Teaching Excellence Award

Applications open: Monday, January 14, 2019

Applications close: Monday, February 4, 2019



The Teaching Excellence Award (TEA) recognizes graduate and professional students that exemplify excellence in teaching across all ASU campuses. The award aims at fostering and rewarding efficient and successful teaching through peer-reviewer evaluations.

Program Information

Who is eligible?
Teaching assistants/associates or instructors involved in formal teaching (i.e. delivering lectures or similar) at any ASU campus are eligible for the Teaching Excellence Award. This includes lab or classroom TAs (with formal teaching responsibilities besides grading and proctoring exams), course instructors (classroom based, hybrid, or online), graduate student Faculty Associate (FA), or session leader holding a consistent teaching schedule. TAs with student interaction limited to helping students during office hours, via e-mail or lab hours as opposed to formal teaching are ineligible. All candidates must have a teaching assignment for Spring 2019 semester (Session A, B, or C).
*Previous TEA recipients are not eligible to receive the award.

What is the prize?
Winners of the Teaching Excellence Award receive a $500 prize, GPSA-endorsed certificate for Teaching Excellence, recognition on GPSA website and GPSA newsletter.
*Prize amount may vary for International Students due to taxes.

The Application Process

1. Apply January 14-February 4, at 11:59 PM Arizona MST

    • All applicants must submit a complete online application (which consists of questions on essential educational topics such as engaging the class, providing feedback, and dealing with learning difficulties) through Zoom Grants (GPSA Awards Program) by February 4, 2019. Consult with the Applicant Rubric (below) when completing the application. Within the application, applicants provide 3 dates for in class evaluations during which the applicant must teach in a formal capacity (such as deliver lectures and/or interact with students in a teaching capacity).

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Applicant Rubric

2. In Class Evaluations: February 7-February 28, 2019

In Class evaluations (Session A): February 7-February 19, 2019

In Class evaluations (Session B and C): February 7-February 28, 2019

  • Reviewers observe the applicants’ classes for the final evaluation of the applicants’ teaching. Applicant must ensure to play an active teaching role (such as deliver lectures and/or interact with students in a teaching capacity) during the provided dates for reviewers to assess the applicants’ teaching. Changes in the provided dates must be notified at least 48 hours prior to class observations.
  • Office hours and e-mails are not eligible for observations.
  • Online instructors/TAs only: Provide access to discussion boards and lecture videos
  • The evaluation criteria (detailed in Applicant Rubric above) 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: March 25, 2019

  • The Awards Committee reaches the final decisions based on the scores of both online applications and class observations.
  • GPSA will promptly email award letters to the winners.
  • Winners are awarded $500 prize and a GPSA-endorsed teaching excellence certificate at the prestigious GPSA Awards Ceremony in Spring 2019. 

The Review Process

We are looking for graduate students to serve as reviewers for the Teaching Excellence Award Program. Reviewers are key players in recognizing outstanding and diligent graduate student teaching.

Who is eligible?

Graduate students across all ASU campuses (including online students) are eligible to apply. If you wish to apply for the Spring 2019 TEA, please do not apply to be a reviewer.

What are the benefits?

  1. Grant programs such as GPSA Research and Travel Grants look for community service in their applicants. Your community service as a reviewer will help with your own funding applications.
  2. Reviewer Certificate upon successful completion of Spring 2019 term.
  3. GPSA Recognition for use with your online professional portfolio.
  4. Peer-review experience a plus, especially for careers in academia, publishing and scientific research.
  5. Exclusive socials, opportunities to win goodies and connect with fellow graduate students.

How to apply?

If you would like to be a Reviewer, please fill out the Reviewer Interest form here. Once you complete the mandatory online training, you will be ready to serve as a reviewer.


Please contact us at gpsa.awards@gmail.com 



The TEA program is run by the Office of Professional Development, overseen by Amelia Miholca the Vice President of Professional Development and Neeta Ashok Kumar 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.

Past Award Recipients

Please select an award year: 2017-2018 | 2014-2015 | 2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-20122010-2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009 | 2007-2008