University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Grad Scholarship

The Outstanding T.A. Award


A $200 award which recognizes the work of both graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. The deadline for nominations is March 31. The nomination form can be found here.

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Kalafut,Sean_TA Award_2014.JPG

2014 Sean Kalafut

Sean won an Outstanding T.A. Award. He and his advisor, Professor Roger Rusack, work on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector, which studies collisions between two beams of protons in the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. They focus on the improvement and maintenance of the electromagnetic portion of the CMS detector, and the search for right-handed W bosons and heavy neutrinos that may be produced in high energy proton-proton collisions. Sean will save half of his award for retirement and the other half for a university gym membership. Sean is originally from the southeastern US.

Tyler Kelley

2013 Tyler Kelley

Tyler is originally from Round Rock, Texas. He researches the starburst activity in dwarf galaxies with Professor Skillman and research associate Kristy McQuinn. Tyler will use the award towards his books and tuition for next semester.

Melanie Galloway

2013 Melanie Galloway

Melanie Galloway is originally from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Her research is on bar effects in AGN host galaxies, using data from the citizen science project Zooniverse. Her advisor is Lucy Fortson. Melanie used a small part of the award money to give her students a pizza party while they played Physics Jeopardy on the last day of their discussion. “I'm trying to convince myself to use the rest for bills, but I'll probably use some to buy the new Pokémon games.“

Alexey Finkel

2013 Alexey Finkel

Alexey is originally from Moscow, Russia. His research is in experimental particle physics. He is a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid group (one of the two main experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN), with professor Rusack as his adviser. Alexey does not have any specific plans for the monetary award.

Alexander Ditter

2012 Alexander Ditter

Alexander Ditter won a 2012 Outstanding T.A. Award. He does cosmology research with Professor Shaul Hanany. He plans to spend spend his award money on tuition and rent. He is originally from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Allison Kennedy

2012 Allison Kennedy

Allison Kennedy won a 2012 Outstanding T.A. Award. She works on the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) under Vuk Mandic and Prisca Cushman. She is currently focused on Monte Carlo simulations. She used a portion of the money to pay for a trip to visit her brother in Chicago. She is originally from Minnesota.

Barun Dhar

2011 Barun Dhar

Barun Dhar research involves modelling the structural variations of light and dark matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies and thereby gaining insights on their formation and evolution history. His advisor is Liliya Williams (in Astronomy). He is originally from Mumbai, India.

Ryo Namba

2012 Ryo Namba

Ryo Namba is in Marco Peloso's research group and works on particle cosmology, especially on the early universe. He is originally from Okayama, Japan.

Ilana Percher

2012 Ilana Percher

Ilana Percher won a 2012 Outstanding TA Award. She works with Allen Goldman, studying the effect of a metallic plane embedded in a semiconductor substrate has on the superconductivity of thin films and nanowires on top of the substrate. She plans to put the award money toward visiting my sister in India next year. Percher is originally from New Jersey.

Barun Dhar

2012 Barun Dhar

Barun Dhar won an 2012 Outstanding T.A. Award. His research is on modeling the density distribution of stars in galaxies and dark matter in clusters of galaxies and understanding possible connections between the baryonic and dark matter content in galaxies and
clusters of galaxies. He is originally from India.

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