Not just good, they're great instructors

MSI student Miquelle Milavec and doctoral student Eytan Bakshy received this year's Yahoo! Student Teaching Awards at the School of Information.

Both graduate student instructors were recognized and received a $500 stipend at the annual Research Celebration on Monday, May 2 from Stephanie Teasley, director of the doctoral program. The Yahoo! Student Teaching Award recognizes two graduate students who demonstrate exemplary dedication, enthusiasm, technical expertise, and communication skills as graduate student instructors (GSIs).

Yahoo! initiated these awards in 2009 as a means of recognizing outstanding students who exhibit the highest degree of excellence in teaching. Graduate students teaching courses and/or serving as GSIs at the School of Information during the fall and winter terms of each academic year are eligible for the awards.

Milavec received the Yahoo! Students' Choice Award for teaching in SI 110. Undergraduate and graduate students based their selection on the instructor who exhibited the highest degree of excellence in teaching. Among the comments students made about Milavec were:

"She has a passion not only for the material she teaches, but for the students that she's teaching."

"She actively energized the discussion session and made the class lively and interesting."

"Miquelle is helpful, intriguing, and inspiring. Best GSI I've had at this university yet."

Bakshy was selected for the Yahoo! Innovative Teaching with Technology Award for his teaching in SI 182. SI faculty nominated two GSIs who used technology in the classroom in innovative ways. Undergraduate and graduate students who had either of the GSIs in their courses were asked to vote and provide a brief statement about why the GSI should receive the award.

Comments from students about Bakshy included:

"Using the Facebook group has really heightened my experience in the class. It has been really helpful to get feedback, especially on a system that I use every day. Getting the data sets from Facebook, something I know how to work, helped to understand how to utilize the techniques learned in class."

"Eytan's innovative idea of using the Facebook page for our SI 182 class was very helpful to the class in multiple ways. First of all, it gave all the students an easy way in which they could relate to the material being taught in sections of the class. Secondly, the Facebook page was a solid way for students to communicate with other students and teachers and it really brought the 21st century into our class. It was also interesting using the Facebook page because it was our data that many of the lectures and homework were based on."

Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011