The Graduate Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize the exemplary contributions of graduate students who support the teaching mission of USD.

Eligibility for the award includes teaching methods, instructional design or classroom practices that promote student learning and engagement; evidence of promoting intellectual growth and effective mentorship of their students; and efforts to enhance student learning objectives via novel pedagogical research practices or teaching/learning scholarship; among other qualifications.

A headshot of Hannah Faiman. Faiman, the first-place recipient of the award, is a doctoral student in the human development and educational psychology program. Faiman has served as the primary instructor for five sections of Child and Adolescent Development and Learning.

“Being chosen as the recipient of the 2024 Graduate Excellence in Teaching Award is an incredible honor,” said Faiman. “I am excited that the award recognizes the passion and dedication that graduate student instructors put into ensuring a positive and engaging learning experience for our students.”

As the winner of the award, Faiman received a $600 honorarium and will be nominated to represent USD for the regional Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award.

A black and white headshot of Courtney Ludwick. Ludwick, a doctoral student in the literature and creative writing program, received the second-place award and a $400 honorarium. Ludwick has taught six sections of Composition I and Introduction to Literature.

"It's an immense privilege to be in the classroom with these students, and receiving recognition for teaching is encouraging as I continue to develop my own teaching practices," said Ludwick. "I feel incredibly lucky to be able to learn with them, grow with them and think about the complexities of the world with them – through literature, film, art, and their writing, too.

"My professors and fellow graduate students in the English department are a huge part of this for me as well," she continued. "The knowledge they have, the experiences they lead from and the insight they share – all of this is so generously held out. It's a real joy to work alongside such incredible teachers, to learn along with my students."

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