2011-12 Awards for Excellence in Teaching
By Communications Staff
February 16, 2012
EDWARD G. PLEVA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Arthur Labatt School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences
Carol McWilliam has multiplied her impact through hundreds of consultations with colleges and universities, hospitals and health-care providers, public health units and provincial ministries of health.
Joining Western in 1990, she pioneered the university’s doctoral education in nursing and has trained many scholars in the field. McWilliam received the Faculty of Health Sciences Teaching Excellence Award in 2010 and was the faculty’s first recipient of the Faculty Scholar Award.
For McWilliam, teaching and research have not been separate activities, but intertwined aspects of “transformative knowledge translation.” She has published numerous articles, yet perhaps her greatest contribution is a generation of nurses and nursing education scholars now reaching leadership positions in their field.
Faculty of Law
Stephen Pitel is the gold standard (or, to many colleagues and students, the “Pitel standard”) of excellence in teaching.
He transforms students by demanding nothing less than exceptional work, and teaches through his own example. He welcomes anyone who seeks his counsel, for his intellectual rigour and approachability are equally well known.
Pitel has received numerous awards in Western university’s Faculty of Law, including Professor of the Year in 2003-04. His teaching excellence extends to his active preparation of widely used teaching publications, from casebooks to a database for use by legal ethics professors.
Pitel has successfully championed ethics education – not only for law students, but for members of the profession. Through his curriculum development stressing the importance of ethics and professionalism, Faculty of Law has become a leader in this area.
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Mark Workentin makes regular appearances in Maclean’s magazine as one of Western University’s most popular professors. Called “inspirational and contagious,” his teaching has been recognized with repeat University Students’ Council Awards of Excellence, the Marilyn Robinson Award and Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award.
His commitment, passion, vision and creativity have also impacted the broader Western community through nearly a decade of service on numerous Senate committees and subcommittees dedicated to academic planning and policy, including both subcommittees on program review.
Beyond the walls of Western, he was the national co-ordinator of Reactive Intermediates Student Exchange (RISE), an NSERC-funded summer exchange program for Canadian undergraduate students in Chemical Sciences.
MARILYN ROBINSON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
Amanda Grzyb takes her students beyond the lecture hall and promotes “a concern for the quality of life and life experiences in the local community, nationally and internationally.” Not only does she promote this social awareness within her classroom, Grzyb follows this doctrine in her work with the Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda.
A former student described her as “an outstanding professor who deserves recognition, not only for her ability to push students toward academic achievements but also for pushing us toward personal growth.”
Grzyb is the recipient of numerous awards including multiple University Students’ Council Honour Roll Awards of Excellence as well as a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from FIMS.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Dr. Timothy Wilson says he learns more than he teaches on a daily basis. Given the over-the-top teaching evaluations he has garnered since 2005, Wilson must be learning a lot.
You may have seen pictures of mesmerized students in 3-D glasses, crowding into Western’s Anatatorium, a state-of-the-art 3-D virtual anatomy facility. Or perhaps you have heard of the CRIPT (Corps for Research of Instructional and Perceptual Technologies), the research lab in which these virtual tools are developed. These are the research efforts of Wilson, a world leader in anatomical visualization, and one of Western University’s most engaging instructors.
In lectures, even without stereoscopic aids, his students are “completely transfixed” by his “incredible ability to make the material relevant and memorable.”
ANGELA ARMITT AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING BY PART-TIME FACULTY
Program in Writing, Rhetoric and Professional Communication
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Kathryn Mockler makes students’ writing come alive.
Whether in the numerous courses she has developed – Out of the Book: Creative Writing in the Digital Age and Renewing Your Poetic Licence – or in her mentoring of students, Mockler makes creative writing real. Her real-world sense of the value of writing means she’s as engaged in the classroom as she is at her own writing desk.
Along with colleague Aaron Schneider, Mockler co-founded the Writing Program’s online literary journal, The Rusty Touque.
“One has to remember her teaching involves being critical of students’ most personal and prized creative endeavours,” Michael Milde, Arts and Humanities acting dean, said. “She gives them a hard time – and they like it. That takes real skill.”
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