Geosciences Doctoral Student Receives National Recognition as Outstanding Teaching AssistantJuly 25, 2018
by Liesbeth Powers, student newswriter
WACO, Texas (July 25, 2018) – Bart Yeates, a geosciences doctoral student in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, has been selected as a recipient of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for 2018.
“I’ve always loved teaching, and I feel like I’ve always had good rapport with my students so it was really nice to have something confirm that in a really big way,” Yeates said.
Yeates was nominated for the award by Sharon Browning, geosciences lab coordinator, and Dan Peppe, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program director for geosciences in the College of Arts & Sciences. The award recognized 11 students nationally this June, with each recipient receiving a one-year membership in NAGT and access to their online subscriptions.
“We nominated Bart because he has consistently been one of best teaching assistants since he started at Baylor,” Peppe said. “He’s received terrific student teaching evaluations and worked hard to help improve the courses he has taught as a graduate teaching assistant.”
Yeates has taught the lab portion of World Oceans for two years and enjoys changing students’ views about learning science.
“Getting students who said they hated science at first to enjoy my class is definitely the best part,” Yeates said. “I like making people a little bit interested in something they haven’t been interested in before.”
Awards from outside educational organizations, like NAGT, that honor outstanding teaching highlight the University’s commitment to undergraduate students.
“One of the enduring hallmarks of a Baylor education is a transformational undergraduate experience,” said Lee C. Nordt, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of geosciences. “Our graduate students are an integral part of the exceptional teaching environment at Baylor, as they work alongside our faculty, conducting impactful research and enriching the classroom experience for our students.”
Inspired by his high school teacher, Yeates hopes to work in the oil and gas industry field after receiving his doctorate and then teach at a high school or university.
“He was a big idol to me,” Yeates said. “I loved the way he taught, and I loved the material. I want to do the same thing he did – go into the industry for a while and maybe when I’m a little older I’ll retire and try to make a difference in a student’s life in the classroom.”
Yeates is working on his dissertation and recently returned from Canada, where he gathered data on the Duvernay Formation. For about five weeks, Yeates took analyses at a Core Center, where a large pipe is used to drill a cylinder of rock out of the deep subsurface. The dissertation focuses on the geochemistry and the organic biomarkers of the Duvernay.
Yeates’ decision to come to Baylor stemmed from a visit he made to campus and the culture he found in the geosciences department. He graduated with a master of science in geosciences in 2017 and decided to continue his studies in the same department.
“It’s a fairly small department and most of the department knows each other,” Yeates said. “We know about each other’s lives, we are all friends and do stuff together off campus. I really like that tight-knit culture of actually being personable with a lot of people.”
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.
ABOUT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES
The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.