For Taha Namazi, the John Bowers Excellence in Teaching Assistance Award is comparable to a lifetime achievement award.
Taha began perfecting his teaching skills long before arriving at the University of Minnesota. Growing up in Iran, he was grading assignments for his mother's second grade class as soon as he passed the grade himself, eventually even assisting with his father's high school English class.
Now a graduate student at the UMN, Taha has spent the past five years working as a teaching assistant, most notably for Professor Randal Barnes in the College of Science and Engineering's Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering (CEGE). In the role, Taha has instructed hundreds of students through courses like "Computer Applications in Civil Engineering" and "Statistics and Uncertainty."