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Graduate Instructor Excellence in Teaching Award

Sponsored by: Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning with support from the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School.

Inaugurated in 2008, the Graduate Instructor Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes exemplary teaching by a currently enrolled graduate student who serves as instructor at the University of Mississippi.

Nomination Form Due:  extended deadline of April 20

Application Packet Due: extended deadline of May 7

Eligibility: Graduate student instructors who are in good academic standing, making progress toward degree, and teaching in Spring 2021.

Nomination Procedures:

To nominate a graduate instructor for CETL’s Graduate Instructor Excellence in Teaching Award, please complete the following:

  • A nomination form must be submitted with a brief narrative describing the qualities that distinguish the nominee as an excellent instructor. Deadline: extended to April 20
  • To submit the nomination, please select the following:  Nomination Form for CETL Graduate Instructor Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Graduate Instructors will be notified about their nominations by April 21

Application Procedures:

After receiving notification of their nominations, graduate instructors must submit the following application materials:

  • One letter of support from a faculty member, a department chair, or a student (or group of students) taught by the nominee.  Please include specific details that support generalizations made about teaching excellence.
  • A current resume or vita.
  • A list of courses taught.
  • A statement of the nominee’s teaching philosophy.
  • Evidence of innovative or creative teaching practices.
  • Any other evidence of distinguished teaching, including student class evaluations, and evidence of student learning.
  • Application materials must be submitted by May 7th in any of the following ways:
    • Online:  Upload a file containing all materials to box (link emailed with notification)
    • Email:  Send compressed file to

Award Selection:  Members of the CETL Advisory Board will review applications.  The recipient will be contacted by the middle of May.

Recognition: The recipient will receive a Golden Apple trophy. In addition, he/she receives $1,000. A plaque displaying the recipient’s name is posted in the J. D. Williams Library.

Past and Current Recipients:

  • 2021 Shimikqua Ellis – Education
  • 2020 Heather Bliss – Psychology
  • 2019 Joshua Simer – Accounting
  • 2018 Marissa Wyant – Political Science
  • 2017 Rebecca Nance – Education
  • 2016 Brittany Nielsen – Psychology
  • 2015 Yan Li – Economics
  • 2014 Christopher Schwanke – Mathematics
  • 2013 Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh – Mathematics
  • 2012 Eric Bonds – Music
  • 2011 Sumedhe Karunarathne – Physics
  • 2010 Otis W. Pickett – History
  • 2009 Laura A. Williams – Management
  • 2008 Ryan Bubalo – English