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Tian Tian, of Lake Hiawatha, Receives Award for Teaching at NJIT Convocation

Tian Tian, of Lake Hiawatha, a teaching assistant in the department of computer science at NJIT, has received the award of Excellence in Instruction by a Teaching Assistant at NJIT’s University Convocation, an annual celebration to be held Sept. 14, 2011. 

Convocation at NJIT traditionally honors select faculty and staff members who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period.

Broadcaster, author and motivational speaker Steve Adubato will speak at the event.  A university lecturer, Emmy Award-winning television anchor, and Star-Ledger columnist, Adubato also served in the mid-1980s as New Jersey's youngest state legislator at age 26. Previously, Adubato anchored three PBS broadcasts including Caucus: New Jersey, an Emmy Award-winning public affairs television series.

Tian has developed into an effective, caring teacher since coming to NJIT as a doctoral candidate in computer science four years ago.  Faculty in the department identify her as one of the best TA’s they have ever had. They note that she is one of few PhD students who has been asked to teach a lecture course in addition to her tutoring work in the lab. Her teaching in CIS101, the introductory course in computer programming, helps students make the transition from high school to college. This builds on her role as organizer of the department’s annual High School Programming Contest (HSPC). (ATTENTION EDITORS:  Hi-res photos of the researcher will be taken at the event.  To receive a copy and/or set up an interview, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)

Both students and colleagues note her passion for teaching and the enthusiasm that she brings to the classroom. Her teaching philosophy is grounded in a commitment to openness and to offering individual attention to her students.  One student expresses her qualities as a teacher in terms of “knowledge, caring, detail, diligence and patience.” 

The daughter of two academics, Tian was raised to value teaching as “the most respectable and honorable profession.” Her performance as a teaching assistant at NJIT exemplifies why that is so.