Announcing 2021-22 Graduate Student Awards

Submitted by Karoliina Kuisma on

Every year the department of Scandinavian Studies awards an outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award and Graduate Service Award. The recipients of these awards are nominated by faculty. The graduate students often provide undergraduates with their initial introductions to Scandinavian and Baltic Studies and make our department a vibrant place to be. They design and teach their own first-year language courses and assist professors teaching in large lecture courses. They also give guest lectures, work one-on-one with students, and contribute a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to grading. Teaching this year and negotiating the twists and turns of the pandemic has been no small feat.


The Graduate Student Teaching Award recognizes an ASE who has demonstrated exceptional teaching efforts in their role as a graduate student in Scandinavian Studies. This year’s award goes to: Helen Durst, for her work teaching first year Danish. Helen’s commitment to building community with her students may start in the classroom but it extends well beyond, to extra-curricular events like playing kubb on the quad. Her faculty nomination reads, “Helen's dedication to student learning and innovative approaches in the communicative language classroom have inspired and enlivened our first-year DANISH language courses. She has also been an active participant in the TA Workshop and other teacher training activities.


Our Graduate Service Award recognizes an ASE who has gone above and beyond in contributing to our departmental outreach efforts, to demonstrating professionalism, and to bolstering intellectual community in the department. This year’s award goes to: Elizabeth Stang. Elizabeth has been nominated particularly for her contributions to the intellectual life of the department. She has provided invaluable service to faculty as an extremely organized and conscientious research assistant. In our department, graduate students often participate as guests in upper-division language courses. In that capacity as well, Elizabeth has been a model to her peers. As her faculty nomination reads, “In both graduate and undergraduate settings, Elizabeth demonstrates a cantankerous and expressive persistence when engaging with new ideas, texts, and modes of academic writing.”


Thank you, Helen and Elizabeth, for your contributions and congratulations!