UWM Teaching Fellow Award

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Graduate School are pleased to welcome submissions for the 2022 UWM Teaching Fellow Award.

The award is open to currently enrolled UWM graduate students who have achieved outstanding success as students and teachers. Winners of this award are named UWM Teaching Fellows and will serve as instructors at CETL’s 2022 New TA Orientation which will welcome 200-250 new TAs from across the University.

The application deadline is 11:59pm CDT April 1, 2022. To apply, submit the following via Qualtrics:

  1. A completed application form (Qualtrics)
  2. A single PDF comprised of the required supplemental materials (see below):

Winners will be announced early May, and each recipient will receive a $800 award. Ideal candidates are those who have taught successfully at UWM, who convey enthusiasm for teaching, and who will serve as good role models for new TAs. Applicants do not need to be current TA’s.


Applicant Qualities:

  1. Passionate Teachers: they should have a love of learning and helping students learn. They should demonstrate sustained commitment to pedagogy and teaching excellence.
  2. Effective Teachers: they should have a proven track record of implementing effective, learner-centered, and innovative teaching methods.
  3. Excellent Facilitators: they should know how to effectively guide learning through thoughtful questioning, rapport building, and active listening.
  4. Effective Communicators: they should be attentive, timely, empathetic, and thoughtful in their communications with students.
  5. Experienced Trainers: they should have a proven track record of working with and helping other teachers, and/or be committed to improving teaching on campus beyond their own classroom.


Application Process

Applicants must submit a completed application via Qualtrics: Link to Qualtrics Application.

As part of the Qualtrics Application, applicants must submit a Supplemental Materials Packet, comprising a single PDF compiled in the following order: Personal Statement, Letter of Recommendation, Proposal for a one-hour training session for new TA’s, and Additional evidence of teaching excellence.

Further information can be found below.



  • Awardee must be a current or registered UW-Milwaukee graduate student and have TA’d at least one semester at UW-Milwaukee.
  • Past winners of this fellowship are ineligible for this and future Teaching Fellow Awards. However, previous applicants are welcome to apply again.
  • Awardee must be available to assist at the virtual day-long New TA Orientation: Monday, August 22, 2022.



Please email Lane Sunwall at sunwall@uwm.edu with any further questions about the application process.


PDF of Supplemental Materials

These materials must be submitted as one PDF named . . . .

[Applicant Last Name, Applicant First Name – 2022 Fellow Application ex: “Smith Charlie – 2022 Fellowship Application”]

All materials within this PDF must be compiled in the following order

    • Personal Statement
    • Letter of Recommendation
    • Proposal for a one-hour training session for new TA’s
    • Additional evidence of teaching excellence.


Personal Statement (750 word max)

In your response, add information you feel pertinent, but do keep in mind the five Applicant Qualities listed above. In addition, please respond to one of the following prompts in your statement. Make sure to provide evidence (e.g. specific examples, student reports, anecdotal evidence, improved performance on assignments, etc.) of how your efforts benefited student learning.

      • Describe a time you failed in the classroom and what actions you took to improve your teaching afterwards. How did those actions impact your students’ learning experience? OR
      • Describe a time you helped someone else (or a group of others) improve their teaching.

Letter of Recommendation from faculty/staff member(s) (3 page max)

Only one letter is allowed but it may be co-written or signed by multiple writers.

The Letter of Recommendation should speak to the applicant’s excellence in the classroom, experience training or helping other teachers, commitment to improving their own and other’s teaching, and their passion, dedication, or unique approach to teaching. Letters of Recommendation that include specific examples of these qualities will be looked on more favorably.

Proposal for a one-hour training session for New TA’s (300 word max)

This proposal should provide an overview of a one-hour training session that applicants will provide for new TAs at the CETL 2022 New TA Orientation.

This overview should contain the following . . .

      • Learning objectives for the session. Your objectives should be able to complete the following: “By the end of the session, session attendees will be able to . . . “
      • Outline of the session, which will include how the presenter will engage the audience (e.g., media, discussion, collaborative pairs, collaboration, etc.)

The following are ideas for presentation topics – they are not exhaustive

      • Idea or experience important to the higher education community
      • Lessons learned from teaching (how and why an idea succeeded or failed)
      • Ideas or information you know now that you wished you would have known when you started as a TA
      • Tricks and ideas you learned as instructor teaching

Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria

      • Relevance of topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to beginning instructors at UW-Milwaukee?
      • Proposed topic coverage: Does the proposed session align with the stated learning objectives or outcomes?
      • Presenter knowledge: Do the presenters have sufficient knowledge, expertise, and authority to address this topic based on evidence provided in the application?
      • Engagement strategies: The proposal explains the methods used to actively engage participants and is informed by principles of universal design.

Additional evidence of teaching excellence (2 page max)

This can take many forms and the following list is not exhaustive.

      • Student evaluations, evaluation summaries, student comments.
      • Descriptions or examples of impactful classroom activities, such as novel course materials.
      • Descriptions of involvement in pedagogy-focused workshop or teacher training.
      • Descriptions or accounts of the applicant’s contributions to their home department’s teaching excellence – such as leadership or support.