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By student body referendum in 1989 and initiation of a special student fee, the Student Undergraduate Teaching Awards were established to recognize outstanding undergraduate instruction by both faculty and teaching assistants.  In 2004, an addendum to the referendum established a staff award to recognize a staff member’s specific contributions to the undergraduate experience at Carolina.  A committee of undergraduate students reviewed the teaching nominations on the basis of demonstrated and consistent teaching excellence, success in positively affecting a broad spectrum of students both in and outside the classroom, and creation of a dynamic learning environment.  The staff award nominations were reviewed on the basis of demonstrated excellence in service, dedication to undergraduate students, and in positively affecting a broad spectrum of Carolina undergraduate students.


Spencer Barnes, Associate Professor, Journalism and Media

“Dr. Barnes truly cares about his students and makes them feel special at a school that is so large.”

“He has been my favorite part about this university; he has not only helped me grow as a student, but he has helped me to gain personal confidence as well.”


Nicole Winnik Berland, Teaching Assistant, English and Comparative Literature

“On the last day of class, Nicole presented each of us with an award that was representative of the role we played within the classroom. These awards were so special because they illustrated how Nicole truly valued having the opportunity to teach each of us.”

“I am convinced that if moving mountains would better us as intellectuals or as people, she would find a way to move the mountain.”


KD Brown, Teaching Assistant, Geography

“As well as always being open and excited about discussing topics, KD had the largest respect for intellectual diversity that I have ever seen in an instructor.”

“They have made my Carolina experience much more positive and powerful than I anticipated.”


Rachael Bundy, Teaching Assistant, Romance Studies

“While still pushing us in accordance with the curriculum, she always had a keen awareness of the classroom temperament, of what we needed less or more of at any given time.”

“She understood the difference between pushing students healthily and disrespecting boundaries, sensitivities, and anxieties we might have, and for me, that made all the difference.”


Francisco Y. Chen-Lopez, Teaching Assistant, Romance Studies

“He is extremely patient and kind, which is important for a course like Spanish 329 that can be difficult to master for a non-native speaker like myself.”

“He comes to class passionate with an outward cheerfulness, ready to teach and express his love for Spanish.”


Alexander Deetz, Teaching Assistant, Chemistry

“After looking back on my time at Carolina, I can honestly say that Zander has been the best TA I’ve had over my four years here.”

“He sees your potential and pushes you each and every day in the best way possible to reach that potential.”


George M. Hayward, Teaching Assistant, Sociology

“He was incredibly thorough, thoughtful, and supportive of his students.”

“He always came in with a smile and question about what was going on in our lives, making sure to have all our names and interests memorized by what seemed like the end of the first class.”


Alison LaGarry-Cahoon, Clinical Assistant Professor, Education

“Having had three classes with Dr. LaGarry, I have truly realized that she is the epitome of an exceptional, inclusive, and life-changing educator.”

“Alison’s assignments encouraged vulnerability, openness, and introspection, traits that she actively displayed to us.”


Max Lazar, Teaching Assistant, History

“He is informed and passionate about what he teaches, which radiates through his off-book lecturing style and his on-point responses to student questions, comments, and answers.”

“Max Lazar cares so deeply about his students and about his course, and his passion for teaching makes me passionate about learning.”


Ian McArthur, Teaching Assistant, German Studies

Before, German was just a course I needed to fulfill a foreign language requirement, but Ian has made it a comforting passion to recline into as well as an invigorating challenge to master.“

“I enjoy Ian’s support and lecture but the greatest gift he gives to his students is a love and excitement for German that makes us want to pursue it on our own.”


John Robinson, Lecturer, Journalism and Media

“He’s a combination of Dean Smith, Fred Rogers, Tom Hanks, and James Taylor. His soft-spoken demeanor makes you feel like you could talk to him forever.”

“He makes learning fun while challenging you to be the very best version of yourself.”


Roshnee Sharma, Teaching Assistant, Computer Science                         

“With Rosh office hours felt like you were visiting your friend for a homework session.”

“The amount of time, attention, effort, and care that Rosh put into helping every student succeed in this class is unparalleled.”


Blaire Steinwand, Teaching Assistant Professor, Biology

“Not a single class period goes by where Dr. Steinwand’s students do not work with their peers to analyze difficult questions and create solutions. This style of teaching reaches far beyond the scope of her classroom. I have personally applied the analytical skills I learned in her classroom to all my subsequent courses, from biology, to physics, to classics.”


Elaine Townsend Utin, Adjunct Instructor, Education

“She cares about your growth inside her classroom just as much as she cares about your growth as a person and a professional outside of her classroom.”

“She leads with compassion, always operating out of love and trust rather than fear and doubt. This approach, while seemingly simple, is what differentiates Elaine from so many instructors.”


Kaitlyn M. Yakaboski, Teaching Assistant, Business Administration

“Kaitlyn was the most available and helpful TA I have had in my 5 semesters at UNC by a very wide margin. She demonstrated a high level of consulting expertise and teaching ability whether it be idea generation, storylining, slide creation, Excel modeling, or presentation skills. She devoted an enormous amount of time helping CSF students from both sections from the beginning to the end of the semester.”



Philip McDaniel, GIS Librarian, University Libraries

“Philip McDaniel has taught me more about GIS than any other person in my undergraduate experience. He has always offered assistance in whatever project I am working on. Not only does he assist patrons to the best of his ability, but he displays genuine interest in the success and happiness of the people he interacts with. On a daily basis, Phil asks me how I am doing and how my classes are going so far, and he does so with genuine curiosity and concern.”


Caress Roach, Health Promotion and Well-Being Programs Coordinator, Student Wellness

“Caress has created and implemented workshops related to health and wellness, such as workshops related to social norms at UNC, healthy relationships, the 8 Dimensions of Wellness, and intersectional identities. Her work in Student Wellness has completely revolutionized the department’s relationship and involvement with students as she centers student experiences and leadership in all of her work to improve the health and well-being of students at Carolina and beyond.”