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Award-winning graduate student instructors & instructional aides

These student instructors were voted as the very best by students in their classes| Short Read
Enlargethe graduate students and instructors

According to the students themselves, Graduate Student Instructors (GSI’s) and undergraduate student Instructional Aides (IA’s) are often essential to their success in class. These student instructors begin their work when the formal lecture ends, assisting in lab and discussion sections, holding office hours, and answering questions online. They don’t have to answer a desperate student’s questions at 3am in the morning, but students are grateful that some do that too.

To celebrate the contributions of our graduate and undergraduate instructors, the department selects the best of the best, based on student evaluations, and celebrates them at a special awards ceremony.  This event occurred Wednesday, April 26, 2017, when 14 students were recognized for their skill, passion, and care for the students they were charged to assist during the past academic year.

ECE and CSE Associate Chairs Dave Neuhoff and Scott Mahlke hosted the event and introduced the awardees. Neuhoff and Mahlke are largely responsible for assigning the GSI’s.

“It is striking how much students appreciate their GSI’s and IA’s,” said Neuhoff, a truth that was revealed as both he and Mahlke read from the anonymous student evaluations.

Many of the evaluations were extremely high, making the selection process particularly difficult this year. A number of students were given honorable mentions, though Mahlke emphasized that it was a very close call.

The award winners for the 2016-17 academic year were:

  • Baran Demir – GSI Award for EECS 311
  • Manav Gabhawala – IA Award for EECS 482, fall and winter terms
  • Paul Giessner – IA Award for EECS 215 and 314
  • Kyle Harman – GSI Award for EECS 230 and 216
  • Mohsen Heidari Khoozani – GSI Award for EECS 501
  • Cristina Noujaim – IA Award for EECS 281
  • Pranav Ramarao – GSI Award for EECS 281, fall and winter terms
  • Joel Sharin – GSI Award for EECS 482
  • Hannah Westra – IA Award for EECS 183, fall and winter terms
  • Steve Zekany – GSI Award for EECS 470
  • Nan Zheng – GSI Award for EECS 312 and 511

Honorable mentions were:

  • Madeline Andrew – IA for EECS 280
  • Ishdeep Baid – GSI for EECS 281, fall and winter terms
  • Holly Borla – IA for EECS 280 and 281
  • Kristen Escher – GSI for EECS 183, fall and winter terms
  • Nathan Fenner – IA for EECS 281, fall and winter terms
  • Vaibhav Gogte – GSI for EECS 570
  • Tyler Siegel – IA for EECS 280
  • Andrew Springall – GSI for EECS 388

View photos from the event

  • all grad students
  • a student accepting an award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award
  • a student accepting their award

Click here to download original photos

Some Student Comments

I really liked it when she would stay after class and help me understand concepts I did not grasp during lecture.

Made class that much more entertaining and interesting.

Nathan was super useful on Piazza, and at office hours.

He is super smart and good at explaining things. Wish I was that smart. Lol

Please teach labs for other classes I want to be in your section again!

I can tell you love teaching!

A great GSI and was very effective in communicating the material.

The go-to- guy for all problems, either in assignments or projects. His advice is really helpful.

One of the best lab instructors I’ve had here at Michigan.

Went above and beyond to ensure all of us were learning effectively both in and outside with classroom.

She’s a boss.

Pay this man more.

Always felt like I could ask questions without feeling dumb.

Her energy about topics was very infectious and made me feel a little more excited about computer science on Friday mornings.

She’s the bomb!

Absolutely wonderful.

A phenomenal IA.

Was on task, motivated, and clearly prepared.

One of the strongest GSIs I have ever had.

His discussion sessions were always interesting and students were always enthusiastic.

the graduate students and instructors
Portrait of Catharine June


Catharine June
ECE Communications and Marketing Manager

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

(734) 936-2965

3301 EECS

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