This year, we are highlighting all of the great work that our graduate assistants perform around our campus by featuring the nominees for the 2021 Graduate Assistant of the Year Award. This award is coordinated by the Career Center, which works with the Graduate School to pick the winner of the award. We were so impressed by all of the nominees that we are going to feature them on our blog. Congratulations to all of the nominees!
Kimberly Zinn, nominee for Ball State’s 2021 Graduate Assistant of the Year Award
For the 2020-2021 academic year, Kimberly worked as a GA to support the Paul W. Parkison Department of Accounting in the Miller College of Business. She assisted with grading, tutoring, and data collection for a research project, and she also took the administrative lead for the Volunteer Income Taxpayer Assistance (VITA) Program. She was nominated by Dr. Jason Stanfield and Dr. Ben Angelo. Dr. Stanfield wrote about Kim’s work “as an administrative leader for our Volunteer Income Taxpayer Assistance program in the Spring semester. Many graduate students shy away from this role, as it requires working with a diverse group of clients and managing schedules for many volunteers, but Kim recognized that this opportunity would help her to grow, and after her success as a tax intern at BKD and at Somerset CPA group, she wanted to get all the experience she could get around tax.” And Dr. Angelo said, “In her duties as a graduate assistant, she has worked closely with me to import data from PDFs into Excel. She was given the task of auditing the data by comparing the imported Excel to the PDF. She took exceptional care in her duties and was able to discover errors in the source data itself. In all she does, Kim goes beyond what is asked. She takes great pride in her work.”
Q & A with Kimberly Zinn
What was the most valuable part of your assistantship experience?
My assistantship has provided me an opportunity to work with students and faculty. I have been able to help students better understand the material while fulfilling my tutoring duties, as well as expand my knowledge when helping professors with their research.
How do you think your GA assignment has helped you to grow as a professional and a student?
Throughout my assistantship, I have seen my communication and teaching skills improve. Corresponding with students and faculty alike has taught me the importance of timeliness and clarity. Additionally, answering questions and helping students with their work has provided me with a better understanding of the material I will continue using as a professional.
Is there anything else you would like to communicate about your experience as a GA?
My time as a GA has created lasting relationships, professionally and socially. I have participated in research and the running of an IRS tax clinic, while also making new friends and discovering my future roommates. Without my assistantship, my graduate school experience would not be as robust or fulfilling!