Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence

Graduate Students are recommended for the award by their department. Award recipients are publicized in the Commencement booklet in the year of their graduation.

2020-2021 Academic Year


Marleigh Anderson and Constantine Karathanasis Classics

They took over the Classics Department’s Beginning Latin sequence; a task that would be challenging for any pair of graduate students and that was made considerably more challenging by the difficulties of this academic year. Through hard work, inherent skill, and, most importantly, excellent cooperation, they not only met these challenges, but they raised the bar on what can be accomplished in the university’s beginning Latin sequence.

Mana Hayashi Tang Anthropology

Mana Hayashi Tang is both a talented scholar as well as an enthusiastic, passionate and skillful teacher. She has demonstrated excellence in various teaching contexts regardless of class type and size (in person or virtual), emphasizing hands-on experience and engaging her students with structured and thoughtful pedagogical approaches. Whether assisting in large lectures, small discussions, or lab sessions or teaching her own introductory or advanced classes, her commitment to students comes through very clearly. She is a passionate, innovative, and skillful teacher who is most deserving of this award.

Olivia Lott Hispanic Studies (in Romance Languages & Literatures)

Three pillars best describe Lott’s approach to teaching: student-centered learning, differentiated engagement, and elasticity within well-defined structure. She works to integrate these principles into a stimulating, inclusive environment where diverse modes of thinking are cultivated and where students develop skills for continued intellectual growth and social awareness. Supervisor evaluations of her classes continually highlight high-levels of student engagement, while those by students describe class time with adjectives like energetic, interactive, well-organized, challenging, and fun.

James Lucas Biology

Whether in the classroom or the field, James helped inspire a wonder of nature in his students. From one student: James was incredibly helpful throughout the semester, constantly jumping in to add useful information which expanded and clarified the topic at hand. James’ lessons were always memorable and dynamic, and contributed greatly to my understanding of botany.

Adam Manfredi East Asian Languages & Cultures

Through each of his teaching experiences, faculty and students alike praise Manfredi's meticulous approach to his classes, his natural flair for managing a classroom and his rapport with students in the strongest terms. Across the board, students value his engaging, passionate style, his investment in their learning, and his ability to make them think more deeply and critically about the materials under discussion.

Patricia Maurer Germanic Languages & Literatures

Maurer is a gifted and adept teacher. Students describe her as organized, considerate, and encouraging and that she works hard to create a lively class atmosphere. She is a model teacher whose commitment to teaching and considerable skill in the classroom have earned her an excellent reputation in German.

Katja Perat Comparative Literature

At all times Perat is an eager and interested discussant in debriefing sessions, one who quickly grasped pedagogical issues—both those involving the conveying of complex material to undergraduates and the management of classroom dynamics. It has been a thrill to observe her development over these years—from an intelligent and interested novice teacher to a skilled professional.

Ana Quiring College Writing Program

Quiring clearly inspires her students, empowering them to see the classroom as their space for critical inquiry and collective discovery. Ana fosters this mindset, in part, by being transparent about the thinking and learning that takes place in the classroom, as well as its relationship to the individual work students undertake on writing assignments. She is able to meet students wherever they are in their level of skills, make them comfortable with the processes of writing, and bring them to the next level.

Alexandra Swanson English

In her teaching, Swanson emphasizes the importance of individualized feedback and revision and encourages students to revise most of their writing assignments in her courses. She aims to be a reflective teacher; she creates relationships with students in one-on-one meetings where she assesses their understanding of the course concepts and whether their learning needs are being met. She also makes every effort to be a socially and culturally responsive instructor, aware of the diverse needs, histories, and viewpoints that students bring to the classroom.

Haochen Wang History

Mr. Wang’s sophomore seminar in fall 2020, in which he served as instructor of record, drew together readings, research projects, and thematic concerns of the utmost urgency in contemporary public debate to build a compelling course on a long history of policing in world history. This quality of going the extra mile in his teaching would be enough reason to nominate Mr. Wang for the Dean’s Teaching Award, but an equally compelling case can be made for the quality of his teaching—both his skill in helping students learn and his ability to craft an excellent and innovative syllabus.

