Slavic PhD candidate Natalie McCauley was selected by Rackham Graduate School to receive an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for 2018. She was chosen from an impressive group of nominees representing schools and colleges across U-M. The award carries a stipend of $1,000; the awards ceremony will take place on April 19, 2018.

McCauley received praise from students on her evaluation forms for her teaching of Russian classes and discussion sections of lecture courses:

"I was amazed by our instructors' great ability to present, explain, and make comprehensible such foreign ideas and concepts to our class.”;

“I greatly appreciated her individualized lessons that engaged and allowed us to learn outside of direct reading of the textbook, all the while complimenting and illuminating its core lessons/concepts. The amount of active participation and practice in class proved extremely helpful to my personal learning/retention of the material. I benefited greatly from the personalized worksheets/reviews and lessons”;

"Natalie is absolutely fantastic. She is an organized,engaging, and knowledgeable teacher. She was sometimes really funny in class,understood what students were struggling with and needed to know, and her teaching style was clear and succinct. I learned so much in discussions because of her!”

Apart from McCauley's teaching in the classroom, the Slavic department appreciates her willingness to share her experience with other GSIs in the department by serving as the Graduate Student Mentor. McCauley shared how to wirte a CV for language teaching positions and presented on a variety of teaching topics, including the importance of authentic materials and how to integrate the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in language teaching. At November's sneak peek event, she demonstrated a variety of teaching techniques, focusing on the use of authentic web-based materials for language teaching at different levels.

Language Program Coordinator Svitlana Rogovyk calls McCauley "a skillful pedagogue" who "presents new concepts in an organized, logical manner that allows students to easily understand the lesson." Rogovyk praises her for her "amazing ability to infuse culture, current affairs, and games" into her Russian instruction. Rogovyk says, "McCauley possesses all three core qualities of a great teacher: knowledge of the subject, the ability to convey to students an understanding of that knowledge, and the ability to make the material interesting and relevant to students."

Warmest congratulations to Natasha!