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Curriculum and Instruction News

Four graduate students from School receiving Campus-Wide Teaching Assistant Awards

February 15, 2019

Four School of Education graduate students are receiving 2018 Campus-Wide Teaching Assistant Awards.

UW–Madison employs over 2,000 teaching assistants (TAs) across a wide range of disciplines where they are an integral part of the Wisconsin Experience. Their contributions to the classroom, lab, and field are essential to the university’s educational mission.

To recognize the excellence of TAs across campus, the Graduate School supports the College of Letters & Science in administering these awards. Honorees will receive their awards and celebrate with family and friends in a reception on Thursday, March 7 from 3 to 4 p.m. in 911 Van Vleck Hall.

Award winners from the School of Education are: 

Alexandra LakindAlexandra Lakind is a recipient of the Early Excellence in Teaching Award. Lakind studies environmental education, arts programming, and childhood studies in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

In teaching Green Screen: Environmental Perspectives through Film and Practicum in Early Childhood Education in Kindergarten, Lakind has drawn on her own experiences as a student to motivate herself as an educator. She says, “The need I had for more engaging learning environments that attend to a greater diversity of learning styles has continued to energize me as an educator.”

Joe OroveczJoe Orovecz, a Ph.D. candidate with the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology, is receiving the Innovation in Teaching Award. Orovecz focuses primarily on crisis and suicide prevention and intervention, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues. He says the most enjoyable part of teaching is seeing how a course can be transformative for students.

“There’s something very special about the change that can happen for students and the broader community through learning, and I cherish being a part of that change,” says Orovcz. Orovecz has taught multiple classes, including Supervised Internship in Counseling and Diagnosis and Treatment Planning for Counselors. He has also developed and taught a Psychology of Suicide course.

Allison Murrow• Allison Murrow is being awarded the Capstone Ph.D. Teaching Award​. She is a fourth-year Ph.D. student with the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research specializes in the mitigation of classroom anxiety for teachers and students.

She focuses on literacy, having taught The Teaching of Reading and Writing, Dimensions of Literacy, and The Teaching of Reading. Murrow says that she is dedicated not only to the outcomes of learning, but the process itself. 

Adalbert Gerald Soosai Raj • Also receiving the Capstone Ph.D. Teaching Award is Adalbert Gerald Soosai Raj, who is a Ph.D. student in computer sciences and education. In addition to teaching programming classes, he has taught courses like Intro to Operating Systems and Teaching Computer Science to K-12 Students.

He says he is motivated by engaging and inspiring students, saying that many have declared a computer sciences majors after taking one of his courses. 

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