Honorable Mention - Team Teaching

Margaret Crocker

Yue Dai

Meg Galindo

Christopher Hunt

Eve Rosekind

Emily Thompson

2019-2020 Academic Year


Mark Beirn History

His teaching reflects his ability to help students to see the connections between their own lives in St. Louis and developments in history and globally.

Aaron Coleman Comparative Literature

From a student evaluation: “Aaron Coleman is amazing. His love of poetry is so profound and evident in his teaching that you can’t help but be inspired. He describes complex themes and techniques and makes them seem very accessible. He created a safe space for people to share personal work and was a great positive presence."

Jackson Colvett Psychological & Brain Sciences

As one student commented: “Jackson Colvett was the most helpful AI that I have ever had, his enthusiasm and happiness radiated across the room…he truly made the class and material more exciting.”

Kevin (Yuan) Dao East Asian Languages and Cultures

Dao's teaching experience ranges across the humanities, from beginning Chinese language, to modern Chinese history and literature, to Buddhist traditions, and he has brought exceptional skill and professionalism to every facet of his teaching.

Rebecca Dehner-Armand International & Area Studies

Dehner-Armand is a thoughtful and dedicated teacher, alert to pedagogical innovation and ready to integrate new resources into her pedagogical practices.

Tyler Gahrs Germanic Languages & Literatures

His teaching evaluations are filled with enthusiastic and appreciative comments by his students who call him the “strongest aspect of the course” and “great to learn from”. His students unfailingly state that they would recommend his course to others, praising him and his teaching.

Mica Jones Anthropology

Jones has built on his cutting-edge research and excellent communication skills to become an inspiring teacher who has gone above and beyond for his students, undertaking a large amount of extraordinary high caliber teaching at Washington University.

Andrea Mendoza Lespron Comparative Literature

Andrea Mendoza Lespon demonstrates a wide range of pedagogical skills that made her an invaluable asset…she is patient, rigorous, and resourceful in engaging students and practical, helpful, and imaginative in discussing lesson plans.

Adwoa Opong History

Rather than lecturing, she helped the students develop a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of changing African gender roles in the nineteenth century…this sort of guided discussion is a challenge to even the most experienced history professors, but Opong accomplished it with ease.

Tola Porter Art History and Archaeology

Porter's teaching is consistently highlighted for the energy and poise she brings to the classroom, as well as her ability to establish a close rapport with her students through a combination of enthusiasm, preparation, and empathy.

Anna Preus English

Working across different institutional and disciplinary contexts, Anna is focused on maintaining an adaptive, student-centered teaching style. She strives to create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable thinking together about the difficult questions that literary texts bring up, as well as the opportunities and challenges our increasingly digital world poses for readers and writers everywhere.

Deborah Thurman American Culture Studies

Thurman’s research and her teaching demonstrate her deep investment in literature’s role as an active force, one that not only depicts but participates in a society’s political and economic life.

2018-2019 Academic Year

2017-2018 Academic Year


Tabbetha Bohac Chemistry

Tabbetha Bohac synthesizes new antibiotic target compounds and studies their biological activity. Very few graduate students are more committed to teaching and becoming experienced, well-informed, and pedagogically-sound faculty members, as shown by Bohac’s participation in Teaching Center and CIRTL programs. When Bohac teaches, she creates a welcoming and inclusive environment in which every student feels encouraged to ask questions. A student commented, “Her enthusiasm and knowledge was apparent to all in her office hours, to the point where those of us who struggled or were not naturally passionate about chemistry couldn’t help but love it.” Her interest in teaching and education goes well beyond her teaching assignments.  Her education outreach activities are substantial as she serves as a peer mentor for incoming graduate students in the Chemistry Department and she volunteers extensively with the Catalysts for Change workshop, an outreach program for 9th grade girls.

