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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: Samuel Bottum

Samuel R. Bottum, Teaching Assistant, Chemistry

“Sam was the best TA I have had at UNC. He was extremely approachable and accessible, something I think was crucial last semester with everything online.”

“Sam was very generous with providing both information and advice and willing to help at any time. It was clear through his fast response times to emails and timely grading of assignments that he was committed to putting students first.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Peter Dykeman-Bermingham

Peter Dykeman-Bermingham, Teaching Assistant, Chemistry

“Peter consistently goes out of his way to create a fun, dynamic learning environment despite the challenges of teaching a laboratory course online and on Zoom. He is always excited and encouraging to students which increases their engagement in the material and overall learning. Maintaining student engagement in online courses is already difficult, and is even more so in an online laboratory course, however Peter takes this in stride and continues to do his best.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Tyler Easterbrook

Tyler Easterbrook, Teaching Assistant, English and Comparative Literature

“Typically, I’ve found it difficult to immerse myself in courses that don’t relate to my major or my minor, but Tyler did a great job of conducting interesting conversations and assigning engaging readings. I really think that Tyler has a gift in making students feel comfortable and accommodated, and I found myself participating quite often which is something I don’t normally do.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Gregory Gangi

Gregory Gangi, Teaching Professor, Institute for the Environment

“Dr. Gangi was one of the best professors I’ve ever had. You could tell he TRULY cared for his students and was super passionate about what he was teaching.”

“If it were not for Dr. Gangi, I would not be able to harness the opportunities I have or be learning the skills I need to follow my path and accomplish my academic and career goals.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Emily Harrison

Emily Harrison, Teaching Assistant, Chemistry

“Before we began any lab, she would review the procedure and the lecture material to the point where I felt not only comfortable, but also confident during experimentation.”

“Just speaking with Emily and knowing that I was being heard was such a relief. It seemed like her patience was endless, and not only that, I knew she took in every word I said.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Brian Hogan

Brian Patrick Hogan, Teaching Professor, Chemistry

“When classes were suddenly shifted online, he wasted no time making virtual lectures and setting up platforms for us to still be able to discuss content and ask questions of him. But more than being an outstanding professor, he was an empathetic person. He put the safety and physical and mental well-being of his students ahead of biochemistry, and he did this in a time when we needed that compassion the most.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Margaret Maurer

Margaret Maurer, Teaching Assistant, English and Comparative Literature

“As with many students, I was terrified going into Fall 2020. Spring 2020 was ridiculously difficult for me as a remote learner, and I was expecting the coming semester to be even worse. However, Margaret’s teaching and course structure made ENGL126 one class I looked forward to each week.”

“Margaret puts her students first, and during a chaotic time, that makes a world of difference.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Lucia Mock Muñoz de Luna

Lucía I. Mock Muñoz de Luna, Teaching Assistant, School of Education

“She is great at giving feedback to students and actively working with them so that they can become the best versions of themselves as possible.”

“I have been a student at UNC for almost 8 full semesters, and I have never seen a TA be able to establish a sense of community within in a class as well as Lucía has, not to mention that both of these semesters have been online classes.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Kathleen Nevins

Kathleen Nevins, Undergraduate Labs Supervisor, Chemistry

“The classroom dynamic with Dr. Nevins was like something I had not experienced in my time at UNC. It did not feel like being lectured at, like most Chemistry courses.”

“I have always felt comfortable around Dr. Nevins and she always showed kindness and understanding to her students. She also vocalizes her awareness of stress and unpredictable events (before the pandemic and now) and encourages students to take care of themselves, seek help and provides herself as a resource for students.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Milen Patel

Milen Patel, Teaching Assistant, Mathematics

“He was not only intellectually qualified to be a TA, he had the patience and easygoing personality that made every student—even one dreading math as much as me—feel confident in the material.”

“And when our lives turned upside down and Zoom became a verb, Milen’s commitment never wavered….  It was Milen who made me feel like I was still ‘in school’ and kept me engaged, because his energy and dedication seemed to radiate through the screen.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Rebecca Radomsky

Rebecca Claire Radomsky, Teaching Assistant, Chemistry

“Becca recognizes where students get lost and works to make assignments more clear.”

