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On April 14, the Committee on Teaching honored graduate students Lindsay Ayling, Frederick Cochran, and Marlon Londoño with the 2021 teaching assistant awards. Read about their respective awards below:


UNC History Department Peter Filene Award for Creative Teaching: Lindsay Ayling

Imaginative and energetic teacher Lindsay Ayling has earned the Peter Filene Award for Creative Teaching. To make history come alive in her classes, Ayling constructs exercises that advance her student-centered and inclusive approach. In a structured mock trial of former King Louis XVI, for example, Ayling’s students researched and played the parts of real historical figures. That exercise, which offered many ways for students to excel as researchers and debaters, reflects Ayling’s investment in helping her students connect with the history she teaches. Students praise Ayling’s enthusiasm, “availability and helpfulness,” “great patience,” and “thoroughness in feedback,” including spending significant time aiding students to strengthen their writing. As one student declared, “Ms. Ayling was the most responsive, helpful, and generally best TA I had in my entire undergraduate career.”


UNC History Department Outstanding Teaching Award: Frederick Cochran

Creative and adept teacher Frederick Cochran merits an Outstanding Teaching Award. Cochran treats students as partners and even experts in their own learning process as he drives his lesson forward with flexibility and openness. With his relaxed yet confident style, Cochran creates an atmosphere where students are willing to take risks. “He made everyone feel like they could be heard and that their opinions were valid and respected,” explains one student, and “helped me not feel afraid to share my answers.” Cochran clarifies complex and sensitive topics for his students and switches up teaching techniques to ensure that they are “never bored or idle.” Cochran’s students praise his “thought-provoking, engaging, caring, and especially relatable” approach as well as his ability to make “history seem ‘cool’ and worthy of discussion and our time.”


UNC History Department Outstanding Teaching Award: Marlon Londoño

For his encouraging and lively teaching, Marlon Londoño has earned an Outstanding Teaching Award. Londoño engages his students by creating a welcoming atmosphere. “Marlon never failed to create a classroom environment that felt safe enough to participate in,” notes one student. Londoño’s teaching is characterized by his responsiveness, patience, and sharp listening skills. He is persistent in helping students discover answers for themselves. Londoño “was able to help provide a morale boost when needed, a lending hand when it came to understanding coursework materials, and overall helped me reignite my passion in history, learning, and helping others,” a student explained. To support his students’ learning, Londoño incorporates images, figures, and artifacts including a board game. As one of his students declared, “I cannot think of one example where I did not understand a concept after Marlon explained it.”

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