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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2012-13 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Nicole L. Pacino - History

Nicole Pacino is a PhD candidate in the Department of History. She received her Masters degree in Latin American & Iberian Studies in 2007, after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 2002 from DePauw University. She has served as a Teaching Assistant for classes in History, Writing, and Latin & Iberian Studies at UCSB. Her classes include: World History, Latin American History, African History, and Academic Writing, among others.

One of the History Department faculty supporters declares flatly, “…[I]n my 30-year teaching career, Nicole is the best TA I have ever worked with… In every section I have observed, she has brought new insights to material I thought I knew so well. She is tough but fair, rigorous but approachable.”

Another of her professors agrees, and shares a similar assessment: “When visiting her sections, I was impressed by her ability to ask profound questions, to guide students in critical reading, and to facilitate discussion. Further, in her unassuming manner, Nicole succinctly summarized students’ interventions and added her own observations that pushed the analysis of a primary source text to a more sophisticated level.”

Ms. Pacino’s students praise her for her involving teaching style. One of the students in Nicole’s African history class writes, “In an area of history that was relatively new to Nicole, she generated meaningful discussions over difficult and often controversial topics without losing control of the classroom… Our section learned how to analyze history in a way that enabled us to think critically about current events. This skill has had a lasting impact on my understanding of both history and the world.” A student in Nicole’s writing class states “She was a fantastic teacher and used teaching methods that were not only tremendously helpful and beneficial to the class, but were also fun and engaging.”

Finally, one of her students writes, “As I continue on my path in the hopes of becoming an educator at the college level, I can only dream to inspire my students the way Nicole has inspired me.”

Nicole Pacino is awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for her hard work and dedicated teaching. Congratulations!