Thank-a-Professor / Thank-a-TA
Read appreciation notes from Columbia students who share impactful learning experiences from the Fall and Spring 2020 semesters as part of the CTL’s Thank-a-Professor / Thank-a-TA initiative.
Thank you so much for your brilliant instruction, patience and commitment to our learning microeconomics. This is a tough semester for everyone, especially teachers, and you handled the challenges with grace and great humor. And most of all, endless thanks for the humanity you brought to being our teacher. Your understanding and generosity of spirit helped me more than I can say through a very tough semester.
Thank you for the effort you put into making the lectures as engaging as possible, the reading material very insightful and using different materials to make it seem like we are in the classroom like writing on pieces of paper on your wall, the clear erase board, polls, and fun introductions at the beginning of class. Thank you for being passionate about what you do, and I am glad you are a professor here at Columbia. This time has been very stressful, but this course is always something I look forward to.
Thank you so much Professor Johnson for being such a great LitHum instructor this semester! I always look forward to going to class and hearing what you have to say about each of the books we read. You are so knowledgeable and helpful in understanding the texts, and I really appreciate all of the work you put in to making the class enjoyable. Literature Humanities is like my safe space where I can go twice a week and just enjoy discussing literature, and I can’t wait to continue learning with you in the spring!
Thank you for everything you do for your students. Your class was so impactful for me this semester not only because of the content of the course but because of how you treated us and my learning from your empathy. Your class environment was both one of a safe space to feel comfortable and simultaneously a space where we got to push ourselves to be the professionals that we aspire to be. Your enthusiasm for the material and for our growth made each class a time for me to look forward to and I am truly saddened that the semester is ending and I won’t be learning from you every week. Thank you again for being you and everything you have taught me!
Thank you for your unwavering support you’ve given to our class. There have been many ups and down this past year, and we are lucky to have you by our sides establishing a new normal as dental students. I also want to thank you for helping us build a foundational knowledge preclinically that has translated well to diagnosing and treating perio patients in the clinic. We are lucky to have you as a Dean and professor.
Thank you for making CC so engaging and rewarding. I was not expecting this course to be the highlight of quarantine, but it’s definitely become that. Our classes are always thought-provoking, and I feel I’ve become a better student, thinker, and ethically-minded person after taking part in them. Thank you for all the effort you put into our class.
Thank you for making the class so engaging by adding real-world examples. I also really appreciate how you take feedback and incorporate it in as soon as you can. Even though your class is challenging, it’s one of my favorites I’ve taken at Columbia and, by far, the most interesting one since classes went online.
I am thankful to have a sincere, positive, and cooperative professor in this virtual environment! I dropped all of my chemistry classes in high school, falsely believing that I didn’t enjoy the discipline, but your class showed me how interesting the concepts actually are. I always look forward to your brilliant and unique Zoom backgrounds, even if our lectures are at 2am in my timezone. I am so glad to have you as a professor and a class that miraculously manages to keep me awake no matter what.
Just wanted to send you a thank you for always showing up and being there for the students. You always seem to foster a team environment on our rotations, and never push us away when we show up with a patient not on the emergency roster. I’ve come in too many times and said “can I bring this patient up and use one of your chairs.” I know good and well that presents a strain on you and the staff and sometimes the students on rotation, but there is no mountain too high for you and I appreciate it. You always bring a consistent attitude of care and effort to your clinic and I can;t thank you enough! I have learned so much from you.
Thank you so much for your passion and commitment to our class this semester! You made both our in-person and remote learning classes so engaging with your clear excitement about the course materials. Thank you for facilitating lively discussions and making sure all voices were heard in discussions. I also really, really appreciate how flexible you were with final assignments after we made the switch to remote learning. Throughout the whole transition, it was clear how much you cared about us and wanted us to do well. It made a stressful time a bit easier and I can’t say enough how much it meant to me. Having you as a professor was such a delightful experience to wrap up my final semester at Columbia.
As a math major, I had never thought that I would enjoy a literature course.
However, your course changed me.
Your lecture made me realize how much power and influence a piece of literature can carry, and it was such a great way to learn and self-reflect how we think about the past.
I am really grateful for your continuous efforts despite the pandemic.
I must say that this course has been one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken.
Thank you for an amazing semester! This course was packed with incredibly useful content that I will use regularly in my research moving forward. I appreciated the enthusiasm and energy you shared each day, the super helpful handouts you made for us, and the many ways you supported our success in the course. You also made the transition to online learning as seamless and fun as possible. Thank you!!!
Thank you for an engaging and insightful year, Professor Tommasino! Truth be told, I was initially intimidated by the Core and its heavy reading, but your class has inspired my newfound appreciation for both the humanities and the value of a well-rounded education. I enjoyed how you always made our discussions open and low-stakes. You also made a great effort to smoothly transition to Zoom-based learning.
