The Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award (OGTA) recognizes the contributions of graduate students to teaching and learning at UC Davis. This is a tremendously important award as it honors outstanding graduate students, reminds the campus that teaching is a central part of the university’s mission, and can inspire students and professors to give increased attention to the educational process.
Anyone may nominate!
Do you know a graduate student who deserves to be recognized for exemplary teaching? Any member of the campus community having direct experience with the student's teaching may nominate. Complete the nomination form and submit your favorite graduate student teacher for consideration. Undergraduate students are especially encouraged to submit.
Dyani Taff, 2014 OGTA recipient
A committee that includes faculty and graduate students will be convened by Graduate Studies to review all nominations and select award recipients. In spring quarter, the nominees will be notified whether they have been selected to receive an award. A certificate and a small monetary award will be conferred to award winners at the Spring Awards Ceremony (to be held in May, 2021) recognizing their achievement and contribution.
The award is limited to currently enrolled graduate students who have been employed on this campus as Teaching Assistants and/or Associate In's during an eligible quarter. Previous recipients of this award are not eligible for nomination.
A typical nomination consists of three form submissions:
- Initial Nomination Form - generally submitted by a campus member other than the TA/AI. However, if the TA/AI has a Nomination Letter from a third party, they may self-nominate for the award by submitting the Nomination Letter via this form.
- Letter of Recommendation Form - to be completed by a faculty member (the Instructor of Record, Graduate Program Chair, Department Chair, or an alternate designated faculty member).
- Nominee's Form and Teaching Philosophy Statement - to be completed by the Nominee. If a graduate student would like to self-nominate for the award and they do not have a Nomination Letter, they should initiate their nomination via this form.
2020-21 OGTA Deadline: The final deadline for all application materials is Friday, April 9, 2021.
Who May Nominate: Any member of the campus community having direct experience with the student’s teaching. Self-nominations are allowed.
Eligible quarters for the 2020-21 OGTA: Graduate student Teaching Assistants and Associate In’s in courses taught in winter quarter 2019-20, spring quarter 2019-20, summer 2020-21 (session I and II), and fall quarter 2020-21 may be nominated.
Initial Nomination Form
The Nomination Form has been updated for the current year; information from last year should not be used. Please review the following information carefully. The required information must be completed as described. The final deadline for all application materials is Friday, April 9, 2021. Please submit the Initial Nomination Form well in advance of this date (by Friday, March 26, 2021) to provide your nominee with sufficient time to complete the application form and request a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
The Initial Nomination Form is generally from a student (or a group of students) in the course for which the candidate is nominated, a faculty member, or other graduate students who have knowledge of the candidate’s teaching performance in the nominated course
The Initial Nomination Form must include a Nomination Letter/Essay with a maximum length of two pages, addressing the individual’s performance in the specific course for which he/she is nominated and should include:
- Nominee name and graduate program.
- Outstanding qualities that distinguish the candidate.
- Evidence of creativity and extra effort in improving instruction and teaching effectiveness.
- Comments on the nominee’s rapport with students, availability, willingness to hold special help sessions, efforts to stimulate independent thinking, and any other contributions to instruction that deserve special recognition and may be helpful to the selection committee.
- Name of individual writing the nomination letter, department, e-mail address and signature.
- Additional relevant information such as experience with the student in other teaching roles other than the nominated course may be added at the end of the letter.
Once the Initial Nomination Form is submitted, Graduate Studies will contact the Nominee and the Instructor of Record for the course and provide them links to the Supporting Letter of Recommendation Form and the Nominee's Form and Philosophy Statement.
Henry Hao, 2014 OGTA recipient
Supporting Letter of Recommendation Form
This form is considered confidential and completed by the individual who supervised the course for which the candidate was nominated. If the student is the instructor of record, the Supporting Letter of Recommendation Form must be submitted by the department chair, graduate program chair, or a designated faculty member. If the Instructor of Record submitted the Initial Nomination Form, the Nomination Letter/Essay included in that form will be used as the Supporting Letter of Recommendation. Because of the large number of nominations, all forms must be submitted by the final deadline (Friday, April 9, 2021). No exceptions will be made. Incomplete or late nominations will not be evaluated.
Please provide the following information in the Supporting Letter of Recommendation Form:
- Nominee’s name
- Nominated for teaching in (quarter and course)
- Faculty role (instructor of record, chair, or designated faculty)
- Describe your impressions of the candidate’s teaching in the course.
- What outstanding qualities set this graduate student teacher apart from others?
- What evidence demonstrates the candidate's creativity and effort in improving classes and teaching effectiveness?
- Comment on the candidate's rapport with students, availability, willingness to hold special help sessions, efforts to stimulate independent thinking, and any other contributions to teaching that deserve special recognition and may be helpful to the selection committee.
Nominee's Form and Teaching Philosophy Statement
Because of the large number of nominations, all nomination forms must be submitted by the final deadline (Friday, April 9, 2021). No exceptions will be made. Incomplete or late nominations will not be evaluated. This form is to be completed by the nominee and provide the following information:
- Nominee’s name
- The quarter and course you have been nominated
- Describe your teaching duties in the course for which you were nominated
- Have you been nominated for the OGTA award previously? If so, when and what course?
- How many quarters have you taught at UC Davis?
- List other classes you have taught or assisted in
- Include information regarding courses you have taught that would be helpful to the committee
- Teaching Philosophy Statement: Prepare an essay describing your teaching philosophy. The essay should be a statement of the philosophy, goals, and methods that guide your teaching. Please describe efforts you have made beyond your normal teaching responsibilities. From your own experiences as a student, please describe the attributes that you think the very best teachers should possess. Format: The essays should be no more than two pages in length, double-spaced, one-inch margins, and 12-point font. Be sure to include your name, department and contact information.
- Teaching Evaluation Summary: You will be asked to upload an official summary of the course evaluations for only the specified nominated course.
Sponsored by Graduate Studies.