Graduate School

Excellence in Teaching Award

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes outstanding pedagogical achievement by a Brown University graduate student.

The Graduate School will bestow up to four Excellence in Teaching awards. Each year, the awards and honoraria are given out at the University Awards ceremony.

Award Criteria

  1. Teaching that influences, motivates and inspires students to learn and fosters independent learning. Indicated by the graduate student's feedback to students on class assignments and how this feedback is consonant with course goals, or through statements regarding the graduate student's pedagogical technique. 
  2. Development of curriculum and resources that promote student learning. A demonstration of the graduate student's use of imaginative instructional resources, a research-inspired approach to teaching, a current knowledge of the field, and the ability to communicate clear objectives and expectations for student learning. 
  3. Development of students as individual learners. Evidence that the graduate student is responsive and supportive to the diversity among his or her students, and that assessment methods are similarly adapted.

All nominations are reviewed by the Graduate Council, which also makes final determinations regarding the winners.

Nomination Process

The award is open to current or former teaching assistants or teaching fellows in any graduate program. Each candidate must be nominated by their program, and each program may submit only one nomination. Nominations should be made through UFunds, found under the Graduate Student and Alumni Awards button.
Deadline: March 1, 2024

Nomination Requirements

A nomination letter, and as many as three additional letters of support from other program faculty. If the nomination letter is not from the Director of Graduate Study, the DGS should at least provide a brief letter of endorsement.

In addition, nominations typically include two or more of the following:

  • A first-hand account of a class or lab visit by a faculty member from the program or from another independent observer (this account may be one of the additional letters of support from faculty).
  • A letter of support from a former student.
  • A faculty member’s written summary account of the student evaluations of the instructor. (If such a letter is provided, copies of the evaluations themselves may be supplied; otherwise, please do not include the undergraduate student evaluations.)
  • Other evidence of pedagogical innovation, such as course materials developed by the nominee.


Jack-William Barotta, Doctoral Candidate in Engineering | Read more about Jack-William's award
Alba Lara Granero, Doctoral Candidate in Hispanic Studies | Read more about Alba's award
Anna Eleanor Soifer, Doctoral Candidate in Archeology and the Ancient World
David Peede, Doctoral Candidate in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology | Read more about David's award.

Olivia Lafferty, Doctoral Candidate in English | Read more about Olivia's award.
kristen iemma, Doctoral Candidate in American Studies | Read more about kristen's award.
Haley Keglovits, Doctoral Candidate in Cognitive Science | Read more about Haley's award.
Kristin Kimble, Doctoral Candidate in Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences | Read more about Kristin's award.

Lakshmi Govindarajan, Cognitive Science
Jonathan Cortez, American Studies
Christopher J. Lee, English
Hannah Krueger, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences

Muntazir Ali, Religious Studies
Christina Bailey-Hytholt, Biomedical Engineering
Alyssa Pascuzzo, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
Les Robinson, History

Read more about the recipients.

David Abel, Computer Science
Kimberly Lewis, Anthropology
John Santiago, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Abner Santos, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Sarah Elizabeth Kaptur, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry
Jonathan Lande, History
Justin L. Pombrio, Computer Science
Ian M. Russell, Hispanic Studies

Carolyn Bergonzo, Literary Arts
Junkyung Kim, Cognitive Science
Ruth W. Lo, History of Art and Architecture
Silvia Cabral Teresa, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Nicholas A. Friesner, Religious Studies
Magnus Pharao Hansen, Anthropology
Natalie E. Lozinski-Veach, Comparative Literature
Cassady E.Rupert, Biomedical Engineering

Andrea Elizabeth Flores
Jonathan E. Sozek

Angela S. Allan, English
Michael Powers, German Studies

Anna F. Bialek, Religious Studies
Jason M. Scimeca, Cognitive Science

Jeffrey W. Miller, Applied Mathematics

Christopher Holmes, English

Rex P. Nielson, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Jason Zysk, English

Eugenie Brinkema, Modern Culture and Media
Corey McEleney, English

Kerin Holt, English
Maria del Mar Patron Vazquez, Hispanic Studies

Angel Otero-Blanco, Hispanic Studies
Wendy Lee, English

Julian Ling-Chao Wong, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry
Kira Lawrence, Geological Sciences

Jennifer Rains, Hispanic Studies 
Malhar Nabar, Economics