College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Aerospace Engineering T.A. receives Teaching Excellence Award

Sr. Lect. Joseph Schaefer (left), Matthew Hawkins (center), and Prof. Bong Wie (right)


Matthew Hawkins, a Ph.D. Candidate working under Professor Bong Wie in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, has received the 2012 Teaching Excellence Award from the Iowa State University Graduate School. Aerospace Engineering Senior Lecturer, Joseph Schaefer nominated Hawkins for his work as a T.A. in his course EM 327, Mechanics of Materials Laboratory.

The purpose of the award given to Hawkins is to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement by graduate students in teaching. According to Schaefer, Hawkins possessed the skills necessary to win this award. “He clearly manifests all the attributes of an Outstanding Teaching Assistant,” said Schaefer in his nomination letter. “The Teaching Assistant is responsible for all of the management tasks for the course including monitoring attendance, presenting a short lecture before the start of the laboratory session to inform the students about the day’s experiment, keeping order, operating the equipment, grading lab reports, and all the other normal course management activities.  Matt does an excellent job in all of these areas.”

The Teaching Excellence Award consists of a letter of commendation from Iowa State President Steven Leath, a certificate of achievement signed by the ISU President and the Graduate Dean, and an honor cord to be worn at graduation. The award will also be noted on Hawkins’ transcripts.

Hawkins’ future plans do not include teaching, but he does have advice for future T.A.s, “Try to remember when you were an undergrad and were learning things for the first time.”