Fanghao Chen Chinese and Comparative Literature

Fanghao Chen's dissertation focuses on domestic tourism and traveling culture in Republican China (1910-1949), examining how writings on the subject contributed to reshaping Chinese people’s concepts about the nation-state, about self and society, and about tradition and modernity.  He has taught in courses ranging from Chinese literature, history and language to Korean Civilization and brought exceptional skill and leadership to each of his teaching experiences. Students praise his engaging, enthusiastic style, his accessibility, and his ability to make them think more deeply about the issues under discussion. Throughout his graduate career, Chen has also been committed to teaching and mentoring in his activities outside the classroom. He gives a true gem of a presentation about the challenges and joys of graduate school—funny and wise in equal measure—and remains an insightful, caring resource for the more junior students.

Haley Dolosic Applied Linguistics in Education

Haley Dolosic is a 4th year student in the PhD program in Applied Linguistics in Education with research interests of second language reading, research methodology in applied linguistics, and language policy. “Throughout her years at Washington University, students and colleagues have commented on Dolosic's great organization, creativity, and effectiveness in the classroom. She has demonstrated that she will be the type of instructor who will continue to develop simultaneously with her students. She reflects on her teaching practices and thinks critically about the application of theories to the teaching of Applied Linguistics and French. Her students said “Dolosic is one of the most open, trustworthy and accepting instructors I've ever had. She made everyone’s voice feel heard.” She is dedicated to evidence-based instructional practices and to continuing to develop as an instructor as much as possible.  

Anna Franklin Art History & Archaeology

Anna Franklin's dissertation is an analysis of several landmark collaborations between artists and architects in Europe and the Western Hemisphere after World War II. One of her students said “She was always prepared, she facilitated stimulating discussion, and you could tell she cared about the material. Couldn’t ask for a better section leader.”  And another student commented that “Franklin was great. She led discussions well, pushed people to participate, and generally had insightful things to say.” “She projects a fun yet authoritative atmosphere in the classroom, easily commanding the attention and respect of her students.  She is a vivacious personality with a lively, curious mind and a passionate interest in conveying her infectious enthusiasm to “her” students.”

Asher Gelzer-Govatos Comparative Literature

Asher Gelzer-Govatos' research interests include twentieth-century British literature, Kierkegaard, film & literature, philosophy & literature, and religion & literature. He is the first PhD. student to have his mentored teaching experiences systematically tagged to required sequences in Text & Tradition and the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities. His students praise him as “intelligent,” “thought provoking, “helpful,” and “respectful of our opinions.” Their evaluations paint a picture of a caring, subtle, and encouraging teacher, one who, in the words of one student, renders “the class environment warm, welcoming, and fun.” “He is a highly accomplished teacher.  He is a “natural” in his encounters with students.  He draws students into discussion with ease and is able to weave their interventions into complex arguments.  Gelzer-Govatos is undoubtedly a very talented teacher, with a great pedagogical career ahead of him.”  

Dorotea Lechkova Spanish and Comparative Literature

Dorotea Lechkova's research focuses on how literary and media texts reconstruct authoritarian pasts, imagine democracy, and grapple with the realities of political and economic transitions. Lechkova puts care into every aspect of her teaching, from syllabus design to the ways in which she works to foster conversation in the classroom. For example, in a class centering on Mexican popular culture she first discussed a recent telenovela, and provided examples of music and facilitated a discussion of the cultural marketplace. She encouraged students to think about how the cultural marketplace functions in Latin America, as well as the connections this market has with cultural goods in the U.S.


Theodore Joseph Macdonald, III Classics

Joe MacDonald's research focuses on the intersection of literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, as well as on the relationship between past narrative and present self-construction across genres and eras. As a teacher, Macdonald is invested in exploring how Classics may captivate students in a 21st century classroom. He has designed and taught successfully a variety of courses. Joe stands out for his dedication to his students, his pedagogical skills, and his expertise in Roman culture and literature. One student praises his seminar for teaching them “how to write essays in a clear and concise manner and how to do close reading in complicated texts”.   

Mikael Olsson Berggren Germanic Languages and Literatures

Mikael Olsson Berggren'S research interests focus on cultural representations of the emergence of electrical transportation networks in early twentieth-century Berlin. HE has taught an astonishingly diverse slate of courses in Swedish, German and English. He engages his students through his use of humor and creative pedagogy, and he is adept at working with students at disparate levels of language proficiency. In their course evaluations, students write that Olsson Berggren “made the class truly enjoyable” and that he is “an all-around great teacher and one of the best I’ve had in this school.” One student states about her experience with Olson Berggren, “My favorite class maybe ever.”

