From left, Steven Jackson, vice provost for academic innovation; Derina Samuel, Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) associate director; Cornelia Ye Outstanding Teaching award winners Judith Tauber and Amanda Domingues; and Rob Vanderlan, CTI executive director.

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CTI announces winners of the Cornelia Ye Award for excellence in graduate teaching

The Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) is pleased to announce that doctoral candidates Judith Tauber and Amanda Almeida Domingues are the 2023-2024 recipients of the Cornelia Ye Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Established in 2012 by Mao Ye, Ph.D. ’11, in honor of then-President David Skorton’s commitment to teaching, the award is given annually to two outstanding TAs, one domestic and one international, who have demonstrated dedication and excellence in their teaching responsibilities. The award is named after Ye’s daughter, Cornelia, who is named after Cornell.

This year, both Mao and Cornelia Ye were on hand to present the award to Tauber and Domingues at the University-Wide GET SET Teaching Conference, held April 20.

Judith Tauber: Domestic Recipient

Domestic recipient Judith Tauber is a doctoral candidate concentrating in Italian and French cultural history in the field of Romance studies. In her research, she investigates the development of narratives on Italian and French social protests in the 1960s and 1970s.

Judith Tauber, doctoral candidate in Romance studies

Tauber is competent in six languages and because of this is able to cross cultural and linguistic boundaries in her work, which focuses on social change, cultural representations, and the functioning of power, as well as the meanings of violence and consensus.

According to Tauber, “Education should provide students with tools for understanding the world around them. This principle guides my teaching of language and culture classes, so I adopt a multicultural, student-centered approach encouraging student autonomy and collaboration.

“By the end of my courses, students should feel empowered to think critically about different cultures—including their own—and apply the material to their lives. As such, they acquire a greater awareness of cultural differences and social justice issues they can use to better understand their world,” Tauber said.

In addition to teaching Italian language, Tauber is actively involved in the Cornell Prison Education Program, where this summer she’s teaching a course on Italian cinema. This year, she is also the recipient of the Stephen Russell Family Teaching Award, which honors an exceptional devotion to teaching in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Amanda Almeida Domingues: International Recipient

International recipient Amanda Almeida Domingues is a doctoral candidate in science & technology studies. Domingues describes her research as studying “how scientists who work with ancient human remains have mobilized ethical principles and practices in their engagements with communities, a practice that has gained increasing importance in collaborative research today.”

Amanda Domingues, doctoral candidate in science and technology studies.

For Domingues, “teaching in higher education is inseparable from research and service,” and all three are intrinsic to her dedication to epistemic justice – the practice of ensuring equality of access and credibility to knowledge for all learners and knowledge-sharers.  

“My work across these areas strives to increase epistemic justice, that is, to secure against forms of domination that undermine individuals' capacities to know and to be recognized as credible,” Domingues said.

Domingues credits science and technology studies for helping her bring her dedication to epistemic justice into the classroom.

“I strongly advocate for a perspective of epistemic justice that focuses on rectifying inequalities in knowledge, ensuring that all voices are respected and included in the search and sharing of knowledge …In the classroom, it is essential to actively challenge the colonial aspects of higher education and advocate for change through initiatives that promote diversity and inclusivity,” Domingues said.

The Cornelia Ye Award selection committee includes both faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, and the CTI does not weigh in on their selections. This year’s committee included Marianella Casasola, professor of psychology and senior associate dean for undergraduate affairs, College of Human Ecology (CHE); Mark Sarvary, senior lecturer and director of the Investigative Biology Teaching Laboratories in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS); Kimberly Hochstedler Webb ’24, a doctoral candidate in the field of statistics and data science; Yi Lu, doctoral student in the field of psychology; and Cami Armendariz, ’24, a senior majoring in environment & sustainability (CALS).

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