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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 comprised of 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. Winners receive a certificate and a monetary award.


Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Lauren C. Bates

Teaching Assistant, Exercise and Sport Science

“She genuinely cares about helping us succeed in projects that we are passionate about, which means that she constantly has to keep up with a wide variety of interests and personalities. Lauren does a great job of finding unique opportunities for each of her undergrads designed to challenge us and help us succeed in becoming better students, researchers, and leaders.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Andrea Giovannucci

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

“The thing that makes Dr.Giovannucci such an exceptional teacher is not just his knowledge, but his character. He as a person does not judge others for not knowing, he as a person is open to being wrong, and he as a person wants to help his students however he can.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Ameliah Leonhardt

Teaching Assistant, Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures

“The knowledge she possesses about the German language and culture is shown in her amazing teaching style. I feel like I was encouraged to learn and try my best and was never criticized for pronouncing words wrong. She treated everyone with respect and did her best to get everyone to participate.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Zara Mehta

Teaching Assistant, Biology

“Being a good teacher isn’t just about being knowledgeable about the content, but also demonstrating passion, genuine empathy, and kindness—Zara genuinely cared about her class, was always available to talk, and did her best to make sure we were prepared for the exams.”
“I never thought that I would actually enjoy sitting in a lab for three hours, but Zara makes class each week very enjoyable and interactive (BIOL 252 has actually been my favorite course this semester).”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Karah Marie Mitchell

Teaching Assistant, English and Comparative Literature

“Faced with extraordinary challenges given COVID, she persisted in the classroom in a way that was engaging and thorough, leaving room for individual thought and creativity – something I had previously not considered to be possible in a remote environment where it’s challenging to engage with your peers.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Jeffrey Mittelstadt

Professor of the Practice, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“His classes were never the same. One day we would be discussing the Paris Climate Agreement, the next day we would discuss a chocolate company’s sustainability efforts, and the next would be a live climate simulation to determine how world leaders could reduce global warming by 2 degrees Celsius.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Paulo Rodrigues Ferreira

Teaching Assistant Professor of Portuguese, Romance Studies

“Throughout every course I have had with Paulo, he has always brought a positive attitude and gotten to know every single person who enrolls in one of his courses. He teaches with an open mind, encourages collaboration and discussion-based work not only to increase diversity of thought, but for the classroom to become a unified and friendly space.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Geetha Vaidyanathan

Teaching Professor, Economics

“Besides the solid knowledge she delivered in her orderly lectures, I learned even more from her as a person. She genuinely respects and values her students’ ideas and is willing to perform as a considerate listener.”

“She creates a positive atmosphere where everybody gets inspired and motivated, a crucial key to success.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Ross White

Teaching Assistant Professor, English and Comparative Literature

“He pushes us out of our intellectual comfort zone to become the most well-rounded versions of ourselves.”

“He was gracious with his time and understanding but made a point to give me the space to make mistakes and find solutions—a balance that is tough to execute and I believe is the reason I’m so confident with the program now.”


Recipient: Noelle-Erin Romero

Program Coordinator, Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program

“Over the past 4 years, she has consistently pushed me to leave my comfort zone. She helped me push myself to discover new things and dare to try something new.”

“Always willing to meet with students for any reason, Dr. Romero has shown me what a good mentor should be like. She has shown me what it means to support another person. I will carry the things I have learned from her throughout my whole life.”