Corrine Zeman English

Corrine Zeman is a 5th year student in the English Department, specializing in Renaissance drama. Zeman is a dedicated teacher who impresses students with her deep knowledge of literary history, her passion, her fairness, and her dry humor. Her Writing 1 students report improvements in their writing, even if they admit that they don't like writing. They report looking forward to her classes, even when they are at 9am. Her literature students are excited to learn about the brilliance of early modern theater, and also what these plays offer modern audiences all over the globe. As one of her advisers put it, “She teaches classes that matter.”

2016-2017 Academic Year


Nathan Brown Physics

Nathan is a seventh-year PhD candidate in Physics. His research embodies the quest to understand Quantum Chromodynamics, the theory that describes the force holding together the quarks inside protons and neutrons, using high-precision simulations. As an instructor in the summer introductory Physics 118/198 course, he employed an active approach to learning, using probing questions to help students work through problems until they found the solution themselves.

Luca Foti History 

Luca Foti is a fifth-year PhD candidate in History. His dissertation in medieval European history is titled, “Heretical Friars: The Struggle for Religio-Political Authority in the Fourteenth-Century Papal Territories”. Luca’s teaching demonstrates unusual depth. He is known for his ability to bring temporally distant historical topics to life. He has taught in courses about the Roman Empire and the Holocaust; he currently teaches his own course: “Power and the Holy in Latin Christendom”. Faculty commends his “real expertise in widely diverse subjects”.

Kenyon Gradert American Culture Studies

Kenyon Gradert is a PhD candidate in English. In 2017, he successfully defended his dissertation, a study of American antislavery writers. Kenyon is also an enthusiastic teacher. He has taught writing at Deep Springs College, an experimental school and working cattle ranch, and will return to Wash U this summer to teach a course on Antislavery America. At Wash U, he has taught composition and been an assistant in courses on the American Renaissance, American Folk, and "Ground Zero," a course on memorialization of trauma, based in New York City. His nomination comes from this course, as well as "American Reckoning," a self-designed interdisciplinary AMCS course on the legacies of American slavery.

Katherine Harnish Art History and Archaeology

Kate is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. She has also completed the requirements for a Graduate Certificate in American Culture Studies. Her dissertation is on late 19th-century American still life paintings that participate in a discourse about the symbolic value of contemporary mass-produced printed ephemera, including paper currency.  Kate has taught for 6 semesters in all 3 of her department's large gateway courses. In addition, she was Instructor of Record for "Introduction to Modern Art, Architecture and Design" in summer 2016. In all of these settings, she has been, a consummate professional even at this early stage in her career.

Hélène Martin French Language and Literature

Hélène Martin is a fourth-year PhD candidate in French, writing a dissertation on Sixteenth-Century French literature. In 2015, she received the Elizabeth Schreiber Teaching award, which goes to the best Instructor of Record in French. Between fall 2013 and fall 2016, she has taught at all French language levels, including French 307, “French Level 4: Advanced French” which is typically taught by faculty members. Hélène is also very appreciated by her students who consider her a wonderful instructor, who is available for students outside of class, and very patient in explaining concepts until they are crystal clear. 

Erika Rodriguez Comparative Literature 

Erika Rodriguez is a fourth-year candidate in the program in Comparative Literature with research interests in nineteenth-century Spain, the urban novel, women and gender, and disability studies. She has taught Spanish language and literature, English Writing, and Comparative Literature. Student and faculty evaluations testify to her highly developed pedagogical intelligence, dedication to the teaching profession, openness to new methods and approaches, ability to think about the big picture, and continued growth as a teacher. Her teaching style has been described as “clear and compelling,” “thorough and original,” and her lessons as “well-crafted and well-paced.” In the words of a Writing I student, “Professor Rodriguez is awesome.”

