The Goodwin Medal

The Goodwin Medal

Each year, MIT awards the Goodwin Medal to a graduate TA or Instructor (G) who has performed above and beyond the norm, and whose teaching efforts can truly be characterized as “conspicuously effective.”  Conspicuously effective TAs demonstrate some commitment to supporting student learning above and beyond excellence in typical TA tasks. Descriptions of recent outstanding teachers, who model conspicuous efficacy, can be found below under “Former Goodwin Medal Recipients.” This award was established in memory of Harry Manley Goodwin, the first dean of the graduate school at MIT, through a gift from his widow, Mary B. Goodwin, and son, Richard H. Goodwin


The award will be presented to a graduate student teacher who has established a place of distinction in teaching in the opinion of their students and the faculty of their department. The nominee should be a current graduate student who is primarily at MIT (if involved in a joint program with another university). Nominees must have TAed at least twice as a graduate student and held TA positions that involved significant student support (e.g., teaching recitations, holding office hours, etc.). Co-teachers may be nominated jointly, but the specific contributions of each individual must be detailed (please see below). Descriptions of recent recipients (below) may provide helpful reference points for faculty and department nominators.


The award consists of an engraved bronze medal, designed by Katharine Lane, and a monetary gift of $7,000.


Any member of the faculty or any organized student group (through one of its responsible officers) may submit a nomination. These nominations should be sent to the faculty head of the candidate’s home department of registration, even if the candidate has taught subjects listed in other departments.

The final nomination from each department is due to the Office of Graduate Education on March 28, 2023. Nomination letters may be addressed to Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education Denzil Streete; nomination packages should be sent to the Director of Graduate Fellowships via the Google Form that will have been shared with Graduate Administrators on March 1, 2023.

Nominations must include:


  1. A recommendation letter from a faculty member or lecturer who oversaw the nominee’s work as a TA. This letter should include
    • The course or courses that in which the nominee and letter-writer worked together
    • Information about the course, including
      • The number of students in the course
      • The typical teaching duties and responsibilities of TAs in this course
    • How the TA went above and beyond mere excellence
    • Explanation of context for other application materials
  2. Two supporting letters from former students (if more than two letters are submitted, only the first two will be reviewed). These letters could be prompted by the questions
    • How did the TA enhance your experience in the class?
    • What big or tricky concepts did the TA help you to understand? What did they do to help you come to this understanding?
    • In what ways did the TA help you see the big picture about your course?
  3. The nominee’s CV, which should include teaching experience.

Departments should not submit any other materials. If additional materials are submitted, they will be removed before circulating them to the selection committee. Prompts for the nomination and student letters should be given based on the lettered subpoints above.

We will collect subject evaluation reports directly and include them with the nomination packages.

Selection of the winner will be made by a committee consisting of former Goodwin Medalists and other outstanding teachers who are currently on the MIT faculty. The selection committee is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education.

The recipient will be announced at the MIT Awards Convocation in May.

Former Goodwin Medal Recipients

2023Hope DarganElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
2022Léonard BoussiouxOperations Research Center
2021Georgia Van de ZandeMechanical Engineering
2020Olivia Brode-RogerElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
2019Andrew Turner and Claire KimPhysics and Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS)
2018Or GadishHealth Sciences & Technology
2017Cauam Ferreira CardosoUrban Studies and Planning
 2016[No recipient]
 2015George Chen and Ramesh SridharanElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
 2014 [No recipient]
 2013Joe Steinmeyer and Tony TaoElectrical Engineering and Computer Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics
 2012 Adrian Chi-Yan LiuPhysics
 2011 Taylor BartonElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
 2010 Zhe Lu and Yoda PattaChemistry, Materials Science and Engineering
 2009 Barry KudrowitzMechanical Engineering
 2008Christian SchubertChemistry
2007Michael MetzgerManagement Science
2006Helena de Bres and Stephen HouLinguistics and Philosophy/ Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2005Michael Hinczewski and Benjamin VandiverPhysics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2004Brian C. Dean and Rajeev MalhotraElectrical Engineering and Computer Science and Health Science Technology
2003Jeffrey Allan Bowers and Ziad NejmeldeenPhysics and Economics
2002Elizabeth A. KensingerBrain and Cognitive Sciences
2001Christopher GouldstoneAeronautics and Astronautics
2000Megan Yakeley and Catalin Zara Architecture and Mathematics
1999Babak Ayazifar and Marc ParadisElectrical Engineering and Computer Science/ Brain and Cognitive Sciences
1998Kevin M. SheaChemistry
1997Christopher Morse and Adil NajamChemistry and Urban Planning and Studies
1996 [No recipient]
1995Todd Anderson and David LawsChemistry and Urban Planning and Studies
1994John R. BuckElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
1993Andrew K. Barrows and Farshid HajirAeronautics and Astronautics and Mathematics
1992Jacqueline A. Acho and Mohamed YahiaouiChemistry and Ocean Engineering
1991James Fuller Abbott and Gregory W. WornellPhysics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
1990Franklyn TurbakElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
1989Stephen M. SlivanEarth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
1988Carol B. Conaway Political Sciences
1987Lisa J. MulveyCivil and Environmental Engineering
1986David P. Keenan and Erik G. VaalerOcean Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
1985Steven C. SemkenMaterial Science and Engineering
1984Janice H. HammondElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
1983Edward Kaplan and Matt M. RodammerUrban Studies and Planning and Material Science and Engineering
1982Paul SmokeUrban Studies and Planning
1981Peter Greenberg/Robert WintersMathematics
1980Jean-Paul LavallayeChemistry
1979James E. Hubbard, Jr. and Steven R. TaylorMechanical Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
1978John Michael BartleyEarth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
1977Thomas O. Mason and Thomas W. WolfMaterials Science and Engineering and Political Science
1976Douglas A. LimbertMechanical Engineering
1975Harold RogersChemistry
1974Ihab Farag and Ronald HollanderChemical Engineering and Metallurgy
1973Alan J. GrodzinskyElectrical Engineering
1972Samuel A. CohenPhysics
1971Woodie C. Flowers and Lawrence E. SusskindMechanical Engineering and Urban Studies and Planning
1970William Lawrence VerplankMechanical Engineering
1969Harriet Jane FellMathematics
1968Charles L. Seitz, IIIElectrical Engineering
1967Walter H. Berninger and John W. HafstromElectrical Engineering
1966James R. GeiserMathematics
1965Barbara Corey Hall and Frank E. PerkinsLinguistics and Civil and Environmental Engineering
1964[No recipient]
1963Walter Godchaux IIIBiology
1962Norton Lambert Starr IIMathematics
1961Richard Y. KainElectrical Engineering
1960Douglas Alfred EastMechanical Engineering
1959Harry B. LeeElectrical Engineering
1958Donald Lester KreiderMathematics
1957Thomas Greenway Stockham, Jr.Electrical Engineering
1956 [No recipient]
1955James K. KnowlesMathematics
1954Robert L. BarringerPhysics
1953 [No recipient]
1952Holt Ashley and Kenneth WadleighAeronautics and Astronautics/ Mechanical Engineering