Araz Hashemi receives Garrett T. Heberlein Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Students

Araz Hashemi, a graduate student in Mathematics, received one of two Garrett T. Heberlein Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Students at Wayne State University for 2014. The award recognizes graduate students who demonstrate instructional excellence. It is designed in part to elevate the attention given to teaching as part of graduate education and the preparation of graduate students to serve as college and university teachers.

This is the only university-wide teaching award made to graduate students, so this is indeed an accomplishment. The Award was presented at the University's Academic Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Ph.D. candidate
Department of Mathematics

According to the program, "Araz Hashemi, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mathematics, demonstrates the passion and excellence that characterizes winners of this award. He is unusually creative, industrious and empathetic with students. His "warm-up" exercises before class - like his use of "impossible" problems to demonstrate real-world math applications - have inspired students and the Department of Mathematics. In the classroom, Hashemi never stops working, making intensive use of every minute while staying available to all students. He is always receiving feedback to improve his teaching. To many here, this is not surprising: he took the department's GTA training course as an undergraduate simply out of a desire to learn. He understands in full the link between teaching and learning. This understanding helps provide him with empathy for students. He truly values their ideas and encourages their contributions. Students say that he allows them to discover the concepts themselves, is patient and clear, and is fantastic at building and maintaining strong rapport with his students. Hashemi's excellence in teaching and commitment to growth are the defining characteristics of a truly great graduate teaching assistant. He fully embodies the spirit of the Garrett T. Heberlein Excellence in Teaching Award."

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