Deborah Burns, Ph.D. student in the Iowa State University Department of Sociology, won the Graduate College Teaching Excellence Award for Fall 2017. According to the Graduate College, the purpose of the award is to "recognize and encourage outstanding achievement by graduate students in teaching." The Graduate College honors up to 10 percent of teaching graduate students each semester, and the award consists of a letter of commendation from the ISU President, a certificate of achievement signed by the ISU President and the Graduate Dean, and an honor cord to be worn at graduation.
Nominated by associate professor Dr. David Schweingruber, Deborah has demonstrated the ability to excel in teaching. This includes designing and teaching her own class, Sociology 235: Social Problems. According to her students, Deborah is engaging and focuses on classroom engagement and interaction rather than lecture.
In addition to her duties as a doctoral student and teacher, Deborah has been employed by ISU the past two years as a writing consulting and peer mentor: first for the ISU Center for Communication Excellence and now for the Agronomy Department. In those positions, she has been helping other graduate students write their theses.