Current OTAA Award Winners

2015-2016 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Winners


Annette Barcelona

School of Dance, College of Fine Arts

Annette Barcelona is a 2016 MFA candidate in Florida State University’s School of Dance. She received her BFA in Dance Education with K-12 certification from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Annette is also a Pilates Mat instructor certified by Balanced Body University. During her tenure at FSU, Annette has been instructor of record for two studio courses per semester in Ballet, Pointe and Pilates Conditioning as well as the teaching assistant for one semester of Ballet History. Annette is excited to continue teaching, dancing and choreographing after graduation in the beautiful city of San Diego!


Deeptiman Chatterjee

Biological Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Deeptiman is a second year graduate student in the department of Biological Sciences. After earning a Master’s (M.Sc.) degree in Biotechnology in 2013 from a reputed university in India, he worked in the field of Yeast Genetics and Cell Cycle for a little more than a year. Following his keen interest in Biology, this is when he developed a specific passion towards understanding Developmental Biology and decided to extrapolate his research experience in order to study Cancer and Tumor Biology. He got the perfect opportunity to do precisely that in the lab of Dr. Wu-min Deng at FSU where his project investigates the formation of tumors in Drosophila ovaries. Apart from research, Deeptiman loves to teach and share his scientific interests with budding undergraduate students. He has taught two Introductory courses to Biological Science - Biological Science I and II Labs - over the last two years, for which he was nominated and subsequently awarded the FSU Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2016. Integrating his love for music, arts, travel and trivia in his teaching methodology, Deeptiman is able to connect better with his students which, he believes, is the most crucial aspect of teaching. His current goals are to remain faithful to academics and continue teaching along with his research work.


Jongwook Lee

School of Information, College of Communication & Information

Jongwook Lee is a recent PhD graduate from the School of Information at Florida State University. He received his bachelor's degree in library and information science from Kyungpook National University, South Korea, and his master's degree in information science from Indiana University Bloomington. The title of his dissertation was “Information exchanged in mentoring between faculty advisors and their doctoral students.” Based on his dissertation findings, he tries to become an effective mentor to students by developing the necessary professional and interpersonal characteristics, as well as providing information that is both relevant and sufficient. 


Cassidy Lentsch

Biological Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Cassidy Lentsch earned her BS in Biology from University of Houston and joined FSU to pursue her MS in Biological Science. She has taught several classes at FSU, including General Biology and Anatomy & Physiology. In addition, she is frequently involved with science outreach in the community, including the Neuroscience program's annual carnival for kids (and kids at heart), the Brain Fair! She is incredibly grateful and honored to receive this award for her performance as a teacher at FSU and eager to continue to refine her abilities in order to benefit her students. 


Lacey Ritter

Sociology, College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

Lacey Ritter is currently in her fourth year of her Ph.D. program in sociology, working on her prospectus and developing her skills as a teacher and researcher. With an emphasis on health and aging, Lacey is focusing on health differences in elderly populations based on their sexual orientation. Lacey received her B.A. in sociology and anthropology from the University of Northern Iowa and her M.A. in sociology with a college teaching emphasis from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Lacey has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Methods for Social Research, Sociological Theory, and Social Psychology. She also created a class – Sociology of Death and Dying – which led to her nomination and subsequent reception of the PIE Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2016. Teaching is Lacey’s first passion – being able to see students understand and comprehend social matters and have them make an impact on their futures is extremely rewarding and a goal she hopes to continue reaching throughout her career.



Emiliya Usmanova

Modern Languages & Linguistics, College of Arts & Sciences

Emiliya Usmanova is currently a graduate student at FSU, pursuing MA in Slavic Studies and working as a Teacher’s Assistant of the Russian language. She has a goal to earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics. Her current interests in research are language acquisition and psycholinguistics of multilingual speakers. She is passionate about language pedagogy, motivating and helping others to learn foreign languages in more effective ways.