Claire Ross Germanic Languages and Literatures

Claire Ross is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her research and teaching interests include migrant and minority discourses, intertextuality in post-1945 German literature, and feminist theory. Claire is a highly engaged teacher who goes above and beyond the typical TA duties to get to know the fine details of her students’ abilities and challenges. Faculty who have observed Claire’s teaching refer to her as “a stellar teacher,” while students praise her in their evaluations for her superior knowledge of the material. One student writes, “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, I would give a 10 on everything.” Another writes that Claire “is the most loving and inspiring lecturer I’ve ever seen.”

Eddie Saliba Chemistry 

Eddie Saliba is a third-year PhD candidate in Chemistry. Eddie’s research involves developing instrumentation and methods to increase the sensitivity of magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy using the dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) technique. Eddie has served as TA for several introductory and advanced courses in the Chemistry Department. His great strength in teaching is his extremely positive and happy demeanor. Eddie is always exited to talk with students about General Chemistry experiments or derivations covered in Physical Chemistry lectures. As a TA in General Chemistry, Eddie spearheaded the implementation of the new online homework system. In this special project, he showcased his ingenuity, communication skills, and reliability as a TA.

Elyse Singer Anthropology 

Elyse Singer is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology, with interests in gender, morality, and reproductive governance in contemporary Mexico. Elyse is one of those rare individuals who is not only a gifted and prolific scholar, but also a passionate, engaged, and incredibly talented teacher. Her course “Regulating Reproduction: Morality, Politics, and (In)Justice” is a case in point. A rigorous class, this discussion-based seminar aimed to challenge students while also scaffolding them in new ways of conceptualizing reproduction, politics, and moral systems. In course evaluations, her students described her as, “absolutely amazing,” “dynamic,” “supportive,” “open,” “excited,” “engaging,” “incredibly passionate about the topic,” and “hands-down the best professor I've ever had,” marking Elyse exceptionally deserving of this teaching recognition.

Merrill Turner English and American Literature 

Merrill Turner is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the English Department. Her field of research is 20th-century British fiction. Merrill is a dedicated, witty, and empathetic teacher with an exceptional range of knowledge and talents. One of her mentors describes a “Merrill effect” in which the intellectual generosity she displays as a teacher is absorbed by her students, who in turn become more confident, talkative, and affirmative in class discussions. In their evaluations, her students praise Merrill’s “accessible and charismatic teaching,” and refer to her as “constructive,” “reassuring,” “fabulous,” “insanely knowledgeable,” and—from one student—“brilliant, fearless, and approachable.”

Honorable Mentions

Meredith Sargent Mathematics  

Cassondra Vernier Evolution, Ecology, and Population Biology 

Dalston Ward Political Science 

Li Wei Chinese East Asian Language and Cultures 

2015-2016 Academic Year


Emily Hanson Art History and Archaeology

Ling Kang Chinese and Comparative Literature

Simone Pfleger Germanic Languages and Literatures

Carmen Toro González-Green Hispanic Languages and Literatures

Amanda Scott History

Kelsey Klotz Music/American Culture Studies

Betul Demirkaya Political Science

2014-2015 Academic Year


Jessica Joganic Anthropology

Jessica Joganic Art History and Archaeology

Kei Fuchigami Chemistry

Annelise Wasmoen Comparative Literature

Annelise Duerden English

Brooke Shafar Germanic Languages and Literature

Dale Kretz History

Blaire Weidler Psychology

Ryan Soklaski Physics

Honorable Mentions

Nick Baima Philosophy

Chris Born Japanese Language and Literature

Irene Domingo Hispanic Languages and Literatures

Amanda Scott History

Greg Whitfield Political Science

Elisabeth Windle Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

2012-2013 Academic Year


John Willman Anthropology 

Andrew Findley Art History and Archaeology 

Jillian Smith Chemistry 

Maya Ganapathy Comparative Literature 

Margaret Anne Gray Hinkle Earth and Planetary Sciences 

Kazue Harada East Asian Languages and Cultures 

Ashley Macrander Education 

Lauren Robertson English 

Lisa Haegele German 

James Palmer History 

Lauren Olin Philosophy 

Xiaoxian "Sherry" Yin Physics 

Michael Nelson Political Science 

Julia Langer Psychology 

Siham Bouamer Romance Languages and Literatures

2013-2014 Academic Year


Diana Fridberg Anthropology

Jennifer Padgett Art History 

Kenyon Gradert Writing I Program 

Brian Wieliczka Chemistry 

Nicholas Tamarkin Comparative Literature 

Kathleen Zelle Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences 

Shuxin Hong East Asian Languages and Cultures 

Elizabeth Thorne-Wallington Education 

Claire Class English & Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Angineh Djavadghazaryans Germanic Languages and Literatures 

