April 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Math, Geography Grad Students Get Outstanding Teaching Awards

Shehzad Ahmed

Shehzad Ahmed

From Compass

Two College of Arts & Sciences students—Shehzad Ahmed from Mathematics and Dana Williams from Geography—were among four Ohio University students presented with the Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award during the annual ceremony April 13.

Dana Williams accepts her GAOTA certificate at this year's ceremony. Photographer: Kara Frisina. Photo of women shaking hands.

Dana Williams accepts her GAOTA certificate at this year’s ceremony. Photographer: Kara Frisina

The Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award program was established in 1987 to recognize excellent teaching in graduate teaching assistants at the university. Each recipient receives a $500 stipend and a framed certificate to commemorate the occasion.

“The Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award is unique, not just here at OHIO, but across the nation,” said Tim Vickers, director of the Center for Teaching & Learning. “This award program truly embodies and makes visible the remarkable work that our graduate teaching assistants do as instructors at our university, and I am very proud to be associated with it.”

Unlike other universities with similar events, the selection process at OHIO is conducted entirely by undergraduate students who volunteer their time to serve on the selection committee. This committee then interviews the top nominees and selects the four winners that are chosen annually.

The 2017 GAOTA Recipients

Shehzad Ahmed, Mathematics

Ahmed is currently teaching Survey of Calculus at the University and is pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics. “The reason receiving this award is exciting is because students are the ones who have a final say in the process,” said Ahmed. “That means I’ve managed to leave students with a positive experience of a mathematics class, and that is just cool.”

Dana Williams, Geography

Right now, Williams is a teaching assistant (TA) for Advanced Spatial Analysis and GIS Applications. She will be graduating with her master’s degree in geography this semester, with a focus on geomorphology and GIS. “I am the first TA from the geography department to receive this award at Ohio University,” said Williams. “I can’t explain how honored I am to be representing the department in this way. We have outstanding TAs across the board and I’m just a reflection of that.”

Daniel Carbaugh, Electrical Engineering

Presently, Carbaugh is teaching Introduction to Computer Engineering. He received his master’s degree in electrical engineering from OHIO and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the same area. “I am very excited to receive this award because it shows that my students appreciate all of the time and effort I put into the class,” said Carbaugh. “The best part about teaching is getting to know all of the bright students who pass through the College.”

Steve Granelli, Communication Studies

Granelli is currently teaching Principles of Public Speaking at OHIO. He is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Communication Studies department in rhetoric and public culture track. He will receive his Ph.D. from OHIO this summer and will start as an assistant professor at Northeastern University in Boston this fall.

The Office of Instructional Innovation (OII) serves as a catalyst to spark bold experimentation and sustainable discovery of promising new approaches to instruction. OII provides a variety of services to academic units and faculty, online programs and students, as well as additional initiatives to further the institution’s mission. Visit for more information.

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