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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2013-14 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Britney O. Pennington - BioMolecular Science and Engineering Program

Britney Pennington is a PhD candidate in BioMolecular Science & Engineering. She received Bachelor’s degrees in both Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2008. She has served as a Teaching Assistant for General Biochemistry, Neurobiology II, and Introductory Biology laboratory, and volunteered as a TA for Stem Cell Biology in Health & Disease. She is noted not only as an excellent teacher by her students, but also as an accomplished and motivated researcher by her faculty colleagues. As one of her faculty references states, “In my 25 years at UCSB, she ranks at the very top in terms of teaching ability and enthusiasm for science education and teaching. She is also an intelligent and capable researcher with a strong and passionate commitment to science, and she is already making an impact on the field. She is one of a kind!”

One of her students writes of Ms. Pennington, “She is by far the best TA I ever had because of her exceptional enthusiasm and creativity for Biochemistry, her outstanding patience and effectiveness in helping students adjust to upper-division biology courses, and her encouragement of student research and guidance towards finding a good research position.”

Another faculty supporter comments simply, “Her passion and enthusiasm for teaching biology are extraordinary!” She is specifically praised for her “dynamic presentations and interactive exercises she prepares for her students, her thoughtful approach to engage each student as an individual (and how best to turn on his/her critical thinking ‘light bulb’) and her dedication to improving her craft by active participation in teaching workshops.”

Finally, her nominator offers the following summary: “One characteristic about her that I find refreshing is her creativity in thinking of novel and effective ways to teach. The science community needs more educators like Britney!”

For her hard work and excellence in teaching, Britney Pennington is awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations!