This post is adapted from one originally published by the Graduate School
Twenty-one outstanding graduate students — including physics PhD student Soren Ormseth — have been selected as recipients of the 2022-23 UW–Madison Campus-Wide Teaching Assistant Awards, recognizing their excellence in teaching. Ormseth earned a Dorothy Powelson Teaching Assistant Award.
UW–Madison employs over 2,300 teaching assistants (TAs) across a wide range of disciplines. Their contributions to the classroom, lab, and field are essential to the university’s educational mission. To recognize the excellence of TAs across campus, the Graduate School, the College of Letters & Science (L&S), and the Morgridge Center sponsor these annual awards.
Ormseth is a graduate student in the Department of Physics specializing in detector physics. He has taught intermediate physics lab and intermediate electronics lab.
“The best teachers hone their communication skills to make subject material and lessons interesting, relevant, well organized, and right at that difficulty-sweet-spot. At the end of the day though, every student has their own unique way of looking at the world and engaging with a particular topic,” Ormseth said. “When it comes time to deliver a lecture, write a textbook, or create a presentation, a teacher needs to work on those communication skills. But when it comes time to engage with an individual student, the best thing that a teacher can do is be approachable, flexible, and willing to listen with the intent to understand the student’s perspective. Mastering these two teaching modes is a lifelong journey which never stops!”