Chioma Onwuchekwa, a final year Ph.D. candidate of environmental science-chemistry at Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA, has been awarded the Northrup Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The honour makes her the first Nigerian, African and international student to ever win this award.
The award is given to teaching assistants who, while carrying out their duties, possess high ethical standards, dependability, punctuality, preparedness, teamwork, dedication to teaching and a demonstrated high level of professionalism.
The professor who presented the award, described Chioma, whose research focuses on microplastics in aquatic ecosystems, as “an absolute pleasure to work with”.
He also said that “Chioma constantly received the highest ratings when evaluated by the students and is generally loved by students, faculty and staff of the department.”
Chioma is on a teaching scholarship, so her studies are funded by my college. They pay her school fees and a monthly stipend.
In exchange, “I carry out teaching duties referred to as a Teaching Assistant.
“For the past four years, I have been an instructor for general chemistry laboratory, where I teach, supervise, examine and evaluate first year university students on principles of chemistry.
“On Friday, April 30, I was awarded the Northrup Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for the 2020/2021 academic year,” Chioma gushed over the Northrup award.