Malaphone Phommasa of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School won a 2013 Graduate Student Association (GSA) Excellence in Teaching Award. Kara Otto of the Gevirtz School also received an honorable mention. This year the GSA Excellence in Teaching Award received over 500 individual nominations for over 150 excellent campus Teaching Assistants and Associates.
Malaphone Phommasa is a fourth year Ph.D. Candidate in the Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education emphasis in the Department of Education under the advisement of Professor Richard Duran. Her research focuses on Southeast Asian American retention in higher education. She has had extensive teaching experience in the Asian American Studies and Communication Departments. Malaphone has been a TA for Communication 1, Asian American Studies 1, Asian American Studies 5, Asian American Studies 2 four times, and is currently in her second tenure of Asian American Studies 7.
Kara Otto is a fourth year graduate student under Dr. Charles Bazerman in Teaching and Learning. Her research concerns second language writing and international students. Having moved every two years growing up, her passion is teaching “new” students, whether new to the U.S., the research university setting, or a disciplinary community. The Department of Communication has employed her as a TA since 2010, where she has taught pre-major courses including Introduction to Communication and Introduction to Communication Theories, in addition to an upper division course for the major this Fall. During Fall 2012, Otto taught in Education, as a TA for a pilot version of Introduction to the Research University, which focuses on ESL for incoming international students. She has also taught for the Freshmen Summer Start Program at UCSB. In Summer 2013, she will continue her passion for working with international students with a full-time teaching appointment for the UCSB OISS English Oral Proficiency Workshop.