Orange Alert

2020 Outstanding TA Award: Noah Wilson

Noah Wilson portrait

Posted on: May 7, 2020

Congratulations to Noah Wilson, doctoral candidate in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program, for being awarded a 2020 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Selection for the Outstanding TA award is made by a university-wide committee of faculty recognized for their teaching excellence, and is given to approximately the top 4% of all TAs campus wide.

In response to receiving this award, Noah says, “I have learned a great deal about pedagogy from my peers, mentors, and students during my time at Syracuse. I feel fortunate to have worked alongside many amazing teachers these past four years, and I am honored to receive this award. In a time where many of us are living fragmented lives across various spaces digital or otherwise, I think it's important to encourage students to bring their full selves into the classroom through their compositional practices. My time working with students has been a hallmark of my experience at this institution, and I look forward to continuing my development as a teacher.”

The following are excerpts from letters nominating Noah for this award:

“Noah is able to blend a pedagogy that delivers content while always being mindful of the different ways in which students learn. In one class I observed, for example, he discussed DIY publishing while asking students to visually represent their research projects. As students worked across modalities, Noah moved around the classroom and checked in with them individually. He created a space for students to interrogate and articulate their arguments, striking just the right balance in a class students found enjoyable and challenging. During another visit, I saw how Noah taught a lesson revolving around the multiple ways in which writers compose. Through a series of interrelated activities, Noah encouraged students to investigate writing across genre and across a range of disciplines, Using diverse texts to analyze the moves writers make, i.e., what does it mean to write a paper in the sciences as compared to the humanities, or in the academy as compared to the popular press? By asking students to delve into answering such questions, he offered a reflective, analytic pedagogy that was extremely effective. During both of my visits to his class, everyone appeared to be on task, and it was clear that students were enjoying discussing the course content with Noah and one another. It is this type of community-building that Noah does extremely well, as I saw during pedagogy workshops with his peers. In a group with new teachers, Noah was always engaged, operating with a sense of humility and generosity, and he took the initiative to discuss pedagogy with others outside of our meetings. He shared assignments with his peers and was deeply committed to learning new techniques and strategies.”—Patrick W. Berry, Chair, Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

“As a scholar, he has a talent for tracing complex relations among rhetorical situations and the representational strategies of writers and readers. As a teacher, he is committed to helping his students articulate their own needs and desires for writing and to supporting their pursuit of these in and outside the contexts of his courses. His thoughtful and theoretically grounded approach to teaching has helped me better understand and reflect on my own classes and students. In his lower division teaching, Noah takes care to design courses in line with programmatic objectives that focus on fostering genre and rhetorical awareness. His activities and assignments often ask students to identify and negotiate genre conventions, engage in rhetorical analysis and argue responsibility and ethically. Noah’s classes are engaging, thought-provoking, and clearly productive for students’ work. In his upper division courses—Professional and Technical Writing (WRT 307) and Digital Writing (WRT 302), I’ve admired the ways in which Noah adapts shared materials, including standardized syllabi, to integrate rhetorical theory and professional and technical writing in ways that coincided with his own strengthens as a teacher and the needs and interests of his students. In addition to supporting students’ individual needs and goals, Noah fosters a sense of collective purpose in his courses by encouraging engagement with the diversity of perspectives, experiences, resources, and rhetorical strategies present in every class.”—Brice Nordquist, Assistant Professor of Writing & Rhetoric, Graduate Director

“Taking WRT 307 with Noah made me realize the importance and prevalence of communication in professional workplaces. Noah loved to engage with the class as if he were a student himself. He encouraged all his students to speak their mind, considering they had a logical reasoning behind their thoughts. Noah demonstrates superb leadership skills because he consistently checked up on students while asking for our suggestions to support and improve his teaching.—Ginger Chan, SU student

“Not only were we working on developing our writing skills through essay form, we were challenged to work across multiple types of media. This included powerpoints, prezis, videos, and audio logs. This was my favorite aspect of Noah’s class. Writing, which held a negative connotation in my mind, was suddenly fun and exciting. After taking Noah’s educational and exciting WRT 105 course I felt prepared for the next level of my writing requirements and for the rest of my college career.” —Joshua Keen, SU student

“The projects Noah created were genuinely enjoyable and engaging; he seemed to actively choose projects which students could relate to or may understand. All the topics he used as examples for writing were topical and creative; he chose things like rap music or social media to examine, along with examining traditional media as well. Noah was very engaged in the class and made an effort to have everyone participate, and group work was included often in class to promote collaboration. Noah was also very clear and helpful if you needed help in or out of class, and seemed excited to make sure that the class material was understood by everyone.”—Katie Mulligan