Lauren Twible (PhD Candidate) Awarded TATP Teaching Excellence Award

Lauren Twible (provided photo)

CivMin’s PhD candidate Lauren Twible was awarded the 2023 TATP Teaching Excellence Award. She has recently been a TA for Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment course and CME358 course at CAMP. Lauren’s research explores the role bacteria play in mining-impacted waters to minimize mining’s environmental impact. She works under the supervision of Prof. Lesley Warren.

The TATP Teaching Excellence Award was started by U of T’s Teaching Assistants’ Training Program and considers Teaching Assistants across all faculties. This award recognizes those who demonstrate sustained and ongoing excellence in their teaching. Students and faculty have the opportunity to nominate a Teaching Assistant who they’ve had direct experience with.

Lauren Twible (by the blackboard) is teaching a class at CAMP (photographed by Matthew James Volpe)

How did you become a Teaching Assistant (TA)?

I started TAing at U of T in Sept 2017. I applied to courses that sounded similar to the research experience I had, and my first work as a Teaching Assistant at U of T was CIV220 with Dr. Susan Andrews. Prior to that, I was a Teaching Assistant at Western University for two years for environmental/chemistry-related courses.

How long have you been working as a Teaching Assistant for both courses?

I have been a Teaching Assistant for CIV440 for five years (2018, 2019, 2020, 2022, and 2023) and worked for CME358 CAMP for four years (2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022).

Lauren Twible (in the middle) with students at CAMP (photographed by Matthew James Volpe)


Does working as a Teaching Assistant for Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment differ from CAMP?

Yes! The biggest difference is that CME358 CAMP is a field course while Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment is in class. CAMP allows me to teach students a lot of technical skills relating to water sampling and analysis. This course also allows me to take students out on the boat, which is always fun. Being a TA for Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment relies more on my knowledge of the industry, but it definitely did help that the course used to be based on the De Beers Canada Victor Mine site where I did my MSc research. Both courses allow me to show students that even though they might not want to go into the environmental engineering field, the environment will always play an important role in their work.

What do you like about TAing?

I really like when students are able to make connections between the information I’m sharing with them and things they’ve learned in other classes or observed outside of class. Plus, I get to teach them about topics that I remember learning about, which is kind of a neat full-circle moment.

Students at the CME358 CAMP course (photographed by Matthew James Volpe)

Did you know you were nominated for the award?

I knew who all my faculty nominators were by the time I handed in my supporting documents. Thank you to professors  Sarah Haines, Lesley Warren and Matt Roorda! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to be nominated at all. There are a minimum of two student nominations required as well, and I’m unsure which students nominated me, but if they see this, I would love for them to reach out so I could thank them personally! BIGGEST thank you to both the faculty and students who nominated me for this award!

Any plans for teaching in the future?

I would love to! Especially field courses like CME358 CAMP. I think the practical experience for the students is great, and using state-of-the-art equipment allows them to bulk up their CVs as well ahead of graduation.

By Galina Nikitina