Graduate Students

What is a Graduate Student?

A graduate student is any part-time or full-time student registered in any graduate program at York University.  A graduate student may or may not have a funding package which includes a GAship, RAship or TAship.  Nonetheless, all of our workshops, courses and events are open and free for all graduate students, although some have prerequisites.

Workshops, Courses and Events

See this page for a complete description of all the workshops, courses and events on offer from the Teaching Commons, and to book a place.

Awards, Grants and Fellowships

There are many awards, grants and fellowships available to support teaching in Higher Education. We have listed many from within and beyond York. If you know of any that are not included, please let us know.

*If you are not receiving our Graduate Student Newsletter and would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your contact information (preferred email address) to and we would be happy to add you to our mailing list.

Graduate Student Monthly Blog:

Richard Jarrell Teaching Assistant Award
By Uzma NadeemUzma

It was one of the best moments of my life when I received an email from the Chair of my Department that I have been selected as a recipient of the 2017 Richard Jarrell Teaching Assistant Award in the Faculty of Science. This award is named after Professor Richard Jarrell, a professor of Natural Science and program coordinator of the Science and Technology Studies.  I am a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Biology and finished my Master’s degree at York in the same discipline. I have been teaching students for many years. During my studies at York, I got an opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and apply my teaching skills.

Being a Biology TA, I worked as a Lab Demonstrator, Tutorial Leader, Marker, Grader and Lab Coordinator. Over these years as a Teaching Assistant, I strive to engage, challenge and inspire growth in my students. I foster a positive learning environment in my classroom and provide a variety of instructional techniques to effectively engage students in class. Students are always at the center of my lesson planning and I motivate, encourage and engage students in the learning process. In order to attain these results, my most effective teaching tool is to create the curiosity about topics in the class. According to research, curiosity is the joy of exploration; it supercharges learning process and helps students to retain new information. I found that this hidden force not only triggers the learning process but also seems to be very contagious while students are working in groups.  Also fostering a curious environment helps to cross-pollinate questions and brings new ideas in the classroom. I always deliver course contents in an organized way and provide students rationale as to why these contents are important to know. However, I believe my role in teaching is as a facilitator to facilitate the learning environment in which students can achieve their goals set in their education.

Along with my research and teaching duties, I joined Teaching Commons to further bolster my pedagogical knowledge, techniques and skills.  During workshops and programs offered by Teaching Commons such as the TA Certificate in Teaching (TACT) and Senior Teaching Assistant (STA) certification programs, I further augment my knowledge on teaching and learning innovation. I would like to say that Teaching Commons is a place that helps individuals to explore and share their teaching and learning innovations across York University. The facilitators of the Teaching Commons act as a catalyst to enhance the pedagogical techniques and skills by providing everyone support, helpful resources and by connecting them with peer groups and senior TA mentors. Working as a Teaching Commons Tutor (TCT), I facilitate workshops, provide support and resources to fellow TAs.

For me, teaching is a lifetime journey to build the character, provide motivation and help students to determine their future. I believe that this award further encourages me to explore the teaching and learning innovation that can nurture the scholarly growth of students.

January_February 2017: Incorporating Online Environments into Tutorials by Melanie Wilmink

November_December 2016: Designing my First Lecture by Diane Sepa-Kishi

October 2016: Dealing with Conflict by Jessica Whitehead

September 2016: Teaching a New Course by Mariela Giuliano



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