Mr. Amilcar Jeronimo Perez, OSE PHD Student Wins 2023 William G. Larsen, PhD Memorial Award for Best Teaching Assistant Award

Departmental News


Posted: May 8, 2023

Mr. Jeronimo Perez is originally from Guatemala, and he completed his bachelor’s degree in physics at UC Davis prior to joining UNM in 2021. At UNM, Mr. Jeronimo Perez is interested in research in the field of experimental Quantum Optics.

Prior to joining UNM, Mr. Jeronimo Perez had little teaching experience, but it was at UNM as a teaching assistant for the introduction to Astronomy labs, which he did for about two years, that he learned all his teaching skills. It was through this continuous teaching experience, that he began to realize that he enjoyed teaching and helping other students learn. In particular, the classes he assisted in teaching were very dynamic, which included giving a short 20-minute intro lecture to about three class sections per week, helping students complete their lab assignments, grading these labs assignments and as well as grading other students outside class projects. All of this was quite a bit of work, but to him, it was a learning experience and it helped him learn a range of teaching skills. Meanwhile, during this teaching journey he tried different effective teaching strategies to see what worked best for him and for his students. He now thinks that a key skill to be a good teaching assistant, is to have a lot of patience with your students, to be approachable, to challenge your students to think, and to motivate them as much possible about whatever subject you are teaching. In all, his hard work, the feedbacks from his students, as well as the support and the feedbacks from the TA manager and other peer teaching assistants, has lead him to achieve this beautiful award, he is very happy and extremely thankful for this achievement.

William G. Larsen, PhD Memorial Award

Established in memory of William G. Larsen Ph.D., this fund provides support for Master’s or Doctoral degree candidates within the area of Math and/or Physics. The UNM Physics and Astronomy department utilizes this fund to recognize a worthy recipient with the Best Teaching Assistant award at the department’s annual convocation ceremony.