Ph.D. student Tuo Zhao, left, with is Institute-wide Graduate TA Award at a Center for Teaching and Learning awards ceremony this spring. Zhao is with Rafael Marin and Jessica Fisch, who also won the top teaching awards for graduate students in 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Center for Teaching and Learning)
Ph.D. student Tuo Zhao is already making a difference in the lives of Georgia Tech’s undergraduates.
In fact, he’s proven to be one the best teaching assistants on campus, according to the Center for Teaching and Learning. The center honored Zhao as one of three Graduate TAs of the Year at the recent 2019 TA and Future Faculty Awards Day.
“I derive an immense amount of personal satisfaction interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and helping them to better understand the sometimes complex concepts central to engineering and design,” Zhao said. “The experience of interacting with students from diverse background also tremendously improves my communication skills, which is essential to a scholar who values communication with the public.”
Zhao won the teaching award for his work with students in Glaucio Paulino’s Origami Engineering course, but Zhao also has taught students in Structural Design Optimization and Mechanics of Deformable Bodies.
Earlier this year, he received a note from one of his students thanking him for putting so much effort into help the class learn and grow. He said the note is priceless.
“I became a graduate TA because I wanted to make positive impacts on students’ educational experience and learn how to become a better teacher,” said Zhao, who plans to dedicate his career to teaching and research as a tenure-track faculty member. “I feel that teaching not only helps the students grow, but it also inspires me in my professional career.”