ME student recognized as outstanding undergraduate teaching assistant

Sydney Good poses with her ME 324L Undergraduate Teaching Assistant CYtation Award. She is flanked by teaching lab coordinators Wyman Martinek (left) and Jim Shelledy. Photo by Nick Fetty

A mechanical engineering senior was recently recognized for her efforts as an undergraduate teaching assistant (UTA) for the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (ME 324L).

Sydney Good teaches her ME324L section the Machining, Material Test and Polymer Lab in Black Engineering Building on April 13, 2017. Photo by Nick Fetty

Sydney Good received the ME 324L Undergraduate Teaching Assistant CYtation Award. Teaching lab coordinators Wyman Martinek and Jim Shelledy presented her with the award during a ceremony last week.

“Over the past couple years that we’ve had Sydney as a UTA, she’s not only been a strong teacher and mentor but she has actually inspired several of her peers to apply to be UTAs themselves. Sydney has been a great asset for the department but we eager to see her pursue a career using her ME degree where we know she will be successful,” Martinek and Shelledy said in a joint statement.

The LeCalaire, Iowa-native said that she finds games and pop culture references to be two effective ways to engage her students.

“I like games so I kind of make a big game out of it and get them to laugh a little bit during it and then they respond more,” said Good. “Like when we were in there (I brought up) Top Gun. Everyone loves Top Gun. Then if they start talking about Top Gun maybe they’re more interested in why real-life engineering applications can work. I just try to make it more interesting and more fun, and try to get a couple chuckles. Even pity chuckles are appreciated.”

Sydney Good teaches her ME324L section in the Machining, Material Test and Polymer Lab in Black Engineering Building on April 13, 2017. Photo by Nick Fetty

Good will graduate next month and she said she hopes to find a career where she can combine her interests in design and manufacturing.

“Because of this lab I like working more hands-on so I’d like to get a job that is more design and manufacturing, both together, which is kind of hard to find but my co-op was like that. So if I can find something right in that middle stage, that would be perfect.”

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