UM Rosenstiel School Names Fisch, Harford and Banker Top Teaching Assistants

MIAMI- August 13, 2013 --Students Jay Fisch, Bill Harford and Geoffrey Banker are the recipients of the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science’s 2012-2013 Teaching Assistant (TA) Excellence award.

“Our TAs are a very hard working and dedicated group of people who are integral to our programs,” said Amy Clement, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. “There were so many nominations for these awards that it was really difficult to pick the winners. We are lucky to have such a great group of people working to make our undergraduate and graduate programs that much better!”

Jay Fisch
Fisch was the TA for Dr. Peter Glynn's undergraduate Invertebrate Zoology course. The class focused on the invertebrate phyla, or ocean animals without a backbone. For the classes weekly labs he collected live organisms that were being studied from the beach area behind the Rosenstiel School. This provided the students the opportunity to visualize what we were discussing in class and gain an appreciation for the variety of marine invertebrates that South Florida has to offer. Fellow student and former TA excellence award winner Kristine Stump, commented: “Jay was excellent and generated so much interest that he actually got students to volunteer to go out with him on his collecting trips in their spare time.”

Bill Harford
Harford served as TA for ‘Population Modeling and Management for Fisheries and Conservation Biology,’ taught by Dr. Jerry Ault. The course focuses on the use of mathematical and computer intensive models to assess population responses to exploitation and environmental changes. Harford said he had a great opportunity to improve his own understanding of the subject matter, which is a formative class for fisheries science students. According to Professor Ault, “Bill was simply an incredible TA. Students in the class wrote that he was consistently available, and that he was there when they needed him to help with a smile.”

Geoffrey Banker
Banker was TA for the ‘Environmental Statistics’ class, taught by Professor Will Drennan. This course has a large enrollment with a diverse group of undergraduate students. One of his students shared that he ‘showed me how important quantitative skills are in the field of marine science.’ Students found him ‘enthusiastic, patient, and knowledgeable.’

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

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