Volinsky Wins 2017 Graduate Teaching Prize

Nominated by undergraduates, Volinsky was described as helpful, knowledgeable, available, supportive, compassionate, and kind.

By Julie Sloane

Doctoral Student Allyson Volinsky has been awarded a 2017 Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students. The highly competitive award recognizes the profound impact of graduate students on undergraduate education at Penn, and nominations come directly from undergraduates. Ten prizes are awarded annually by the Office of the Provost.

Volinsky was nominated for her work as a teaching assistant in Amy Jordan’s class COMM 125: Introduction to Communication Behavior.

“Repeatedly, throughout the semester, students took the time to tell me how much they appreciated the guidance that Allie gave them as they prepared for their exams and Capstone project,” says Jordan, who is Annenberg’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. “Additionally, they praised the organized and engaging recitations that she ran each Monday.”

In their evaluations of the course, students lauded her for being helpful, knowledgeable, available, supportive, compassionate, and kind.

Volinsky is interested in health communication, with a specific interest in formative research for health communication campaigns and the relationship between the media environment and health-related outcomes including policy opinions and behaviors. She is a member of the Penn Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) with her doctoral advisor, Robert C. Hornik.

This is the third year in a row that an Annenberg graduate student has won the award. Immediate past winners were Rachel Stonecipher (2016) and Kevin Gotkin (2015).