Shilan Motamedvaziri, teaching assistant in NJIT's Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, received the Excellence in Instruction by a Teaching Assistant on Sept. 15, 2010 at the NJIT University Convocation, an awards ceremony with a special welcoming ceremony for the freshman class. The event was held on Lubetkin Field at J. Malcolm Simon Stadium, on the NJIT campus. A reception for the award winners followed.
Traditionally, this event honors select NJIT faculty, staff, and students who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period. "We reward them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT's commitment to excellence," said Ian Gatley, PhD, provost.
C. Stephen Cordes, managing director and member of the executive board of ING Clarion Partners, a leading investment advisory firm specializing in real estate, in New York City, delivered the keynote address. Cordes, who received NJIT's Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement last fall, graduated from NJIT in 1972 with a BS in industrial engineering. He heads the private equity real estate portfolio management group with assets under management of $23 billion. He holds a master's degree in public administration from Rutgers University and is chairman of the NJIT Albert Dorman Honors College Board of Visitors.
The citation read as follows:
The achievements of Shilan Motamedvaziri as a teaching assistant are truly outstanding. Ms. Motamedvaziri developed two recitation courses in the Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering and has taught these recitation sections six times. For these courses, she developed the syllabus, the lecture notes and the problem sets. In addition, she has served as a teaching assistant for twelve other courses. She develops well-prepared and well-structured lessons that challenge and motivate students. Her enthusiasm keeps students focused and makes students comfortable. She encourages questions and works to facilitate student learning. One professor writes, "In my 25 years at NJIT, I cannot recall any other teaching assistant who was better than Shilan."
Her most impressive accomplishment with regard to teaching may well be when a course instructor was in a car accident and was unable to continue teaching the course, for which Ms. Motamedvaziri was TA. She was asked to take over teaching the course, did so seamlessly and earned excellent evaluations. Finally, Ms. Motamedvaziri serves as vice president of NJIT's student chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering. She played a major role in the chapter's winning the "NJIT Club of the Year" award chosen by the Graduate Student Association in 2010.