2019: Andrew Turner and Claire Kim

   


Physics; Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society

Andrew Turner, a fifth-year PhD student in the Physics Department, was recently awarded the prestigious Goodwin Medal, which honors outstanding teaching by MIT graduate students. Turner has served as a teaching assistant in four classes, including both core and specialty undergraduate subjects.

Nominators acknowledged Andrew’s masterful preparation for every class, and time spent creating lecture notes and study guides in LaTeX, which captured equations accurately. Students found these materials invaluable. Andrew even dedicated additional hours to give workshops to students to teach them to learn LaTeX themselves. In addition, nominators noted his genuine concern for students, patience, and ability to tailor teaching to individual levels of experience.

Many of Andrew’s former students wrote that he was the key to their understanding of introductory quantum mechanics. “Andrew is a godsend,” commented a former student. One nominator said that Andrew is the best all-around graduate student teacher that he has encountered in over 40 years of teaching at MIT.

Claire Kim, a sixth-year student in the Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS) Program, was recently awarded a prestigious Goodwin Medal, which honors outstanding teaching by MIT graduate students. Kim, who is currently finishing up her dissertation, has served as a teaching assistant in four classes in STS and History (as well as for one course in the History of Science at Harvard).

Kim has been a standout performer in the eyes of both the faculty and students with whom she works. The faculty made particular note of Kim’s pedagogical ingenuity, her leadership role, her impressive versatility, and her sensitivity and attentiveness to her students.  For those students, Kim has stood out among other MIT TAs.  Even her former students still hold Kim in high esteem, and many wrote heartfelt letters citing how her passion and support has inspired and shaped their own educational pursuits.

The nominations supporting Kim for the Goodwin Medal also highlighted her special ability to listen and ask the right questions to guide independent learning. However, it is clear from those faculty and students who endorsed her wining nomination that Kim’s generous spirit, thoughtfulness, and keen insight are as important as her knowledge and skill in the classroom. As one of her students said, “Claire Kim is magical.”