Jennifer Westrick History 

Benjamin Passer Mathematics 

Nathan Adams Philosophy 

Dimitrios Manolidis Physics 

Viktoryia Schnose Political Science 

Fade Eadeh Psychology 

Stacy Davis Romance Languages and Literatures

2011-2012 Academic Year


Sarah McGavran Art History and Archaeology 

Nicholas Holtgrewe Chemistry 

Aysegul Turan Comparative Literature 

Jordan Teisher Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences 

Christopher P. Orth Earth and Planetary Sciences 

Chun-Yu Lu East Asian Languages and Cultures 

Matthew Fluharty English 

Sarah Hillenbrand Germanic Languages and Literatures 

Lisa Lillie History 

Sara Jay International Area Studies 

Corey L. Twitchell Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures 

Joshua D. Potter Political Science 

Emily Cohen-Shikora Psychology 

Manella Andia Augustin Romance Languages and Literatures 

Cailin Copan-Kelly Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

2010-2011 Academic Year


Julia Maki Anthropology

Byrna Campbell Art History and Archaeology 

David Holloway Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literature 

Sophia White Chemistry 

Kate Fama English 

Faruk Pasic Germanic Languages and Literatures 

Kevin Wooten History 

Rajbir Purewal International Area Studies 

Jeff Langford Mathematics 

Zachary Hoskins Philosophy 

Shawn DeCenzo Physics 

Morgan Hazelton Political Science 

Alejandra Aguilar Romance Languages and Literatures 

Patrick Brugh Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

2009-2010 Academic Year


Cara Ocobock Anthropology 

Anna Warbelow Art History and Archaeology 

Yoojin Soh Asian and Near Eastern Studies 

Maureen McKiernan Chemistry 

Nicholas Miller English 

Norma Suvak Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

Tracy Graves Germanic Languages and Literatures 

Tanya Roth History 

Timothy Oakberg Philosophy 

Timothy Bono Psychology 

Patrick Johnson Physics 

Diana O'Brien Political Science 

Angeles Donoso Romance Languages and Literatures

2008-2009 Academic Year


Helina Woldekiros Anthropology

Elissa Weichbrodt Art History and Archaeology

Ritu Shrestha Chemistry

Christopher Boehm Comparative Literature

Aleksandr Yankelevich Economics

Emily Fammartino English

Julia Kleinheider Germanic Languages and Literatures

Matthew Stewart History

Michael Deutsch Mathematics

Sarah Robins Philosophy

Brandan Grayson Romance Languages and Literature

Gail Wolfe Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

2007-2008 Academic Year


Rachel Dunn Anthropology 

Matt Bailey Art History and Archaeology 

Elaine Frawley Biology/Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences 

Todsapon Thananatthanachon Chemistry 

Erica Delsandro English/The Writing Program 

Russell Alt Germanic Languages and Literatures 

Aaron Akins History 

Nic Sedlock Mathematics 

David Bauman Philosophy 

Nicholas Mauro Physics 

Mariana Medina Political Science 

Karl Szpunar Psychology 

Kate McCarthy Romance Languages and Literatures

Necia Chronister Women and Gender Studies

2006-2007 Academic Year


M. Mercedez Guitierrez Anthropology 

Sookja Cho Asian and Near Eastern Languages 

Stacy Mui Chemistry 

Elizabeth Donnelly Classics 

Srikanth Ramamurthy Economics 

Brooke Taylor English / The Writing Program 

Suzuko Mousel Knott Germanic Languages and Literatures 

David Pennington History 

Scott Cook Mathematics 

Jeff Brown Philosophy 

Anthony Madonna Political Science 

Violaine White Romance Languages and Literatures 

Tarah Demant Women and Gender Studies