You are here: Home / Graduate / Graduate Awards / Student Teaching Awards

Physics Department Graduate Teaching Award Winners

Main Content

“The university only exists to find and to communicate the truth” – Robert Maynard Hutchins

In addition to collaborating with faculty and postdocs to produce new world-class science, our Physics graduate students contribute in important ways to the educational mission of our department. Each Spring, the Physics Department honors several of its best Teaching Assistants with Graduate TA Awards.

Since Spring 2005 this has included our highest award, the Stan Shepherd Teaching Award, named in honor former Penn State Physics faculty colleague, Stan Shepherd. The Stanley Shepherd Graduate Teaching Assistant Award is given to a senior Physics graduate student who has excelled in teaching and who has contributed to the instructional mission of the Physics  Department above and beyond their assigned TA duties.

Stan Shepherd was a Penn State Physics faculty member from 1961 until his retirement in 1991. He was born in Jamaica and received his education there and in the United Kingdom. He joined the Penn State system as an assistant professor of Physics at the PSU Altoona campus in 1961, moving to the University Park campus in 1965. During his tenure at PSU he won numerous teaching awards, including the C.I. Noll from the Eberly College of Science (1972) and the Amoco Teaching Award (1979). He was a much beloved teacher and advisor to many generations of Physics (and other) majors. After his death, friends in the Physics Department collected funds to endow the “Stanley Shepherd Graduate Teaching Assistant Award” which is “…given to a senior Physics graduate student who has excelled in teaching and who has contributed to the instructional mission of the Physics Department above and beyond their assigned TA duties. This award honors Prof. Shepherd whose record of teaching and service to undergraduate students at Penn State was marked by such a commitment to excellence.”

Winners in recent years were:

  • 2017-2018
    • Lavish Pabbi (Stan Sheperd Award)
    • Justin Rodriguez
    • Monica Rincon Ramirez
    • Jamyang Phuntsok
    • Sachin Vaidya


  • 2016-2017
    • Beatrice Bonga(Stan Sheperd Teaching award)
    • Jonathan Guglielmon
    • Sean Crowe
    • Justin Rodriguez
    • Zhong Lin


  • 2015-2016
    • Sumithra Surendra Lal (Stan Sheperd Teaching award)
    • Michael Bell
    • James Delaunay
    • Shafat Mubin
    • Lavish Pabbi


  • 2014-2015
    • Seth Hulsey (Stan Sheperd Teaching award)
    • Piali Aditya
    • Brian Zakrewski
    • Justin Lanfranchi
    • Alan Coleman


  • 2013-2014                                                                  Beatrice Bonga, Shan Gao, Karan Govil, Warren Wright
    • Warren Wright (Stan Shepherd Teaching Award)
    • Beatrice Bonga
    • Shan Gao
    • Karen Govil
    • Seth Hulsey


  • 2012-2013
    • Michael Koop (Stan Shepherd Teaching Award)           
    • Aruna Kesavan
    • Jason Wittenbach
    • Sumithra Surendra Lal
    • Shaun Mills


  • 2011-2012
    • George Paily (Stan Shepherd Teaching Award)
    • Garret Evans
    • Thomas Flanagan
    • Warren Wright
    • Ian Gilbert


  • 2010-2011
    • Colin Campbell (Stan Shepherd Teaching Award)
    • George Paily
    • Andrew Balk
    • J. D. Dulny


2000-2009 Recipients                                         1990-1999 Recipients


Penn State University Graduate Teaching TA Fellowship 2008 - Gerardo Giordano (worked with Prof. Irina Mocioiou)