Veronica Hicks, Ph.D. candidate in Art Education, was one of ten graduate students to receive the 2016 Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award during the inaugural Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 27 at the Nittany Lion Inn.
The award is jointly sponsored by the Graduate School, through the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award endowment, and the Office of the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education. Recipients must have served as a graduate assistant for at least two semesters within the last two years. The award is named for Harold F. Martin, who earned his doctoral degree in education in 1954 and retired as a director in the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Each of the award winners demonstrates a commitment to excellence, going above and beyond classroom instruction to shape the lives of their students, who regard these recognized graduate students as some of their most inspiring instructors. Their passion and dedication exemplify the significant impact Penn State’s graduate students have on the quality of instruction in undergraduate classrooms throughout the University.
Hicks wrote that her mission as an artist and educator is to empower learners “to aspire for greatness.” As an instructor for Integrative Arts 062, she re-imagined the course and revised various conceptual, content, and art production elements. In the words of one nominator, Hicks possesses “a heightened consciousness about injustice and active leadership in developing art education experiences to build self-confidence and work toward an equitable, safe, and empowering world for girls and women.”
"I am honored to receive the Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award," said Hicks. "My appreciation extends to my SoVA faculty advisors and mentors who have exemplified how teaching can be active, interactive, and transformative. Because of them, I stand on the shoulders of giants while discovering my true teaching potential."