Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Recipients 2019-2020

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Winners 2019-2020


Rachel Flemming

Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Rachel is a second-year doctoral student in Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Modern Language and Linguistics, where she also received her Master's degree. She is currently the Elementary Spanish I level coordinator, working with the program directors to develop course objectives and materials. In 2018, she served as coordinator for Elementary Spanish II. Rachel has taught basic-level Spanish at FSU for the past four years and she considers this a highlight of her graduate student experience. She loved the opportunity she has to engage students in small classes, to encourage them to become better communicators. She is passionate about teaching and about giving her students the best possible experience in her class and continues to intentionally develop her teaching methodology each semester.

Rachel was also nominated for the OTAA for the 2018-2019 year and she was awarded the Community Service award in Spanish at FSU for the 2016-2017 year. Additionally, she is a member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi, which is dedicated to encouraging students to develop an interest in and understanding of the Spanish language and of Hispanic culture and history. Rachel is currently in the initial stages of developing her dissertation research topic. Her areas of focus include Second Language Acquisition, Language Instruction, and Psycholinguistics. She is interested in continuing to understand how students best learn second languages and how teachers can take into account psycholinguistic research when developing language courses and materials. Rachel is honored to be a recipient of the 2019-2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Kate Hill

Department of Biological Science

After earning her BS in Biology at Stanford University, Kate worked with Teach For America for three years as a middle school science teacher in Houston, Texas. Kate's passion for science and teaching led her to FSU to pursue her PhD. At FSU, Kate assisted in developing the new Biology 2 Laboratory, which incorporates inquiry-based learning methods. Kate also served as a Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Associate for four years and supported graduate student teaching. Kate is interested in promoting equitable teaching practices that improve student retention and provide students with authentic science experiences. During her PhD, Kate held leadership positions in teaching and diversity & inclusion at the department and university level and was proud to serve as a co-chair for the Diversity & Inclusion in Research & Teaching Organization (DIRECTO) and as a co-leader  of her department's Teaching Discussion Group. Her professional goal is to develop teaching methods and programs that support first generation college students in their transition to undergraduate coursework, particularly in the sciences. Kate defended her PhD in Biology this spring and she will be joining the faculty at Chapman University as an Instructional Assistant Professor in Fall 2020. 

Lauren Stanley

College of Social Work

Lauren H. K. Stanley is a third-year doctoral candidate in the College of Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has over 10 years of clinical experiences with children and families. She has an eclectic education beyond her Master of Social Work (MSW, Loyola, University Chicago), including a B.S. in Psychology (FSU), a Masters in Educational Psychology (Majoring in Sport and Exercise Psychology; FSU), and a M.S. in Child Development (Erikson Institute, Chicago). She has worked as a clinical mental health professional in community mental health, therapeutic day schools, Head Start, and was the Clinical Director of a children's mental health agency prior to pursuing her doctorate education. During this time, Lauren was an adjunct instructor with both BSW and MSW programs and Winston-Salem State University, University of North Caroline - Greensboro and Florida Gulf Coast University. 

During her years at FSU's CSW, Lauren as gained experiences in teaching Introduction to the Social Work Profession, Introduction to Social Policy, and Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Lauren's general research interests include childhood trauma, professional identity development of social workers, and supervision. Her dissertation research focuses on the relation of early childhood trauma and educational outcomes. Lauren's main goal in teaching social work students is to encourage and support students' professional identity development as future social workers while demonstrating her own passion for the profession. Lauren considers her participation in the development of future social workers a privilege and expresses her gratitude for PIE's acknowledgement of her efforts! 

JoungHwa Woo

Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics

JoungHwa Woo is in her second year of teh MA programs in French and Francophone studies in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Department at Florida State University. She has received her BA in Industrial Design from Kook-Min University in Korea and her BA and MA in Interior Architecture from Ecole Camondo in Paris, France. JoungHwa's experiences in learning languages is varied. She studied France and England before her arrival at Florida State University. Her experience in teaching is also very rich. She has taught not only French but also Korean and Interior Design. She is also a CrossFit coach. She designs her French courses to pass on these simultaneously interpersonal, interdisciplinary, and intercultural skills to her students to help them stretch their horizon and make it one of their assets to success on a professional and personal level. She has been nominated for the OTAA every year of her teaching at Florida State University.

JoungHwa's teaching style reflects individual attention and compassion and also helps her reach her ultimate goal, which is to lead students to enjoy learning French, increase their cultural awareness, and prepare them to learn continuously. She helps students in their quest for linguistic studey and she is grateful to serve in this role. JoungHwa is incredibly thankful for having the opportunity to share her passion for French in her classroom at Florida State University and is honored to be a recipient of the 2019-2020 OTAA.

McKenna Milici

College of Music

McKenna Milici is a fourth year doctoral student in Musicology. She received her MM in Historical Musicology and MM in Voice Performance from FSU and her BA in Music from Whitman College. Her dissertation analyzes a pair of American operas from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in an examination of how the genre continues to negotiate and challenge a fraught legacy in its treatment of unruly female characters. She has presented her work at regional, national, and international conferences and she has serves as a student representative to both the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music. McKenna has been an active member of the FSU Fellows Society since 2016 and served on the executive board as the Coordinator of the 2020 Fellows Forum. A classically trained soprano, McKenna has performed multiple times with the FSU opera, in addition to performances throughout the northwest and southeast, and she made her international debut with the Teatro Lirico Nacional de Cuba. During her graduate studies she has had the privilege to teach music history and literature classes to majors and non-majors as well as individual voice lessons. She emphasizes learning as a process and prioritizes the health and well-being of her students as much as their academic performance. Her students can count on singing and dancing in class, at least once a semester. She is tremendously grateful for her teaching opportunities here at FSU and she is indebted to her students for their passion and investment in music studies.


Dyan Neary

The English Department

Dyan Neary is a writer, journalist, and documentary filmmaker from New York City. Her feature stories and essays have appeared in New York Magazine, Elle, The New York Times, The Nation, GO, In These Times, and elsewhere, with a focus on human rights, public health, and criminal justice issues. She is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing at Florida State University and Nonfiction Editor of The Southeast Review. Dyan has taught, volunteered, and advocated for incarcerated people all her adult life and is currently writing a book of lyrical vignettes about the rise of the American prison, for which she was awarded the Adam Johnson Fellowship and the P.E.O. International Scholar Award in 2019. She was the 2017 winner of the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition and the Lillian Smith Writer-in-Service Award and received grants from Type Investigations for her reporting.