Kevin Mwenda receives a prestigious TA nomination for 2016-17 and multiple awards for 2017-18

Congratulations to HED lab member Kevin Mwenda for receiving a prestigious UCSB TA nomination for 2016-17 and multiple awards for 2017-18. Kevin was nominated for the 2016-17 UCSB Academic Senate Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA) Award. According to the nomination letter from the Academic Senate, Kevin’s nomination is “a distinct honor and recognizes the quality of [his] teaching as exemplary.”

Kevin Mwenda was also awarded the 2016-17 Department of Geography Excellence in Teaching award, one which is given annually to a graduate student who has an outstanding teaching and TAing track record, in terms of both quality and quantity. According to a transcript from Professor Dan Montello, while presenting the annual awards on behalf of Department Chair Prof. Oliver Chadwick during the Colloquium on May 25, 2017, this award was made to Kevin because he “has a record of receiving outstanding course evaluations, outstanding written comments from students, outstanding evaluations of [his] TA work by the course instructor, and outstanding design of course, section, or lab syllabi or activities.

Kevin has also been awarded a Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship for the Winter 2018 quarter as part of the UCSB Central Continuing Student Fellowships for 2017-18, to allow him to devote full attention to dissertation writing. This award was based on a successful nomination by the Geography department and was reviewed and selected by a central faculty fellowship committee.

Kevin has also been awarded a Broom Center for Demography Graduate Student Research and Training (GSRT) grant by the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (ISBER), to attend a five-day workshop entitled “Machine Learning: Applications and Opportunities in the Social Sciences” at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kevin hopes to gain the following insights and skills from this workshop: “1) how to test and improve model specifications and predictions of demographic big-data, (2) develop and assess uncertainty estimates in demographic big-data, (3) learn how to potentially conduct a similar workshop(s) here at UCSB as the Social Demography Lab Manager, for the benefit of interdisciplinary Social Scientists affiliated with the Broom Center for Demography.”

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