Excellence in Teaching Awards

Nominations for the 2024 Excellence in Teaching Awards are now closed. Nominations for the 2025 cycle will open in Fall 2024. 

The Center for Teaching and Learning administers the Excellence in Teaching Award (ETA), sponsored by the Graduate School. This highly competitive award recognizes UGA graduate students who have demonstrated superior teaching skills and contributed to teaching beyond their own classroom responsibilities. The Excellence in Teaching Award is the top teaching award for graduate students at UGA.

ETA Nominations

Nominations for this award are accepted during the Fall semester, and nominees are asked to submit portfolios for review by mid-January. Graduate Coordinators are invited to nominate one UGA graduate student for this award each year.

Winners of this award are typically announced by the Graduate School during Honors Week.

Each graduate department at UGA is eligible to nominate one graduate student for this award. Nominations must be submitted by the department graduate coordinator or their designate.

Eligibility criteria for student nominees include the following:

  • The nominee must not have previously won this award.
  • The nominee must be registered as a full-time student during the semester in which the award is given (typically the semester after initial nomination).
  • The nominee must have met all TA Policy requirements for training and demonstration of language proficiency
  • The nominee must either have previously received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, or be concurrently nominated for that award.
  • The nominee must have had significant teaching responsibilities at UGA for at least two semesters. One of these semesters must have occurred during the semester of initial nomination by their department, or in the academic year (including summer) preceding nomination. For example, 2024 award winners must have had significant teaching responsibilities at least once from August 2022 – December 2023. 



Nominees will be evaluated based on evidence of superior teaching skills while serving in instructional roles at UGA, and contributions to teaching at UGA beyond their own assigned classroom responsibilities. The selection committee often evaluates nominee portfolios on the basis of evidence of high-quality impact, leadership, creativity, and innovation. 

Once notified of nomination, nominees should create a portfolio—no larger than 5 MB—consisting of the following items (12-point font, 1” margins):

  1. Cover Page (including name, department/program, degree, and contact information).
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Letter of nomination from a faculty member in your department who is familiar with your teaching. This letter should describe the contributions you have made to the department, the University, and/or the discipline in terms of teaching beyond classroom/laboratory duties.
  4. Personal Statement: A one-page statement describing how you meet the award criteria. This statement should document how you have contributed to teaching at UGA beyond your own assigned classroom responsibilities.
  5. Teaching Portfolio (max 12 pages): This portfolio should be constructed to demonstrate your excellence in teaching. It must include (but is not restricted to) the following items:

    • Teaching philosophy statement
    • Description of courses taught
    • Sample teaching materials
    • Sample of student work
    • Explanation of innovative teaching projects and roles
    • List of professional activities related to teaching at UGA
    • List of teaching-related professional development and training experiences
    • Evaluation of your teaching (from students, peers, faculty)

If your PDF is too large, you may find these instructions for compressing your PDF helpful.

Follow this link for more information about Teaching Assistant recognition at UGA and past ETA winners.

Questions? Please contact gradteach@uga.edu.



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