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McMechen & Williams win Outstanding Geoscience TA Award

September 2, 2021

Cody McMechen stands in front of a lava tube.

Cody McMechen and Reid Williams were selected as recipients of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Outstanding TA Award.  This award honors undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated excellence as Teaching Assistants. Cody and Reid were nominated by Dr. Alan Coulson based on their service as TAs for the GEOL 1030 laboratories, which are taken by hundreds of Clemson undergraduates every year.  In his nomination letter, Dr. Coulson offered this reflection about McMechen:  “Cody always gets excellent feedback from his students. They always comment on his friendly nature, his helpfulness, and his ability to create a relaxed atmosphere within the lab.” Professor Coulson emphasized Cody’s ability to foster a productive learning environment for students. Dr. Coulson also had positive remarks about Williams, stating “Reid does an outstanding job looking out for his students. He often comes up with novel ideas to help his students learn and he is always asking questions and looking for ways to improve the classes he teaches.”

NAGT is committed to improving geoscience teaching and student learning. Effective teaching assistants are an important part of that equation.

Cody graduated with his Master’s degree in Hydrogeology in May 2021.  He worked with Dr. Alex Pullen on his thesis entitled: Provenance Analysis using U-Pb Geochronology of Detrital Zircon from Pliocene-Pleistocene Strata in Tengger Desert, China. Reid graduated with his Master’s degree in Hydrogeology in August 2021, and he is continuing research with Dr. Brian Powell post-graduation.

Congratulations to Cody and Reid on this impressive award from NAGT.