Recognizing Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors

April 16, 2014

Jeremy Roop, Anne Runkel and Israel Figueroa

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors: Jeremy Roop, Anne Runkel, and Israel Figueroa

By Karyn Houston
Plant & Microbial Biology

Three graduate students were recently recognized for excellence in teaching based on student evaluations, their teaching statements and faculty nominations. All will receive a $250 award from the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology.

Jeremy Roop, Anne Runkel and Israel Figueroa are in demanding graduate programs in PMB, and along with teaching they take courses and conduct research in various labs. These Graduate Student Instructors assist in teaching  discussion sections, while faculty teach in the larger lectures. Universally the GSIs were praised by students for their dedication to teaching, love for the subject matter and enthusiasm in the classroom. 

Runkel, who taught Plant Molecular Genetics, received excellent comments from students. Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing a student reach an understanding on something they were previously confused about, resulting in a classic “I got it!” moment.

Graduate Student Advisor Rocio Sanchez, Runkel and Professor Pat Zambryski at the 2013-2014  Outstanding GSI Awards Ceremony

Figueroa taught General Microbiology. He also enjoys helping a student understand a concept that they had struggled with before. One student wrote in an evaluation about Figueroa: “Great work! Appreciate the effort it takes to teach the section, especially at 8am. Nice beard as well.”

"I have never met a more generous, helpful and encouraging teacher," one student said about Roop, who taught Microbial Genomics and Genetics.  "He was prepared and consistent and influenced my new love for genetics."

"I'm very happy and proud to present to the department our outstanding GSIs," said Rocio Sanchez, graduate student advisor for the department, at the ceremony held in Koshland Hall on April 14. "Our outstanding GSIs this year are truly one of a kind. Their hard work and dedication in teaching our undergraduates does not go unnoticed."

In addition, Runkel and Roop will be recognized at the campus level  at the Outstanding GSI Award Ceremony on May 6 at International House.