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GTA Shout-Outs

We have fantastic Graduate Teaching Assistants at UT. Check out what students are saying about them!

If you'd like to make your own shout-out to your favorite Graduate Teaching Assistant, here's your chance!

Jeremy Leierzapf

From: Will Kersey

Overall great guy, very helpful, very friendly. Most fun TA I've ever had. Held makeup labs when he didn't have to.

Matt Smith

From: Emma Hudson

I can confirm that Matt Smith is, in fact, a talented air drummer. Even if he lacked this noteworthy skill, he would still be a great TA. He has a well-rounded amount of knowledge, not only in history, but in a contemporary sense. Therefore, he has a knack for applying history to contemporary themes, which enhanced my overall understanding of the covered topics. On top of that, he varied the ways he runs discussion. I was impressed how he introduced the beginning of WWII with a game of checkers. These methods are not only entertaining; they're engaging. Each discussion session has been interesting because Smith gets to the heart of the content and does so by simplifying the information, then getting to the over arching theme. Again, I'd like to emphasize that Smith is an easy-going, approachable TA and with his abundance of knowledge I see great opportunities in his future.

Jeremy Leierzapf

From: Jackson Salyer

Jeremy did an incredible job at teaching and really furthering my understanding of the material taught in lecture. He was an outstanding TA and made the labs as enjoyable as a geology lab could be.

Matthew Smith

From: Bryce Wesh

Matt is a fabulous example of what a TA should be. He shakes off the conventional lecture biases by promoting group think and whole class engagement. Class environment is warm, friendly, and devoid of any pretension. Retaining and learning is easier if you are enjoying yourself. We start each day with light music and conversation, can't ask for a better "learning environment". A+, 10/10

Matthew Smith

From: Maggie Sloe

Gen Ed courses, especially within the typical context of the college narrative, are not usually a student's "top pick" let alone a favorite course. However, the way that Matt Smith invests and engages with his class beyond the walls of where its held gives going through the motions in a typical classroom a run for its money. Matt cultivates an encouraging environment with interactive readings, games, and conversation that brings about laughter and great discussion. Though it isn't necessarily "easy", it is challenging in the best way that invokes wonder and true fascination with the material covered. I have never in my life been excited to get out of my bed for a 9:05 class on a Friday morning but somehow for this class, it's become my favorite part of the week (really) because I know I'll leave feeling not only smarter, but more encouraged than when I walked in. No one is simply a student in Matt's discussion, but rather someone with immeasurable opportunities and intelligence regardless of circumstance. It is so easy to see that Matt's passion for the pursuit of thought and story-telling of history translates into how he facilitates his discussions and encourages others to do so as well.

Amanda Letheren

From: Julie Grubaugh

Amanda's poise, clarity of communication and ability to really listen and respond respectfully, distinguish her as a teacher and role model. She is dependable and leads with integrity and authenticity. I appreciate you, Amanda!

Joanne Patterson

From: Julie Grubaugh

Joanne masterfully engages students, challenges them to think from different perspectives. She values inclusiveness of all people, and demonstrates this eloquently and consistently. I want to be more like you when I grow up! Thank you for your humor and authenticity. Carry on!!!

Jessica Ende

From: Reilly Harrison

Every week my TA gets to class early and writes out really helpful notes on the white board to help us with our labs. She is always willing to go over questions we have and walks around to help the students who don't feel as comfortable speaking up. I have really enjoyed having this lab with her.

Matthew Smith

From: Dillon Simpson

Having a discussion class on Friday mornings, one could expect that the GTA (like many of the students) would be weary, apathetic, and generally devoid of interest to impart anything beyond what is necessary for class. But instead, Matt shows up with an infectious exuberance and a command of the material that inspires lively conversations and breathes life into the narratives that we've been learning over the week. It is a high point, if nothing else, to walk up the stairs of the AA building every Friday and see Matt air-drumming to Neal Peart. Thank you Matt for making the lessons fun and for making an old man feel a little less alone on campus!

Tim Patton

From: zachary adkisson

Tim made sure every student really understood the concepts in each lab.

Kenia I. Taylor

From: Rachel Chen

Kenia is a joy to work with. She is accountable and effective. Thank you for your great work throughout the semesters! I know I can always count on you! Yours, Dr. Chen

Lisa Curtin

From: Cindy Welch

Lisa is an incredible help! She's awesome at locating, digesting, and compiling information and I feel very lucky to have her services this year.

