Teaching Excellence Award

How to Apply Apply Now


To recognize and foster excellence in graduate student teaching across all disciplines on all ASU campuses. The TEA is a prestigious award, and recipients at arizona 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.

Program Information

This spring we are changing the process for the award. There is no longer a nomination requirement. If you are a teaching assistant/associate or instructor at ANY ASU campus you can apply directly for the award. All students are welcome to apply by the February 16 deadline.

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 Spring 2018 semester.

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.

The Application Process

The application process has three steps:

    1. Apply through January 15-February 16 at 11:59PM Arizona MST
      • All applicants must submit a complete online application and teaching portfolio through Zoom Grants (see application documents below) by February 16, 2018.
      • If you are applying for more than one award, you will need to create an additional alias. The software program will only allow one award to be submitted per email address, in order to prevent duplicate applications. To create an alias through your MyASU go to Profile > Contact Details > Public Email > then Click the pen icon beside Current Alias and create a unique alias for your additional application. For example “Alias 1”. This will create a new email alias, i.e., “Alias1@asu.edu”, that you may use for your additional Zoom Grants application.
    2. In Class Evaluations:
      • Session A: February 19-March 2
      • Sessions B and C: March 12-March 30
        • Reviewers observe the applicants 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.
    3. Decisions: April 2
      • The Awards Committee reaches the final decisions based on the scores of both online applications and class observations.
      • GPSA promptly announces the winners, who receive their award letters, $500 prize, and are invited to the GPSA Awards Ceremony where they are bestowed wall plaques in recognition for their educational leadership.


Required Documents

  • All the online applications must be submitted through Zoom Grants
  • The application consists of questions on essential educational topics such as engaging the class, providing feedback, and dealing with learning difficulties. 
  • The teaching portfolio, to be uploaded to each individual application, is comprised of the following documents:
    • Teaching Philosophy

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. All the Awards are announced in April.

Applicant Rubric

*Note: Final announcement date of winners may change according to circumstances.


Can I apply if I have  won the award previously?
Previous TEA recipients are not eligible to receive the award.

Dates and Deadlines

Applications open January 15, 2018
Applications close February 16, 2018
Evaluation period Session A: February 19-March 2, 2018
Evaluation period Session B and C: March 12-March 30, 2018
Winners announced April 2, 2018

*Note: Dates and deadlines may be subject to changes


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.


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) or ask a question in the Awards section of the GPSA Forum.

Past Award Recipients

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