Teaching Excellence Award


To recognize and foster excellence in graduate student teaching across all disciplines on all ASU campuses.

Program Information

What is the award? 
The GPSA Teaching Excellence Award recognizes graduate and professional students that exemplify excellence in education and classroom instruction across all disciplines.


Who is eligible?
Teaching assistants/associates or instructors at any ASU campus. This includes lab or classroom TAs, course instructors (classroom based, hybrid, or online), Graduate Student Faculty Associate (FA), or session leader holding a consistent teaching schedule. All candidates must have a teaching assignment for Fall semester.


Who can minateminate a TA?
Any ASU undergraduate or graduate student, staff, or faculty member may nominate graduate students for outstanding teaching.


What is the prize?
Winners of the Teaching Excellence Award receive a $500 prize, in addition to cross-campus recognition and are honored at the Annual Awards Ceremony in the spring.


What’s the process?
The nomination and application process has four simple steps:

1. Submit a Nomination: September 15-October 4

  • Candidates must be nominated by ASU students (undergraduate or graduate), staff, or faculty, otherwise they will not be considered for the award;
  • Nominators should complete and submit the nomination form;
  • The list of nominees will be announced on October 7, 2017.

2. Nominee Applications and Evaluations:

  • All nominees are invited to complete an online application and submit a teaching portfolio (see application documents below) by October 21, 2017.
  • A trained TEA peer-review team carefully evaluates all the materials (in a blind review process) to determine a number of finalists.

3. In Class Evaluations: October 23–November 10

  • Reviewers observe the finalists’ classes for the final evaluation between;
  • The evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to:
    • Classroom/session organization and content
    • Instructor/TA presentation
    • Instructor/TA-student interaction
    • Effective use of materials and media.

Please Note: All finalists must be available for an in-class or online observation. No exceptions can be made tothis requirement.

4.Decisions: November 15

  • After finalizing the evaluations, GPSA promptly announces the winners, who then receive their award letters, $500 prize, and are invited to the GPSA Awards Ceremony where they are bestowed the coveted educational leadership recognition wall plaques.


Can I nominate someone who won the award previously?

Previous TEA recipients are not eligible to receive the award; however, those who are nominated again will be acknowledged with a Continuing Excellence Award.

These awards are prestigious, and recipients are recognized on the GPSA website and special GPSA News Release, and through a Press Release to ASU Now. Awards are announced near the end of the Spring semester.

Dates and Deadlines

Nominations open September 15, 2017
Nominations close October 4, 2017
Nominees submission of application and portfolio due October 21, 2017
Evaluation period October 23-November 11, 2017
Winners announced November 15, 2017


The TEA program is run by the Office of Professional Development, overseen by the Vice President of Professional Development and the Director of Awards. The VP PD and the Director of Awards and TEA peer-reviewers are not eligible to receive the award.

Application Materials

  • Complete ZoomGrants Awards Application.  The following documents are uploaded into ZoomGrants:
    • A current CV (4 page maximum) focused on teaching.  Please do not include your name on the CV, as we maintain a blind review process.
    • Teaching Philosophy
    • Course Syllabus

Brief History

TEA was re-established after a hiatus during the first GPSA Legislative Assembly (2003-2004) by then-GPSA President Brian Collier. (The program was formerly run by undergraduates to recognize their best TAs.) During each of its first two years, 15 excellent graduate student instructors were recognized. In 2005-2006 the program expanded to 22 awardees, partially as a result of the increasing number of truly excellent graduate instructors and TAs and partially as a result of expanding the nomination period to both fall and spring. Since that time, no fewer than 20 awards have been bestowed each year. While the monetary awards given to winners are modest, the recognition for excellent teaching from peers and students is immeasurable. We hope that the program helps to spark increasing efforts at innovative, highly effective teaching and learning. Moreover, those who become involved with the program often regard it as one of the most rewarding activities in which they take part with GPSA.


If you have questions, please contact GPSA’s Director of Awards (gpsa.awards@gmail.com) or the Vice President of Professional Development (VP.PD@asu.edu).

Past Award Recipients

Please select an award year: 2014-2015 | 2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-20122010-2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009 | 2007-2008