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 2013 for Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant).

Steve SinSteven Sin, Political Science

Steve Sin teaches with large numbers of Political Science students. He sees it as his mission to help students think critically and objectively about the problems that face the world today.

Students respond well to his classes, praising his passion, dedication, sense of humor, and ability to get them to care about the subject as much as he does. One student wrote: “Steve has this uncanny ability to cultivate a comfortable environment where ‘out of the box' thinking can evolve.” Another wrote: “he broadened my way of looking at the world, and taught me to question things that had never crossed my mind before.”

Part of his ability to get students to care comes from the fact that he cares very much about his students. Students and faculty regularly comment on his approachability. He will go over an assignment and coach a student until they both see that the student has understood the material and can succeed in next steps. As a result, students return to talk with Mr. Sin about study skills in general, and for career planning advice.
Faculty praise Mr. Sin's initiative, creativity and command of innovative teaching strategies. He has developed rubrics for grading that have been adopted by faculty into their own syllabi. He has designed simulations that have been so successful that they have now become what happens in all sections of those classes.

In addition research publications, Mr. Sin has co-authored an article on pedagogy that focuses on active learning exercises that help students understand comparative politics.

Graduate students value Mr. Sin's knack for creating a collegial environment in the department, and find his approaches to teaching inspiring. He has been a key figure in growing the Graduate Association of Political Science and creating a collaborative spirit among graduate students.

Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant)

Mohammad Qneibi Steve Sin
Mohammad Qneibi
Steve Sin
Political Science

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