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UM Rosenstiel School Names Infanti, Stump, Perryman as Top Teaching Assistants

MIAMI — June 12, 2012 — Students Johnna Infanti, Kristine Stump, and Holly Perryman are the recipients of the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science’s 2011-2012 Teaching Assistant (TA) Excellence award.

“This was the first year of the revamped TA program at the Rosenstiel School. All TAs participated in a unique training session at the beginning of the year, and were evaluated throughout the year. It is clear from the feedback from both students and faculty, that this new TA program was quite successful. We are happy to be able to recognize the work of Johnna, Holly and Kristine, and we also recognize the hard work of all the TAs at the School,” said chair of the Rosenstiel School’s Graduate Academic Committee and Professor of Meteorology & Physical Oceanography Amy Clement.

Infanti, the recipient of the Undergraduate Lecture award, was a TA in two classes this year, and was honored for her excellence in Undergraduate Atmospheric Dynamics II. “I had a really good experience being a TA – actually I loved it! I never had the opportunity to lecture before, and was surprised to find it was fun to write out a lecture and teach,” said Infanti. “It aided in my own personal understanding of subject material, allowed me to see first-hand the large amount of effort that a professor has to put into a course, as well as increased my confidence in public speaking and presenting.”

Dr. Peter Glynn’s Saltwater Semester – Invertebrate Zoology TA was Kristine Stump. Benefiting from her teaching experience as well, Stump received the Undergraduate Lab award. “Each week in lecture students learned about a different invertebrate phylum. For Friday labs, I would collect live specimens for the ‘phylum of the week,’ and students would get to look at the animals up close. Several weekends during the semester, we brought the class by boat to the School’s Broad Key field station, where they had the opportunity to kayak, dive and snorkel to see the animals they learned about in their natural habitat. The students were fantastic, and truly enthusiastic about what they were learning. I had a wonderful time getting to know them all and sharing some really great experiences with them out on the water,” recalled Stump.

Winning the Graduate Course award was Holly Perryman, for aiding in Dr. Nelson Ehrhardt’s Biometrics in Marine Science class. “The goal of the lab is to teach the students how to use R, one of the most commonly utilized statistical computer programs. Dr. Ehrhardt informed me of the sections he wanted me to cover, but gave me complete control of the Lab. Most days I worked slowly through the example problems, giving the students time to attempt the examples on their laptops before I shared the solution. This was beneficial time for the students and for me. They would get to use the R language on their own, and I would be able to see where students where getting tripped-up,” noted Perryman.

“We are very proud of all our TAs,” said Martin Grosell, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. “They have contributed significantly to elevate the quality of undergraduate and graduate education at the Rosenstiel School. We look forward to another great year of the program starting with a training session from August 20 -23. This year’s winners of the TA awards will serve as instructors for the coming training session.”

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.rsmas.miami.edu.

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education •  johnna infanti •  kristine stump •  holly perryman •  achievement award •  award •