Course Evaluations

Politics of Developing Areas (PLCP 3012), Fall 2021, University of Virginia


“Dyuti was by far the best TA I have had in my time at this university. His combination of simulations, lecture, and discussions really helped to reinforce my learning in what is a very difficult class to wrap your head around as far as some of the course material goes. He was a fantastic TA and he was very responsive to our feedback, always letting us know we could reach out through anonymous feedback on Collab or directly through email. He was also very encouraging on participation, and made it a point to leave encouraging feedback on our midterms.”

“Dyuti may have been my favorite TA so far at UVA. He was approachable, always willing to help students, made discussion sections informative, switched up our activities, and was never imposing, intimidating, or harsh. He was knowledgeable and explained topics clearly; I felt that I took just as much away from discussion as I did from lectures. He also knew everyone’s name and took time to walk around the class room and listen to our small group discussions and answer questions or add inputs, which made me feel seen and valued as a student.”

“This was an amazing discussion, I had it at 5 pm on Thursdays and I looked forward to it every time despite the late start time. Dyuti created a great class environment and he was humble in his teaching style as he constantly asked for our feedback. He adjusted the class based on what we needed in that time and did a great job in facilitating the discussion and in supporting us. He was very understanding and graciously helped to foster our knowledge in the class. I look forward to seeing where he goes teaching-wise and I know he will impact many people’s lives.”

“This course has been one of the best politics discussions sections I have had the pleasure of being in. The format was clean; the mini–lecture followed by group discussions followed by a group summary really helps with understanding the material. It is invaluable for students in the course to grasp the content in detail.”

“In our discussion section with Dyuti, we were able to dissect the material by first participating in small group discussions to assemble our thoughts on provided prompts before presenting our own conclusions to the larger group. This group exercise typically followed a condensed recap of the lecture material which also introduced relevant new resources. Together, these two activities disentangled typically dense content into something concise but clear.”

“Our discussion truly felt like a family by the end of the semester, and it is clear this is a valuable quality which enables quieter students to participate without hesitation. The polls, structured lectures, relatively unstructured group discussions, and most critically the feedback really brought the material together with our understanding. I loved our rare group activities, and I believe they happened with just the right frequency. I honestly cannot think of anything to improve!”

“Dyuti periodically had us do simulations in class, where we would get to take on the roles of people or entities we were learning about in class (example: President, Wall Street Banks, the Military, rebel groups etc.) and act out the scenarios based on prompts. These simulations were engaging, fun, and helpful, because I could much more easily remember and understand my role in a simulation and through the interactions that I had with other students than what a few minutes of lecture would cover.  He did a great job balancing between lectures and presenting information with interactive activities.”


“There was a certain amount of camaraderie in the class that was very respectful of all people having different views about subjects and all being valid. It was always very clear that diverse perspectives were welcomed and encouraged in class. In discussion, we were encouraged to formulate our answers based on our own experiences, knowledge, and understanding of the course’s concepts. Everyone was accepting of each other’s opinions and was able to build off one another’s ideas. Dyuti was not trying to convince us of any one answer to the big questions posed by the class, but rather to think deeply about them.”


“The types of activities we did in class during group discussion and small groups discussion really helped me to further grasp the material. A lot of the activities we did actually stuck with me and I still remember the concepts that we learned about that day. It also allowed me to understand the complex concepts we learned in lectures in different ways and strengthened my ability to articulate my thoughts.”

“Dyutiman Saunik allowed for the expression of different opinions as well as allowed POC students to recount their personal experiences relating to the class. Again, Saunik was the greatest teaching assistant I have had at the University of Virginia.”

“Dyuti was the best TA. He always made the class fun and inviting, while still extremely informative. He somehow was able to make a 7 pm Thursday night discussion great! I enjoyed coming to his section, knowing that it wasn’t a waste of time and I came out with a better understanding then when I walked in the doors.”


“Dyuti was my first TA and I think he set the bar very high for any future TAs I will have. He went out of his way to help us understand the material by preparing slideshows summarizing lectures and then coming up with creative activities for us to discuss in our small groups and the whole class. It was fun working with the groups and our group discussions helped to maintain class enthusiasm towards the topics, which allowed us to really dive into thoughts we were interested in because it didn’t feel like people were competing to say the smartest thing. I remember in our first sessions, the format of teaching was organized a little differently, but it changed throughout the course because Dyuti was open to adapting to our suggestions and was able to observe the way that we learned best. He also allowed us to voice our opinions by offering an anonymous suggestion option on the Collab site, which made it easy for us to say things we might be embarrassed to say upfront. I honestly had a lot of fun in class and looked forward to the activities we did in small groups. Many concepts we learned in lectures have stuck with me solely because of the way we learned them in this class. The information was always presented in captivating ways and by the end of the course, I became much more confident in my abilities to articulate and discuss complex concepts from our lectures. Dyuti always respected diverse opinions and perspectives and encouraged us to share our real opinions on things without fear of judgment. Overall, I wish he could be my TA for every discussion section I have.”