in previous years, is available on the GSI Center’s website.