2012-2013

Zijian “Donnie” Xia Receives PLA of the Year Award

The PLA of the Year Award and PLA Achievement Awards were given for the first time in 2013, to recognize the significant contribution of all types of undergraduate peer learning assistants and tutors to high quality undergraduate education at WPI.

The PLA of the Year Award and PLA Achievement Awards were given for the first time in 2013, to recognize the significant contribution of all types of undergraduate peer learning assistants and tutors to high quality undergraduate education at WPI.

Peer instruction is a powerful component of teaching and learning at WPI. At the Student Recognition Awards ceremony on April 8, nine undergraduates were recognized for their commitment and effectiveness as tutors and other types of instructional assistants.  

Zijian “Donnie” Xia, a Chemistry and Biochemistry major in the Class of 2014, received the inaugural PLA of the Year Award and $500 prize for his dedication and understanding of how students learn and his passion for teaching chemistry.  Donnie was cited for his talent of explaining the chemistry behind the equations in a way that keeps the focus on the fundamental science and moves students from memorization to deep understanding.   Students described Donnie as caring, non-judgmental, and supportive.  He convinces students not to give up and boosts their confidence, providing them with inspiration that helps them reach their potential and stimulates their interest in chemistry.   

The following undergraduates also received PLA Achievement Awards:  

  • Aaron Benjamin, a tutor and MASH leader in the Academic Resources Center
  • Alex Chen, a MASH leader Nick DeMarinis, a peer tutor in the Writing Center
  • Shane Fagan, a tutor and MASH leader in the Academic Resources Center
  • Jennifer Mann, a tutor in the Academic Resources Center
  • Barbara Sun, a MASH leader and also a tutor in the Writing Center
  • Cathy Wang, a tutor in the Academic Resources Center and PLA in the Math Department
  • Shane Waterman, a tutor in the Physics Department

May 8, 2013

 
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