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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2012-13 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Katherine L. Kelp-Stebbins - Comparative Literature

Katherine Kelp-Stebbins is a PhD candidate in the Comparative Literature Program. She received her Masters degree in Comparative Literature in 2009, after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 2003 from Wesleyan University. Not only has she served as a Teaching Assistant for a number of classes in Comparative Literature, but she has also TA’d classes in English, Writing, and Classics. Her teaching list includes: Major Works of European Literature, Latin Literature in Translation, East Asian Literatures, and Academic Writing, among others.

Her faculty supporters comment that she is well-prepared, draws from a variety of pedagogical tools, and is remarkable in her ability to inspire her students. One of the professors with whom she has taught writes, “I have rarely seen such motivated and enthusiastic students in my long teaching career as in her sections, and, to be honest, I have to confess that I learned a lot from simply observing her working with her students…. There is no doubt that a lot of her success as an academic teacher is due to discipline and preparation, but, as we all know too well, this is not enough. When all is said and done, it is an imponderable quality that makes good teachers. I would call it charm, the secret of [Katherine’s] accomplishments.”

Her supporters praise Katherine for her style of her classroom teaching, what she describes as a “space of co-authorship, where students are not merely passive receptacles of knowledge, but active participants in the shaping of that knowledge.” One of her professors writes, “Rather than feeding the students information by posing leading questions, she allowed them to discover knowledge through the dialogue she facilitated. She thereby made the accumulation of insight a group discovery.” And finally, one of her students agrees, stating, “Instead of simply stating how each reading was significant, she drove the class discussion by asking us thoughtful questions and having students discuss complex ideas with of each other. To put it simply, she effectively focused on us learning rather than her teaching.”

For her hard work and dedication to excellence in teaching, Katherine Kelp-Stebbins is awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations!