Congratulations and much appreciation to this year’s TA award recipients Heather Douglas and Jessica Rocheleau, as nominated by faculty members and students.

Teaching Assistants play an important role in our classes and the very positive attitude and teaching skills of these individuals have considerable impact on enhancing the reputation of our programs. The award seeks to value the work of TAs who regularly inspire and challenge students. 

Here’s a few words from both Heather and Jessica:

Heather Douglas

Being a TA for the Institute of Cognitive Science is a great experience. What makes it great? The students and the professors. Cog. Sci. students bring a diversity of interests and experiences into the classroom. There are linguists, philosophers, computer scientists, neurologists and psychologists in the mix. These students are curious and ready to learn. They asked challenging questions and willingly embraced their mistakes. Lessons we can all learn from! This curiosity and willingness to take chances and make mistakes is nurtured by professors who create positive learning environments and take a keen interest in their students’ education and well-being. I feel very lucky to have worked with engaged students and stellar professors.   Thanks to the students, professors, TA mentors and the supportive cognitive science admin team who help make TAing in Cognitive Science a great experience.

Jessica Rocheleau

I am incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award! It was a pleasure to work alongside Prof. Chunyun Ma to nurture graduate students’ knowledge and interest in experimental methods and statistics. I would like to thank all of the kind and thoughtful students who took time to nominate me for this award. Your encouragement has inspired me to become the best educator and mentor that I can be.

Statement from TA Mentor Sabrina Burr:

Jessica Rocheleau is a PhD student in Cognitive Science and was the TA for the graduate course in experimental methods and statistics. The students who nominated Jessica for the TA Award of Excellence praised Jessica for her ability “to break down difficult topics into more understandable parts”. “Her study groups have felt like the study groups I used to have with my friends of four years in my undergraduate courses — friendly, calm, interesting, funny, and useful”. Jessica’s mentoring was described as inspiring. Statistics is a difficult topic for many students, but Jessica’s ability to convey difficult concepts clearly did not go unnoticed.