DPES Teaching Assistant Awards

DPES Teaching Assistant Awards


The DPES Teaching and Curriculum Committee will select two nominees for the DPES Teaching Assistant Awards. Each award is valued at $250 and the recipients will be honored at the annual DPES end of term function. The DPES Teaching and Curriculum Committee is soliciting nominations for outstanding teaching assistants for the 2017-18 academic year (including the summer session of 2018). Instructors are encouraged to nominate individuals who demonstrate excellence in teaching and have had an impact on the student experience in the context of their role as a teaching assistant.

Eligibility: Any teaching assistant in DPES is eligible for this award and may be nominated yearly (there are no restrictions as to the number of times a TA may be nominated). Nominees may originate from any level of study (undergraduate or graduate). Self-nominations will not be considered.

The nomination package should include:

1) Letter of nomination (maximum 1 page in length) by the course instructor or laboratory coordinator summarizing why the nominee should be considered for a TA award for teaching excellence.

2) Evidence of teaching excellence such as: student evaluations supporting the nomination (instructors must administer these evaluations to students), examples of novel teaching methods or any material that will support the nomination.

DPES TA Award Recipients


Andrew Appostoli- PhD
Felicity Ni-PhD
Jackie Li- PhD



Natashya Falcone-Ph.D


Natashya is praised for her passion for teaching, excellent organization and interpersonal skills. She is an extremely knowledgeable TA, who genuinely cares about students in her practicals or tutorials. Her students submitted extremely positive comments in the unofficial course evaluations, highlighting her willingness to help, preparedness for each laboratory, friendly attitude, guidance for the future, etc. Her nominator, Prof. Lana Mikhaylichenko, stated that she is clearly one of the best TAs she ever had in her laboratory and tutorial courses!

Brian Pentz-Ph.D

Environmental Science

Brian has made important contributions to both the content and delivery of Environmental Science and Technology in Society (ESTC35). He updated and revised the syllabus to reflect the new guidelines of the revised Media Analysis Assignment and edited the layout and context of the course’s Blackboard page. He also facilitated guest lectures given to the class, by coordinating logistics with speakers and facilitating discussion during guest talks. These actions have contributed positively to the learning environment of students in ESTC35. His nominator, Prof. Nicole Klenk, also praised him for his dedication to organizing our department’s Doctoral Environmental Science Colloquium and serving on the Department of Physical and Environmental Science’s Research Committee. He is truly an exceptional departmental citizen!



Kishon Thaveswaran-Ph.D.

Kishon Thaveswaran is recognized as one of the very few exceptional TAs that students would take the courses that he is involved in a heartbeat.

He consistently receives 5 out of 5 in terms of preparedness, knowledge, skill in explanations, effective communication, punctuality, approachability, treating students with fairness and respect, and overall performance as a TA.

Hanlin Liu-MSc.


Hanlin Liu has served DPES as a TA for several years and consistently receives the highest scores in his teaching evaluations. His students recognize not only his excellent performance during laboratory time but also his willingness to meet students after hours to assist and discuss any issues that they may have with both the laboratory and lecture components of the course. Hanlin’s genuine care and concern was seen by the fact that he always provided informative and insightful notes on both the lab reports and the lab notebook entries.



Abha Parajulee-Ph.D.

Environmental Science


Loise Perruchoud-Ph.D.




Natalie Pankova-Ph.D.


Kathy Wallace-Ph.D.

Environmental Science

Hori Hannah Yukari-Ph.D.

Environmental Science



Chandrika Vijayaratnam-MSc.


Vivek Dani-MSc.