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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2012-13 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Elijah Quetin - Physics

Elijah Quetin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Physics. He received his Masters in astrophysics from Caltech in 2008 after receiving his Bachelor’s degree from UCSB’s College of Creative Studies in 2005. He has served as a Teaching Assistant for several classes in the department, including Introduction to Astronomy; Introductory Physics; Extragalactic Astrophysics; and a course cross-listed with Religious Studies called “Origins: A Dialogue Between Sciences & Humanities”.

Eli is described by his supporters as extremely talented, hard-working, and well organized. One of his professors writes “He is very charismatic and can capture the attention of the students.” He is also praised for his ability to connect to non-science majors and explain technical concepts in a way that is accessible to all students.

He is given particular praise for his accomplishment with the “Origins” class. As the course’s Physics professor notes, “The TA has to do an incredible job: help the student understand Big Bang while at the same time help them understand texts and concepts for which he/she has no formal training. Very few graduate students in the Physics department can pull this off and Eli did it twice with flying colors.” The Religious Studies professor for this same class describes Eli’s performance as “nothing less than excellent” and states, “It is an extraordinary lecture given with clarity, and perhaps most important real passion which energizes the students. It is amazing to watch an intellectual fireworks show in the classroom.”

His students praise him for his passion and enthusiasm in teaching. One student states that Mr. Quetin is “very successful in motivating the students to gain interest in not only the lecture itself but also on the field of science.” Another of his students credits Elijah for inspiring him to pursue studies in Physics: “It would be no exaggeration to consider Eli one of the main figures in helping me find my path in the study of Physics. It is rare to find an individual so thoroughly and actively immersed in the material and tangents of their subject of study, and rarer still to inspire the same in students and others.”

For his hard work and excellence in teaching, Elijah Quetin is awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Congratulations!