University of Minnesota
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2011-12 Outstanding Teaching Assistants honored

Three students—Ian Gunsolus, Ryan Baumgartner, and Jeff Vervacke—received 2011-12 outstanding teaching assistant awards, honored by the students they taught. Ian and Jeff are both graduate students, and Baumgartner was a senior undergraduate who graduated last spring. Each received an $800 stipend.

Ian Gunsolus received the Robert L. Ferm Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. His students appreciated his “unfailing commitment to teaching his students with a smile on his face.” “Sometimes you are lucky enough to have an Ian (as a TA) and it makes you look forward to lab!.” “Ian can truly be considered the most outstanding TA, not only for chemistry, but for the entirety of U of M!” “Ian explained concepts to our group that furthered our chemistry knowledge beyond the book.”

Ryan Baumgartner received the Robert C. Brasted Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award. Ryan's students described him as “very accommodating and willing to meet outside of class and office hours if need be.” “He made everyone feel comfortable in lab and showed a high level of respect toward students.” “He established a rapport with most all of the students in his section.” “Ryan is absolutely one of the best TAs I’ve had in any class, from any department!”  

Jeff Vervacke received the Wayland E. Noland Outstanding Graduate Teaching Fellowship. Some of Jeff's CHEM 2311 students wrote: "He was a class act that would go out of his way to accommodate his students.” “If I had a TA like Jeff for all my classes, I would have had a lot more fun learning at the U!” “In the short few minutes that he speaks, a wealth of information is explained so elegantly so that I feel like I’ve already had past experience.” “Jeff is very safety-conscious—always quick to clean up broken glassware and keep the lab a safe place for everyone.”

Ian Gunsolus received the Robert L. Ferm Oustanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.