Thank you so much for your kindness, generosity and empathy as we all transitioned to quarantine/went back home. You were always so understanding and flexible with us and gave us a lot of space and time to complete our assignments. You also took the time to record a Kudos video for those of us who are graduating and I know that your kindness helped a great number of students in your course.
I just wanted to thank you for being extremely understanding during these times. I’m really glad that we were able to have you once again as a professor in quantitative analysis. You’ve helped make this major feel more like a family and we’ve really enjoyed this past semester even though it ended in an unexpected way. I just want to thank you for the effort you put into the things you love (such as chemistry) and always caring about your students. I’m really glad I am pursuing chemistry at a school like Barnard and you remind us all what it feels like to be an empowered Barnard woman in STEM. Thank you so much and I hope to see you in the fall semester!
Thank you for a wonderful semester. As a social sciences/humanities major, I came into your class not quite knowing what to expect. It didn’t take very long, however, for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:40pm to become the academic highlight of each and every week. Your enthusiasm for your field is really unparalleled, and it’s truly contagious. I was impressed by and am quite grateful for your ability to communicate complex topics to someone like myself and your way of demonstrating that science and philosophy should not be treated as entirely distinct entities. And really, you struck me as one of the most genuinely kind people I’ve come across on this campus. You really care. (…) Even through this difficult time, you never seemed to tire of teaching us.
Thank you for all you have done in assisting make neuro classes on zoom so fun and interactive. Your enthusiasm, knowledge, and lightheartedness has really made my days at home during these tough times so much more enjoyable. Thank you for all you do as both a professor and clinician during these tough times.
Absolute gratitude and love for making my first semester of Graduate School totally welcoming and fulfilling. We are living through a global pandemic, a re-energized racial uprising, and a wild presidential election. It’s been a pleasure to start the week with your Monday morning class. You’ve made the energy of a virtual class engaging by keeping us thinking and laughing. You have been the only professor who has addressed the importance of boosting our mental health during this horrible moment. Your weekly check-ins and reminders for us to do something that makes us happy are fundamental tools for self-care. This activity also forges beautiful and important relationships between students and professors. Thank you for celebrating and practicing a pedagogy of joy, critical thinking, and subversion.
Coming into my first semester at Columbia, I was feeling very anxious about the transition, especially being out-of-country and in the middle of a pandemic. I feel so thankful to have had the ability to take a class with such a vibrant, caring instructor. Your passion is both clear and inspiring. It is evident you genuinely care about the topics you teach and really work towards helping your students succeed. You have definitely made my first experience at this school incredibly memorable and I want you to know that your work does not go unnoticed. After speaking with other students that have had the opportunity of learning from you, I can confidently say that my colleagues share my same thoughts. I wish everyone gets the opportunity to come across someone like you during their journey at Columbia.
Thank you for such a great semester! I really enjoyed your 1601 course. Thank you for being so approachable and for answering my questions so thoroughly in office hours. Even though my high school technically covered most of the concepts, I learnt so much more from the course. I learnt a more mathematical perspective, and how to deal with complex problems. This new way of looking at things I thought I already knew was truly fascinating. I really enjoyed your lectures and working through the challenging problem sets. Looking forward to the new semester’s continuation!
Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into making this course more digestible for us through the 3D anatomy sessions and all the content on complete anatomy. Having this as additional support for the course was absolutely amazing and very helpful in the long run. Being in 3D sessions with you also made me appreciate the comfort level with very nitty-gritty details that you have and that we as students can aspire to achieve. Thank you.
Thank you for a wonderful course experience during this difficult year. I enjoyed the lectures and in-class discussions around software testing, especially the discussions involving the testing of AI models and autonomous driving products. Because this class attracts students from all walks of life, I felt that in-class group discussions were an excellent medium for learning more from peers. The best take-away from this course is that we apply the concepts learned in the class first to develop an individual project and then a team project. This experience has taught me the value of teamwork. I feel more confident about my skills as I transition to a full-time software engineer role in the industry. Thank you once again for going out of the way to help the students. It has been a fruitful and fulfilling experience.
You have a tremendous impact on all of the students of group A every day you are in clinic. You show up every day ready to work, take the time to teach, and believe in us more than we believe in ourselves. I can’t say enough how much we appreciate you!
Thank you for your amazing energy throughout the semester. I know it has been tough for you to teach in a hybrid mode and stare at so many black boxes every class, but your enthusiasm, passion for teaching and your great sense of humor made a HUGE difference. Thank you for working so hard to create new material to support our learning and for offering so many office hours to help us understand micro. Your dedication to your students, your genuine love for watching us learn and your attention and care for each of our lives will be greatly missed!
