First-year Gabrielle Wilkosz was recently awarded the Thomas E. Douglass Award for Excellence in Teaching at the honors and awards ceremony in March.
Gabrielle writes: “Clemson University’s College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities hosts an honors and awards ceremony each spring. This spring was different for me as I not only nominated others but, unbeknownst to me, received nominations in return. The Thomas E. Douglass Award for Excellence in Teaching is not, as my imagination hoped it would be, a combination award commemorating sociopolitical adversaries Frederick Douglass and Thomas Green Clemson. The award is presented to the graduate teaching assistant who best exemplifies the high standards of teaching that Professor Douglass, a Clemson professor, promoted and practiced throughout his tenure in the English department.
“For those who are unfamiliar with graduate teaching assistantships, the graduate teacher is often somewhat misnamed. As a “graduate teaching assistant” I am really an instructor of record who has the same duties and responsibilities as a lecturer or full-time assistant professor. I create my own syllabus, navigate student-professor consultations, hold my own office hours, and book visits to the library, locate resources for students, and more. Seeing as my work is difficult when done well, it was an honor to receive an award that acknowledges the hard work of planning lessons and effectively teaching collegiate English for two hours three days a week, in addition to completing nine hours of graduate-level coursework.”