On March 14th, 2018 Kana Thompson opened an email from Dr. Kelly Burke, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, stating that she had been selected as the 2017-2018 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant from the School of Health and Human Sciences. In addition to this well deserved honor Kana will be awarded a small monetary prize going towards her education. When speaking to Kana, her passion for educating and connecting to students is evident
“I enjoy giving people the opportunity to be better than they were yesterday. I like being able to give my knowledge and talk to students about the lessons I’ve learned during my career in undergrad. A lot of students look to me as a mentor and look to me for guidance not only in the classroom but outside of class as well. I believe some students don’t really understand their true potential. They second guess themselves or feel as if something is impossible to do and that’s when I come in. I help show students that they have the potential to do whatever they want to do. That’s my favorite part about being a TA.”
What really stands out is Kana’s own transformation. “Kana’s transition from student to TA has been an incredible journey. Her maturity, evolution, and dedication to helping the students has been fantastic,” states Dr. Aaron Teranova, KIN’s Director of Undergraduate Studies. But transformations don’t happen overnight and they don’t always come easy especially when in addition to being a teaching assistant (TA) you also hold 2 jobs at the Kaplan center and have to complete 20 hours at a clinical site every week. “Grading over 115+ assignments may seem impossible for someone with a schedule like mine but I disciplined myself early and learned time management skills that allowed me to have a successful semester aside from all the chaos.”
Kana may seem like a natural teacher, but she will be the first to admit she learned a lot from this experience. “It was a humbling experience being the person in front of the classroom instead of being the student. I got to see the common issues professors have to deal with on a daily basis. One skill I learned from being a TA was time management.”
Clearly Kana is on her way to greatness and we wish her luck in her next step in getting certified and finding a meaningful career in Athletic Training. From all of us in KIN, congratulations on your exemplary work Kana.