Alyssa Botelho “represents what truly great teaching can and should be,” according to Elizabeth Lunbeck, professor of the history of science in residence. Alyssa has been praised for her remarkable teaching from several undergraduate students and from the faculty whose courses she has taught. She is a standout educator who has made enormous contributions to her students during her time at Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Alyssa has taught a variety of courses, ranging in topics from the opioid epidemic in historical and cultural perspectives to medical ethics and history. 

Professor David Jones praises Alyssa as a teaching fellow who has received “superlative” evaluations from her students. Her commitment, rigor, and generosity have earned her a special place in the hearts of those who have been fortunate enough to work with her. It is evident that Alyssa is dedicated to helping students understand material by engaging in effective discussions and setting aside extra time to explain complicated subjects. “Alyssa has an amazing ability to engage students with difficult/dense subject matter without overwhelming us and still bring us to a better, more complex understanding,” one student wrote. Another student said, “I want to draw special attention to how helpful she is in teaching core skills that too often are not addressed explicitly, such as how to construct historical arguments in academic writing.” Beyond her tactical explanations, her accessibility and the feedback she offers her students are what help set them up for academic success. 

Enthusiasm and diligence to deliver exceptional teaching is what makes Alyssa a spectacular addition to the Department of the History of Science. Professors in the department appreciate her effectiveness as a collaborator. Alyssa has assisted them in steps of design, teaching, and assessment of courses. She is committed to structuring each class section in a way that will offer the most to her students. Her drive to reach new goals and educate many is what sets her apart from the rest. Her students’ remarks testify to how unusually skilled she is—even with the minutiae of being a good teacher. One student wrote, “She is able to understand what you are saying (even when you can’t), and helps you parse through your ideas.” Her colleagues are confident Alyssa has a bright future ahead of her. She is a gifted scholar on her way to pursuing an accomplished career as a physician-educator. 

Alyssa, The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to present you with the Derek C. Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates. Congratulations!

Read more about the 2020 Bok Awards

Alyssa Botelho: 2020 Derek C. Bok Award Citation