Tessa Andrews received one of four Spring 2016 Citation for Excellence in Teaching Awards. She relates well with students, even though she considers herself a challenging TA.

“I am honored! It’s always been a dream of mine to come to UNL and it’s an honor to teach; but then on top of that to be given an award for excellence in teaching, I am flattered,” Tessa said.

Born in Aurora, Nebraska, Tessa grew up in York, a small town nearby. She went to York High School and then graduated cum laude from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.

Tessa came to UNL in 2015 to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry, under the guidance of Dr. Robert Powers.  She taught General Chemistry I (CHEM 109) in Fall 2015 and teaches General Chemistry II (CHEM 110) in Spring 2016.

Her teaching experience began four years ago as a lab assistant teaching Physical Science as an undergraduate. Since then, she has seamlessly integrated the teaching knowledge she learned from her professors into her own unique style.

“Giving my students as much of a one-on-one experience as I can and knowing that they learn better if I’m more open to them helps my teaching and helps them learn better,” Tessa said.

“I’ve been impressed with Tessa’s ability to engage with her students and it is clear that she genuinely cares about making the general chemistry laboratory a valuable part of the undergraduate experience,”  Jason Kautz, Professor of Practice, said.

“I’m pretty comfortable being in front of students, which helps me teach more effectively because I’m not flustered, I’m not anxious about teaching,” Tessa said.

In addition to teaching, Tessa spends her spare time with her dog Bella. She anticipates a 2020 graduation.