“Becca has a very welcoming and sunny disposition that makes students feel comfortable asking her questions and requesting feedback. She does not just give out answers, though; she makes sure that we have worked as hard as possible towards our goal before giving us direction so that we can learn to mend out own mistakes.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Megan Ross

Megan Ross, Clinical Instructor, School of Nursing

“She listens to students’ concerns and advocates for us. Megan wants to see all of us succeed, and she does everything in her power to make this possible.”

“We can tell that she carries a lot of passion for nursing and a lot of compassion for all of her patients, and she is instilling those same values into her students.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Michelle Sheran-Andrews

Michelle Sheran-Andrews, Teaching Associate Professor, Economics

“She always went above and beyond to aid our learning and be of support in and outside of class. Even over Zoom she created an outstanding classroom dynamic in which students felt safe and comfortable asking questions.”

“She made a huge effort to make everyone feel cared for in-person and she continued that effort in the difficult transition to online learning.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Ananya Tadikonda

Ananya Tadikonda, Teaching Assistant, Biology

“She made it a point to ask how the students were doing and if they needed any assistance during these challenging times. COVID brought a lot of uncertainties, and an introductory science course at UNC seemed daring enough to make students anxious at times. Ananya was always an email away, you could always depend on her helpful advice and recommendations.”

“She always pushed her students to think beyond the books and to apply their knowledge to the real world.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Jaein Yoon

Jaein Yoon, Teaching Assistant, Environment, Ecology and Energy Program

“Jaein exemplifies what it means to show up. The Fall 2020 semester proved uniquely difficult for students like myself, who were struggling with more than academic services could provide…. Only by experiencing Jaein’s true kindness inside and outside of the classroom did I feel completely seen.”

“Jaein is much more than a TA: she is a friend, a mentor, a resource.”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Matthew Young

Matthew H. Young, Teaching Assistant, Political Science

“He was honest about the weight of some of the content we discussed and made sure that we all felt comfortable and safe expressing our opinions.”

“In every interaction I had with him, Matthew always gave the utmost respect and treated me as his equal. I always appreciated his openness and thoughtfulness.”

Student Undergraduate Staff Award

Recipient: Yalitza Ramos

Yalitza Ramos, Bonner Leaders Program Director and Assistant Director of the Campus Y

“Yalitza’s prioritization of students is evident in her work. Her office door is usually open, as students are invited to walk in and speak with her, ranging from personal to academic to professional interests.”

“She has worked tirelessly to hear and uplift student voices, valuing us as the bearers of change. She opens every meeting and interaction by asking the simple yet radically important question, “How are you?”

Student Undergraduate Staff Award

Recipient: Shelby Rimmler

Shelby Maria Rimmler, Grant Project Manager and Partnership Liaison, School of Nursing

“I have honestly never felt more at ease or more valued than I have in the meetings she leads.  She truly creates a safe space to explore and grapple with important topics.”

“I know that after my time as an Invest in Nursing Scholar ends I will carry with me not only the lessons I have learned from my participation but also the example of Shelby’s warmth, competence and leadership.”

Student Undergraduate Staff Award

Recipient: Susin Seow

Susin Seow, Deputy Director of Principal Gifts, University Development

“Susin Seow is one of the most kind and supportive people I have met throughout my time at Carolina.”

“From just one conversation with Susin, it is obvious that she is passionate about her work and helping others. For her, it is never about money or credit, she always just works to make spaces safer and students feel more understood.”

Student Undergraduate Staff Award

Recipient: Linwood Webster

Linwood Webster, Advisor, Academic Advising Program

“When I first came to Mr. Webster, he immediately knew I was struggling and in need of assistance. After a few conversations, he empowered me to make the decision to create my own major. He knew that I did not fit the normal boxes that most students fit in. What was originally a terrifying suggestion became an enriching experience in which I developed a trusted mentor who helped me with my self-discovery process.”

“He recognizes qualities in students and genuinely, from the bottom of his heart, wants to help students achieve and reach their full potential.”

“Mr. Webster has given me the best gift of all—hope!”

Student Undergraduate Teaching Award

Recipient: Howard Aldrich

Howard E. Aldrich, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Sociology

“Professor Aldrich puts extraordinary care into creating a dynamic, engaging, and warm intellectual community for his students.”

“Professor Aldrich is an excellent teacher, preparing students to succeed not only within his first-year seminar, but throughout their time at UNC.”