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Teaching Excellence Award FAQ
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The Teaching Excellence Award
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Completing a nomination packet seems like a lot of work. Why should I make the effort?
    There are several reasons. First, a nomination is an honor in itself. If you don't recognize your colleague of excellence, perhaps no one will. Second, awards reflect on those who give the awards as well as those who receive them.
  2. Should I tell the nominee that they are being nominated?
    It is up to the nominator whether or not to notify the nominee. Working with the nominee may facilitate the process and help the nominator put together a stronger nomination package.
  3. Does a nominator have to be an AMATYC member?
    No. Anyone may nominate an AMATYC member for the Teaching Excellence Award except an AMATYC Board member or a member of the Teaching Excellence Award Committee.
  4. What if the nominee is not an AMATYC member?
    The award is restricted to AMATYC members. Shortly after the deadline date for receiving completed packets, the AMATYC office will confirm the membership status of all nominees.
  5. How will the number of awardees be determined?
    The TE Committee will determine the number of awards given based on the total number of nominations and the strength of the applicant pool: 1-9 nominations = 2 awards maximum; 10-15 nominations = 4 awards maximum; 16-22 nominations = 6 awards maximum; 23+ nominations = 8 awards maximum.
  6. What happens if a cover letter or resume exceeds the limit of three pages or extra materials, not listed in the nomination packet, are submitted as part of the nomination?
    Only the first three pages of the cover letter or resume are distributed to the committee members. Excess pages and extra materials are not distributed. This is to ensure a uniform basis for considering each nominee.
  7. Who should do the two-page summary of the nominee’s most recent student evaluations?
    This is not prescribed in the guidelines. This may be an official summary of student evaluation results, a description of the candidate's most recent student evaluations in letter form prepared by the candidate's supervisor or the candidate, or some combination thereof.
  8. Does graduate teaching experience count towards the minimum of five years of full-time equivalent teaching experience?
    No. Graduate teaching experience is usually supervised teaching experience. The intent is that the individual has been a practitioner for the equivalent of at least five years of full-time experience.
  9. If a colleague or supervisor nominates someone for this award, can they also write a letter of support as a supervisor or colleague in addition to being the nominator?
    The rules don't prevent it, but it could detract a bit from the strength of the nomination. That being said, our committee is composed of professionals and one would expect them to judge based upon the facts presented in the nomination above all else. Also, no one can be selected unless nominated, so please don't let this response stop you.
  10. Must the letters of support be written on college letterhead?
    College letterhead does not have to be used for letters of support if doing so would cause the letter to exceed the page limitation.
  11. What is the difference between the AMATYC Teaching Excellence Award and the AMATYC Mathematics Excellence Award?
    The criteria for the TE Award are weighted towards instructional effectiveness and direct support of students while the ME Award focuses primarily on professional contributions that are outside of the classroom and often nationally recognized.
  12. Must I send a PDF copy of the nomination materials through the email?
    Yes. The Nomination Packet must be sent to the Chair of the TE Committee as a single PDF file.
  13. The supervisor of the nominee is on the AMATYC Board, can the Board member write a letter of recommendation?
    No. Letters of recommendation from AMATYC Board members will not be accepted. The letter of recommendation from a supervisor would have to come from another "level” of supervision.
  14. Will letters of nomination or recommendation be accepted if they are not signed?
    No. All letters (cover letter from the nominator and letters of recommendation) must be signed.
  15. What do I do if I have a question not addressed here?
    Contact the Teaching Excellence Award Committee Chair, Laura Watkins ( or your AMATYC regional vice-president.

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