University at Albany

Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant)

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Two faculty members received this tribute in 2011 for Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant).

Dawit DemissieDawit DemissieInformation Studies

Mr. Demissie teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the College of Computing and Information. He has the distinction of having been nominated by a group of students who were so excited about his teaching that they banded together to organize a nomination. One support letter stated: “Purely because of his unique teaching style and wit, we all took something extra from the course. Dawit brought material most of us have never heard of before and made the material almost second nature to us…because of this class I chose to become a TA in the Informatics Department, and I continue to practice the skills I learned from his class.”

Mr. Demissie is always prepared to meet students individually, even sacrificing his weekends to do so. But this does not mean that he is “easy”: on the first day of class he makes it clear to students what he expects from them throughout the semester as well as what students should expect of him. He has high standards for himself and his students, as they work to achieve academic excellence.

Mr. Demissie has a wonderful rapport with his students. His ratings on student evaluations underscore that he is a gifted instructor. He commands real respect from the students, who give spontaneous positive feedback to the department about his teaching. One student wrote that because Mr. Dawit counseled him not leave the University, he is now a senior and will graduate in a few days with an Information Science major and a Business minor.

Mr. Dawit is able to communicate complex ideas in his classes, is generous with his time and attention to students, and inspires them to reach higher than they thought they could. He combines a pleasant personality and sense of humor with self-discipline, perseverance, a passion for teaching, intellectual curiosity, and a deep commitment to scholarship.

Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant)

Dawit Demissie Matt Vogel

Information Studies
Matt Vogel

Students participate in more than 200 student clubs and honor societies, and enjoy a busy calendar of campus events.