Thank you for teaching a great and enjoyable semester of biochemical engineering. I am really appreciative of your course organization during the pandemic and particularly like to thank you for making this course interesting during these stressful times. Also it was really kind of you for give us a safe space to share something we are grateful about after the election day, when most students were feeling anxious. As a student, I felt motivated to learn more by the way this course was taught and you deserve full credit for that. Undoubtedly, the course material was not easy, but your approachability through the class Zoom chat and office hours made it easier for students like me who are afraid to email professors frequently, to seek help from you. I would also like to thank you for your flexibility in allowing students to take the exam at their own pace and timing. And lastly, I would like to thank you for allowing my group to record our paper presentations. Thank you so much!
Thank you so much for an amazing semester in ODE and for your amazing teaching both in lecture and in office hours! I loved your way of explaining topics without just stating facts and theorems, but rather by presenting ideas and exploring those ideas to develop theorems and techniques. Your class was definitely my favorite of the semester, and after recently declaring a Math Major, it really reminded me of what made me like math in the first place!
Even though the second half of the semester became remote, I wanted to let you know that I find myself thinking about the design principles you teach in class every day. I’ve leveraged design to improve my mental health, changed my daily routine to work towards a better lifestyle, and expanded my awareness of the importance of iteration day-by-day. Thanks to you and your class, quarantine has become so much more bearable.
Just a quick note of appreciation for everything that you do! Not only is your teaching habitually second-to-none, it is also carried out with such gusto and contagiously positive disposition as to inspire a generation to become better people and better data scientists – myself included. You are a rare breed of extraordinary talent and knowledge that also possesses the facility for conveying that knowledge, which is a gift few are blessed with. Advanced Analytic Techniques belongs to the small pool of exceptional courses that have taught me the most and that most assuredly represent an exceptional return on investment in the program. For all that and more, thank you!
This semester did not play out the way anyone had planned but you did your utmost to stay positive, connected to the students, and committed to our education. I just wanted you to know that your efforts did not go unnoticed and that we really appreciate it. Despite everything, I really enjoyed your classes this semester and learned a ton! So thank you for being a fantastic, dedicated teacher and just generally a wonderful human.
Thank you for your dedication and hard work!
I cannot thank you enough for helping me to be a better writer.
I have improved so much compared to the beginning of the semester.
I know that it has been difficult for you with the virus, but I really appreciate the time and efforts to make this class as normal as possible.
Thank you so much for being a strong female role model at Columbia for me and many others. You perfectly balance kindness and poise with the ability to give strong, logic-based feedback. Your class was somewhat outside of my comfort zone but I always felt supported and encouraged to participate and learn from our community. Thank you for making our classroom feel safe and connected.
These are unpredictable times. But you, in the midst of everything, have been a constant. You are a voice of reason and a spirit of empathy. You are always that, but I am especially grateful for that now. Your class keeps me motivated and reminds me of what I am working towards.
Thank you for who you are!
Thank you for your constant words of encouragement and support through this difficult semester. In class you are a fantastic instructor and helped us understand the material very clearly; since remote learning has started, you have also become a reassuring voice and a small piece of normalcy through these trying times. I appreciate all that you have done for our class.
Thank you for being so flexible and understanding with your students amidst this crisis. You have been so creative in keeping the class motivated and involved. I know at times, teaching through a virtual platform may have been frustrating! Just wanted to thank you for keeping me motivated as I finish my last semester as a Master student.
Thank you so much for supporting me throughout the General Chemistry Course and making me learn so much. Thank you for always answering our questions even if that meant extending the review session or office hours by an hour; your dedication really helped us understand the material. Also, I appreciate how you always welcome our questions and will explain them very fundamentally so that we can all understand. I was so interested by SF6’s expanded octet discussion using MO theory during office hours and I am grateful for that. Thank you for making me passionate about chemistry.
Seriously, I am extremely grateful for your dedication to your students. Starting off in this class I was very lost. Before I began attending Office Hours, and participating in recitation, I felt extremely frustrated but once I noticed how approachable and caring you are, I felt like I could tackle any problem presented to me. I have seen a huge change in my grades and attitude in this course thanks to your help and it has led me to develop a strong interest in chemistry that I never had before. (…) This being my first semester in college, I appreciate knowing that there is someone very human that is looking out for us students.
Thank you for dedicating yourself to our success. Thank you for the thoughtful explanations and analogies. Thank you for the laughs and the welcoming atmosphere. Thank you for showing us a fascinating side of Physics, beyond the boring lectures and problem sets, to shape how we see the world around us in a meaningful way. Thank you for being an amazing teacher.
