Celebrating excellence at the Graduate Student Recognition Awards

By Judi Pattison, September 16, 2015
photo by Simon Wilson     Madeleine Mant (left) receives the Keith Leppmann Teaching Assistant Excellence Award from Graduate Students Association president Talena Rambarran. The 19th-annual Graduate Student Recognition Awards recently took place on campus. 

McMaster teaching assistant Madeleine Mant believes it’s important to engage students in the classroom. That’s why she aims to make every class just as exciting as the last.

It’s a fitting aspiration for Mant, who is one of six winners of this year’s Keith Leppmann Teaching Assistant Excellence Award.

She was joined by close to 150 students, supervisors and staff to celebrate the contributions of the graduate community at the 19th-annual Graduate Student Recognition Awards.

“I think it’s very important that students are engaged in the material, but it’s more than that. I want to inspire them to appreciate a subject even if it’s not the area that they are most interested in,” says the anthropology PhD candidate.

When she was called to the podium to accept her certificate, Mant was thrilled — and a little choked up.

“It’s an incredible honour that felt a bit like winning a People’s Choice Award. It sounds silly, but the idea that a student was moved enough by my instruction, and the style of instruction particularly, was very heartening.”

The GSA Keith Leppmann Teaching Assistant Excellence Award honours the contributions of teaching assistants (TA) to undergraduate education at McMaster.

Nominated by undergraduate students, the TA’s are evaluated in numerous areas, from their enthusiasm for the subject to their communication skills.

Joining Mant for their important contributions as TA’s are Khaled Al-Kassimi, Saranya Amirthamanoharan, Hadi Eslami, Nick Randazzo and Natashya Wall.

2015 Graduate Student Recognition Award recipients:

President's Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision

  • Thomas Adams, Chemical Engineering
  • Mirna Carranza, School of Social Work
  • Rick Hackett, Management of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources
  • Karin Humphreys, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • Peter Rosenbaum, Rehabilitation Science
  • Lorraine York, English and Cultural Studies

The Dean's Award for Graduate Student Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation

  • Melissa Tanti

GSA Award for Contributions by Non-Academic Staff

  • Elaine Whiskin

Therese Quigley Award of Excellence for Graduate Student Leadership in Athletics

  • Aaron Bailey

Mary Keyes Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service to McMaster

  • Elyse Rosa

GSA Millennium Award for Community Service

  • Pei Yu
  • A-Rum Choi

The annual awards are coordinated by the McMaster Graduate Students Association (GSA) and the School of Graduate Studies.