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The Graduate Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes the exemplary contributions of graduate students who support the teaching mission of the University of South Dakota (USD). The award, administered by the Graduate School, recognizes graduate students who have demonstrated excellence in teaching to undergraduate or graduate students at USD. Two awards will be given to graduate students based on highest ranking. The first ranked student will receive a $600 honorarium and the second ranked student will receive a $400 honorarium that will be presented at the President’s Celebration of University Leadership, which will take place on April 25, 2021. If selected, recipients will be required to submit a video of their teaching to be nominated for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Award with the assistance of the Center for Teaching and Learning. 

Award Criteria

  • The graduate student must be enrolled in credit-bearing courses during the current calendar year and be in good academic standing.
  • The graduate student must have served as a Teaching Assistant (Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Teaching Assistant – Instructor of Record) or taught courses during the calendar years of 2020 or 2021.
  • The graduate student must demonstrate how their teaching methods, instructional design, or practices in the classroom promote effective student learning and engagement.
  • The graduate student must show evidence of promoting intellectual growth and effective mentorship of their students.
  • The graduate student must indicate efforts to enhance student learning objectives via novel pedagogical research practices, or teaching/learning scholarship.

Review Process

A committee of the Graduate Council will review applications that are received by the deadline. This committee will review, score, and make final recommendations to the Graduate School.

Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted electronically as a single pdf file by e-mail to grad@usd.edu by the deadline of Friday, March 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (central time).

Evaluation Criteria

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of support from the department indicating nominee’s contributions to promoting excellence in teaching (10 points)
  • Nominee’s teaching portfolio (maximum of 6 pages double spaced and 12-point font)
    • Statement of teaching philosophy (20 points)
    • Demonstration of teaching methods, instructional design, or practices in the classroom that promote effective student learning and engagement (25 points)
    • Evaluation of teaching performance including information about courses taught, brief description of responsibilities, number of students, and summary of student evaluations (25 points)
    • Evidence of promoting intellectual growth and effective mentorship (15 points)
    • Evidence of teaching/learning scholarship (e.g. pedagogical research/publications, presentations, grant proposals; or evidence of how pedagogical research informs your teaching) (5 points)

The USD winners will be nominated by the Graduate School to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award. Additional material and criteria are required. Please see the MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award webpage for more details.