Thank you for being such an amazing TA this semester! I was definitely nervous about taking Quant, and I spent so many hours each week figuring out homework assignments. You were always helpful during office hours by explaining things in a way I could better understand each problem. Your calmness helped lessen my nervousness when I felt overwhelmed with an assignment. I also appreciated how quickly you and the Quant team responded to emails and graded our weekly assignments – even during this difficult transition to online learning. Now that the semester is over, I feel much more confident working with quantitative data and reading, understanding and creating tables for an academic paper.
Thank you for always answering my emails/texts. Thank you for taking the time away from your own schoolwork to help me understand something, and being as patient as possible when I STILL don’t get it. Thank you for translating Professor’s Ph.D. language to normal-people language. Thank you for doing the extra things, not in your job description, like making us a study guide or holding a special exam review to make sure we’re prepared. And just thank you, for helping me pass this class. Because without you, I’d be lost in a sea of students. You’re a real lifesaver.
I’m not sure if you remember but upon transitioning to remote learning, you sent out an email to check in and see how everything was going. “We’re reaching out to you to make sure you don’t feel invisible and that we hope for the wellbeing of all of you.” I don’t know how to explain this but that one little act of kindness really touched me in a time where it felt like things were crumbling.
I’d like to say thank you to all the 1004 TA’s with the extensive office hours you’ve hosted, the help you’ve given me with programming projects, and all the good spirits I’ve seen! I’ve never had a class with such a good group of TA’s so I just wanted to say thank you for all you’ve done to help the class transition and thrive 🙂
Thank you for being such a fantastic TA this semester!! You always bring so much positivity to everything you do. I’m always blown away by your incredibly detailed and well-written listserv emails. I remember once I asked a question that I had no idea was out of the scope of the class, yet you still took the time to write a wonderfully detailed response back to me. The fact that you’re not afraid to challenge us to think beyond the scope of AP is very inspiring. Your response to that email made me even more interested in the course and where AP could take me in the future.
Thank you so much for all of your help, it was so nice to have someone help to explain all of the tricky French grammar concepts to me! I know my classmates really benefited from your expertise as well. I am so grateful to you for sharing all your knowledge! The pronunciation session was very helpful too. I really struggle with languages and sometimes even after hearing explanations from your prof, classmates and online videos you just need another perspective to guide you.
Thank you for being such a great TA. You have such great attention to detail, and this means that students don’t face a ton of frustration. You approach every student with kindness and enthusiasm. You have made the move to online teaching really smooth. It’s no wonder your office hours are always a huge hit! Thanks for making class wonderful for everyone.
Thank you for all your efforts this spring during recitation to ensure that we understood the concepts presented in class. I was so grateful for the ease with which you taught both the in-person recitation classes and am especially grateful for your instruction via Zoom. Your seamless transition to the online platform allowed me to survive a difficult semester. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not have done it without you. You’re amazing!
Thank you for being such a positive and engaging TA! Although I already enjoyed learning Korean, I definitely enjoyed it more having you as my speaking TA. I got to learn beyond what was taught in class and some handy memory tricks. Also, thank you for making the learning environment welcoming; I felt like I could be myself, which isn’t always the case in other learning environments. I hope to continue learning Korean, and I already feel more confident to do so because of your teaching.
Thank you for being such an engaging and funny TA! I appreciated how you conducted your recitations with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Even when the class was online, I felt that the recitations were as lively and informative as they were in-person. You also went beyond the course and shared your experiences as a PhD student. Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you and I am glad to have had you as a TA!
Thank you for being an amazing TA for Quant this semester. You are such a great team player – making sure that work is done carefully and with minimal turnaround, achieving consensus, and stepping up to the plate to offer more office hours. Thank you for your patience and accessibility with students. You were kind, supportive, and conscientious in your support of students, including those who needed extra support. We had to be really flexible and adaptable with the course, given the move to the online format, and I appreciated your precision, efficiency, and enthusiasm in getting us there. I wish I could have thanked you in person with a big celebration at our last class. Thank you for being AMAZING!
Thank you so much for being a great TA this semester. We had to make a lot of changes to the class because of COVID, and you really helped make the transition to that format smooth. Helping set up breakout rooms, actively participating in breakout rooms, helping with posting (and publishing LOL!) all the additional course material was really helpful.
Thank you for always being calm, detail-oriented, and patient with students. I wish I could be thanking you in person. Your amazing skill made the course run smoothly ALL YEAR LONG. THANK YOU!
Thank you for your hard work and dedication!
I greatly appreciate your time and effort to make this lab as normal as possible despite the virus and sudden changes that we had to deal with.
You have taught us not only how to write a physics lab report, but also how to think critically to understand what really happens in the lab and to generate an academic report.