Bednarz Award
The Bednarz Award was established in 2016 to honor the many contributions of Dr. Sarah Bednarz to the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning at Texas A&M University (CIRTL@TAMU) by annually recognizing an outstanding doctoral student in our CIRTL@TAMU local programs. Your selection acknowledges the superior quality of your Teaching-As-Research Fellows project and the depth of your involvement in CIRTL@TAMU.

2021 Bednarz Award Recipient
Montana Etten-Bohm

Doctoral Student
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Biography: Montana is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University and has a passion for undergraduate education, specifically in the field of meteorology. Because of this passion and desire to learn more about the field of education, Montana has been heavily involved in CIRTL programs. She has completed the Academy of Future Faculty and the Teaching-As-Research programs, as wells as the CIRTL Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Local Learning Community and the College Classroom Teaching course. Through completion of these courses and programs, Montana has earned the CIRTL Associate, Practitioner, and Scholar certificates. Within her department, Montana has also been heavily involved in teaching, assisting as both a Teaching Assistant and Graduate Assistant Lecturer, and was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in December of 2020. After completing her Ph.D., she hopes to pursue a career as an instructional professor in atmospheric sciences to help address the lack of educational research in the meteorology field.

2020 Bednarz Award Recipients
Jaskirat Singh Batra
Doctoral Student
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Biography: Jaskirat Singh Batra is a doctoral candidate in Materials Science and Engineering department. He is actively involved in research (both disciplinary and engineering education), teaching and mentoring. His disciplinary research in developing ‘soft material-based’ medical technologies crosses the disciplines of materials, engineering and life science. In his engineering education research, Jaskirat has investigated the use Virtual Reality-based instruction and its’ impact on student motivation to learn complex 3D concepts in materials science. Jaskirat Singh Batra is a graduate of the Academy for Future Faculty and Teaching-as-Research Fellows programs, and he was selected through a competitive selection process to be a Graduate Teaching Fellow (instructor) in the College of Engineering in 2018-2019. Prior to that, Jaskirat has gained a lot of teaching experience being a Research Mentor for a research-based lab course and a Teaching Assistant for several classroom-based undergraduate courses. He wants to utilize his diverse teaching and research experience to promote the use of evidence-based educational technology in training STEM students.
Yash Parikh
Doctoral Student
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Biography: Yash Parikh is a Ph.D. candidate in J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering. He earned his master's and bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from India. His professional appointments range from an Assistant Professor to Business Development Manager. Parikh is a recipient of 2020 Bednarz award, NSF student travel grant (2018-19), Texas public education grant (2017-19) amongst other fellowships. His research interests include additive/subtractive manufacturing, product design, quality control, and engineering education.