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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2013-14 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Steven Osuna - Sociology

Steven Osuna is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. He received a Master’s degree in Mexican-American Studies from Cal State - Los Angeles in 2008, and another Master’s in Sociology from UCSB in 2011. His research interests include comparative and relational ethnic studies; transnationalism, globalization and migration; policing, militarization, and criminalization; and social theory. Since 2009, he has served as a Teaching assistant for 14 different classes at UCSB in the departments of Sociology and Black Studies.

His students praise Mr. Osuna’s teaching style for what he describes as “active learning and participation.” One student who has taken several of Mr. Osuna’s classes writes, “So often, we as students find ourselves in a classroom in which we are merely receivers of knowledge, rather than the creators of it. Steven provides an environment as an educator in which we can participate in the creation of knowledge.” And another of his students states, “Steven does not give you the answers but rather points out questions that push one to look with a critical perspective.”

One of his faculty references, for whom he has worked as a TA for five classes, comments that “Steven is an exemplary mentor to undergraduate students and an excellent instructor in his own right.” He is also praised for his “sharp intellect” and for being “ambitious, hard-working, and creative.” Another of his faculty supporters, who began working with Mr. Osuna in 2010 notes, “What I soon came to find out was that Steven possessed unusual gifts as a teacher and mentor, with the undergraduates in his sections telling me over and over just how good he was, to a degree I have not encountered with any other TA in my 22 years of university teaching…”

Finally, many of his references comment not only on Mr. Osuna’s talent as an instructor, but also on his affable and approachable disposition. As one student notes, “Steven excels in making others feel comfortable around him.” And his faculty advisor writes of Steven, “He is a warm and likable person that makes our undergraduate students feel at ease and leads them to seek him out throughout my courses.”

Steven Osuna is awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for his hard work and dedicated teaching. Congratulations!