The purpose of the EIU and Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) excellence in teaching award for graduate assistants is to recognize the importance in teaching and mentoring as a component of graduate education and as part of the preparation of graduate students for future service as college and university faculty. Graduate candidates who hold appointments as supervised instructional assistants in approved degree programs and who perform teaching and mentoring as a component of graduate education and as part of their preparation for careers as college faculty are eligible for nomination. Eligibility requires that the nominees must be enrolled during the prior Fall and current Spring terms. At least one prior term of teaching experience is required for the competition; however, all prior teaching while in pursuit of the degree at Eastern may be included in the review portfolio. The nominee must be enrolled at Eastern during the Spring term to receive recognition. Graduate coordinators from identified programs may select one assistant who meets the eligibility criteria to forward to the Council on Graduate Studies for consideration.