Tim Paton

From: Jessica Peters

Tim always gives great overviews of information, solidifying what we've learned in lecture. He's super helpful when you have questions during lab and never makes you feel like you can't ask a question. He's a great GTA!

Jeremy Leierzapf

From: Abby McGuire

Jeremy is really fun and helps make lab interesting! He always makes sure we truly understand the labs and concepts from class. Yay rocks!

Lauren Lyon

From: Megan Lane

She is da bomb diggity for Bio 150

Mia Wavrek

From: Anna Szynkiewicz

Excellent GTA. Excellent teaching skills and care for undergraduate students education.

Emily McCutcheon

From: Rachel Fleming-May

Emily is a wonderful GTA! She is diligent, thoughtful, and thorough. She does a great job helping me with everything I ask her to do, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. Emily, thank you for your hard work and dedication! 🙂



Miller Foutch is amazing. She jumped in to teach 402, the SPED core course, at the last minute, when the scheduled instructor was unable to do so. As a first time 402 instructor she's shown herself to be excellent in every way. This little space is too small to say everything great I want to say about Miller so I'll keep it short- THANK-YOU!

Carrie O'Reilly

From: Joan Grim

Carrie is an amazing GA, PhD student and person. She assisted in three classes that I taught. She was always prepared and genuinely happy to take on the tedious tasks as well as teaching. The students loved when she shared her classroom experiences. As a former teacher, she brought a sense of authenticity to her instruction. She will be leaving us now that she has completed her PhD in SPED. I will genuinely miss her. Thank-You, Carrie

Kelsey Holton

From: Emily Bisping

Always makes you feel important and goes above and beyond her GTA duties. For example, she is always positive, always helpful, and she brought us treats on a really stressful week!

Elizabeth Garcia

From: Deborah Wooten

Liz should be given special recognition for her work with me. In addition to her other responsibilities, she taught one of my courses when I had a family emergency. She did a stellar job; students communicated to me the wealth of knowledge they learned from her during the semester. Now she is the student director of the Center for Children’s Young Adult Literature. Liz works hard and smart, making sure that the Center grows exponentially because of her passion for literature and projects championing many areas including diversity.

Amanda Rigell

From: Amy Broemmel

Amanda invests herself deeply in everything that she does, whether it is teaching an undergraduate reading methods course, editing a manuscript, or pulling together a review of literature. It doesn't matter if she is surrounded by chaos or secluded in quiet--she makes it look easy. She is strong and calm creative and optimistic and I am lucky to be a part of her academic journey.

Kelsey Holton

From: Riece Stone

Kelsey is always making sure we are professional and prepared, but also can relate to how stressful college can be and communicates that with us as well. She creates a stress-free learning environment and teaches to her students and pushes us to be our best, and gives loads of encouragement to help us believe we can do it. Her criticism is constructive, and she is always ready to do whatever she can to make meet our needs and teach to each of our talents.

Rebecca Layton

From: Lynn Hodge

Rebecca brings so much to our STEM education program. She is supporting our projects through professional development for teachers and website design. She goes out of her way to be helpful and supportive. She brings a lot of expertise and energy to everything she does. All her hard work is appreciated!

Michael Lawson

From: Lynn Hodge

Michael goes out of his way to help our STEM education programs. He supervises, teaches, and mentors our beginning teachers. He provides sound advice while supporting their voice in the process. I appreciate all his efforts. He is such a great asset to our program!

Shande King

From: Lynn Hodge

Shande has gone above and beyond in supporting our East TN STEM hub. He coordinates events and communicates regularly with our partners and volunteers. He is an important part of our team and I appreciate all his efforts!

Nick Kim

From: Lynn Hodge

Nick has been a wonderful supervisor and instructor for the VolsTeach program. He supports our students in becoming future STEM teachers. All his efforts are very much appreciated!

Andrew Gilliam

From: Tavyn Santee

Mr. Gilliam is an amazing GTA! He goes out of his way to help us understand difficult math lessons and is always willing to answer any questions we have. He is definitely helping me succeed so far in MATH 125. I always love going to his class since he makes math fun!!

Kelsey Holton

From: Karlie Heckman

Kelsey has been my instructor for the past two semesters, and she has continuously gone above and beyond. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help myself and my classmates succeed. She encourages us, motivates us, and equips us to reach our fullest potentials as future educators. Thank you Kelsey for all you do!

Kelsey Holton

From: Savannah Huffstetler

Kelsey goes above & beyond in everything that she does. She goes so far out of her way to help out her students, ensure learning and clarification, and respond to questions immediately and at all hours of the night. She is very reasonable while also pushing her students to do their very best work.