Deaton wins 2019 Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in College of Engineering

The department is pleased to announce that physics graduate student James Deaton received the College of Engineering’s 2019 Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.  James was given the award at the 2019 Bryand Recognition Banquet for the College in November.

James earned the award primarily for his work in PHY 107 and 108,  but also in PHY 111 and 112.  According to Frank Dudish, the instructor of those courses while James was a TA, “on tests, his section average is almost always above the class average, regardless of which class he is teaching. More importantly, students actively seek out his help in the Physics Learning Center (PLC), checking the schedule to see when he will be there and purposely going then.”  Students in James’s classes point out his enthusiasm and passion about physics, which one student said “improved everybody’s attitudes.”  In particular, a few students noted James’s use of “fun problems that were interesting” or “creative variations on problems,” including using Spiderman in the context of rotational motion.

James was lauded for preparing additional materials for his students to help them learn a particular idea or prepare for an exam, and for being the first person to offer to take on an extra task, like teaching a section for another TA.  Frank Dudish pointed out, “anything that he is in charge of, gets done well. I know that I don’t need to worry if James is on the job.”

The department entrusted James to teach the summer sections of PHY 111 and 112 for 3 years, during which his student evaluations were strong and contained positive comments.

Due to these qualities, James was nominated for, and given, the 2019 College of Engineering Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.