Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

2020 Graduate Student Teaching Award

The Graduate Student Teaching Award honors graduate student excellence in instruction.

Ethan Bottone

Ethan BottoneOriginally from eastern Virginia, Ethan Bottone is a fourth-year PhD candidate in geography whose dissertation work focuses on recovering the mobility and motility work of black Americans during the Jim Crow era. His numerous departmental honors include the Special Award for Extraordinary Service, publication awards, and the Outstanding Teaching Associate Award. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, he has served as vice president of the GeoGrads student organization and as the graduate student representative to the geography faculty.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

To me, being a Volunteer means sacrificing for the good of others. Through my teaching, I strive to be a Volunteer by working to create a flexible, inclusive, and accessible class environment. The efforts I put into this have yielded amazing relationships with students and faculty alike, and have pushed me to become a professor like those who have previously inspired me.

Chloe Lash

Chloe LashA fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Chloe Lash studies seed dispersal by ants and how ants defend against their diseases. A committed teacher and mentor to her undergraduate students, she has achieved a scholar-level certification from the Center for the Integration of Teaching, Research and Learning. She has mentored 11 undergraduates on independent research projects during her time at UT. She plans to graduate in the summer and begin working as an assistant professor of biology at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

Being a Volunteer means watching out for each other and working to better our community.

Amanda Rigell

Amanda RigellAmanda Rigell is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in literacy education. Her research interests include instructional decision making, reading motivation, and the reading-writing connection. She is a licensed reading specialist and has 13 years of experience as a middle and high school classroom teacher.

What is your favorite memory on Rocky Top?

My favorite memory on Rocky Top is the memory of listening to Garth Brooks sing “Unanswered Prayers” in Neyland Stadium with my husband and my best friend from my doc cohort last fall. It felt like a great celebration of family, friends, and the hard but rewarding work we’re doing together!

Paige Walker

Paige WalkerPaige Walker fulfilled a lifelong goal in March when she successfully defended her dissertation to attain her PhD in English with a concentration in rhetoric, writing, and linguistics focusing on composition. “My academic interests are in social media discourse and composition,” she says, “and I consider teaching to be my vocation.” The mother of three daughters, Walker has taught high school, community college, and university students for over 15 years.

What is your favorite memory on Rocky Top?

My favorite memory is a collection of memories centered around the people I have met and friendships I have made with fellow graduate students, faculty, and my own students. My trip to Thailand to present with fellow Vols at the Symposium on Second Language Writing has to be a highlight of these moments, though.