Philip J. Amsterdam Graduate Teaching Award

Nominate for 2022 Faculty Awards!

The Philip J. Amsterdam Graduate Teaching Award honors individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to GW teaching and recognizes the important contribution our graduate students make to the educational process. In 2003, President Stephen J. Trachtenberg and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald R. Lehman established the Philip J. Amsterdam Graduate Teaching Assistants Awards for Outstanding Teaching. Winners are selected by a committee and receive $500 for professional development. The recipients will be honored at the Faculty Honors Ceremony during the Spring semester.


Award Criteria

This award is conferred to Graduate Assistants (GAs) who will have had at least three semesters of GA experience by the end of the fall semester; Instructional Assistants are eligible for this award if their work has been in a teaching capacity. Nominated GAs/IAs must have outstanding evaluations from their students and their supervising professors, as well as outstanding academic work. Winners will be selected based on the following qualities:

  • Enthusiasm, effectiveness, and commitment to improvement of the teaching and learning process.
  • Ability to engage and inspire students both within and outside the classroom.
  • High standards of professionalism and collegiality.
  • Commitment to the educational enterprise of the University.

Selection Process

GAs may be nominated by any GW student or faculty member. Departments or programs that appoint Graduate Assistants may also nominate or support candidates by submitting the following materials electronically as a single PDF document:

  • Letter of support (1–2 pages) from a faculty mentor or supervisor detailing the GA’s accomplishments.
  • Students’ comments on the GA’s semester feedback, with numerical ratings where available (maximum of five pages).
  • Any other supporting materials the nominee wishes to include (max 10 pages)

The entire dossier should be a maximum of 15 pages; material beyond the 15-page limit will not be considered. 

*Nomination materials will not be returned*

Award winners will be selected by a committee consisting of a member of the student association, previous Trachtenberg and Bender award winners, “external” faculty who has not won either award, and a faculty senate representative. The recipients will be honored at the Faculty Honors Ceremony in the spring.


Nominations for 2021-2022 will be open from October 11th through November 29th. Submission packets from candidates endorsed by their department are due to The Office for Faculty Affairs by February 27th.

Please contact The Office for Faculty Affairs (202-994-0143; [email protected]) with any questions.

List of previous winners of the Philip J. Amsterdam Graduate Teaching Award