Sid Bora wins 2021 Bernie Erven Outstanding Teacher Award

July 7, 2021

Siddhartha S. Bora (Sid), a fourth-year student in the AEDE Ph.D. program, was just awarded the Bernie Erven Graduate Teaching Award for 2021. This award is presented annually by the Graduate Studies Committee to the graduate student who best exemplifies the tradition of teaching excellence that Bernie Erven achieved throughout his distinguished career as a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Award nominators say overall, Sid has done a remarkable job as an instructor who teaches the material effectively and engages with students extensively to help them. He is also a successful researcher with multiple high-quality research papers and outreach reports while working as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Farm Income Enhancement Program.  His research focuses on improving the accuracy of agricultural forecasts.

Bora taught the labs for AEDE 6110 Applied Quantatative Methods I during the pandemic. Dr. Ani Katchova says that the virtual instruction process made it particularly challenging to make personal connections with the students and track their progress.

"Yet, Sid conducted all his live lectures seamlessly and held regular office hours to interact with students," says Katchova. "There was also an online lab that required students to learn new data analysis tools, such as Stata, and he worked with each student individually to help them keep pace with the class."

One student reported on a student evaluation of instruction (SEI) this about Bora: “He is incredibly patient, thoughtful, well–organized, and presents the material in a clear and helpful way.”

Bora says over the past four years, he has learned the most from discussions with his peers and he has greatly benefitted from the experience of teaching peers.

"The experience helped me recognize the importance of understanding the special circumstances affecting each student," says Bora. "For example, not every student has the same level of preparation and might require additional assistance."

Bora was also recently awarded the 2021 William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research for his lead-authored paper entitled "The Rationality of USDA Forecasts under Multivariate Asymmetric Loss."