The Keller Center offers over 30 courses enrolling over 1300 students during an academic year. The success of the Center’s academic programming is due in large part to the contributions of our graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) and undergraduate course assistants (UCAs). Each year we attract talented, engaged, and passionate assistants who are able to provide insight, guidance, and support to both our diverse student population and our dynamic faculty. We are grateful to them all for their time and enthusiasm.

Each year we acknowledge a few assistants who stand out among the rest, who “go above and beyond,’ who make a positive impact to the academic experience. This year we are recognizing six assistants whom our faculty nominated based on their outstanding performance and sincere dedication to Keller Center’s vision of bridging disciplines to ensure that all students are prepared to put science and technology to use in solving critical societal challenges.

Keller Center’s 2019 Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award Winners

TA Somya Bajaj, *19 

For her contributions to EGR 488: Designing Ventures to Change the World. Nominated by John Danner. “She brought her own grassroots development expertise (the topic of her first book while still in college) to bear as the class explored how entrepreneurial solutions can advance the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. She was a tremendous resource to me, but more importantly, to every one of the students we shared.”

TA Kenny Chao, *19

For his contributions to EGR 200: Creativity, Innovation, and DesignEGR 381: Design for Understanding, and EGR 487: Advanced Problem Solving through Design Thinking. Nominated by Sheila Pontis. “Kenny is an exceptional, committed, responsive and extremely reliable TA. His input has been instrumental to strengthen the overall quality of students’ academic performance.”

TA Jessica Leung, *19

For her contributions to both sections of EGR 200: Creativity, Innovation, and Design. Nominated by both Chris MacPherson *08 and Rafe Steinhauer ’07. “What makes Jessica so remarkable is her ability to both support her students and to challenge them to go above what is expected.”
“In my two years at Princeton, Jessica has been the best TA that I have had because of how committed she is to helping me learn and grow as a person. Even now, despite not being in the EGR 200 course anymore, I go to Jessica for advice about my educational trajectory.” - EGR 200 student

UCA Dimitris Ntaras, ’21 

For his contributions to FRS 158: So, You Want to Change the World? Nominated by Marty Johnson ‘81. “The students appreciate his personal investment in the issues and their success. I am lucky to have his help!”

UCA Jordan Stallworth, ’20

For her contributions to EGR 498: Special Topics in Entrepreneurship: Rethinking Social Profit Organizations. Nominated by Marty Johnson, ’81. “As an experienced student entrepreneur, Jordan has a depth of understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing young social entrepreneurs, which makes her an excellent UCA for her peers.” 

TA Mauricio Loyola Vergara

For his contributions to Engineering Projects in Community Service course sequence. Nominated by Michael Littman. “Mauricio has been the main force in organizing the EPICS Maker Space and to manage nearly 100 students on that team. His dedication is absolutely remarkable.”
Thank you to all our dedicated and essential assistants!