David Barnet
Drama, University of Alberta

“David is brilliant. I have never been in a class this amazing in all my years of schooling”; this is a typical student response. A specialist in performance and theatre creation, David has a strategic and disciplined capacity to elicit both freedom and rigour, using his extraordinary passion to prod, shock, and inspire. Colleagues testify, “I am a better teacher for engaging with David Barnet.” As a leader on campus, David emphasizes public and open dialogue about teaching and learning. It’s not exaggeration to say that teaching in the Faculty of Arts and the University of Alberta is more highly[...]

“David is brilliant. I have never been in a class this amazing in all my years of schooling”; this is a typical student response. A specialist in performance and theatre creation, David has a strategic and disciplined capacity to elicit both freedom and rigour, using his extraordinary passion to prod, shock, and inspire. Colleagues testify, “I am a better teacher for engaging with David Barnet.” As a leader on campus, David emphasizes public and open dialogue about teaching and learning. It’s not exaggeration to say that teaching in the Faculty of Arts and the University of Alberta is more highly valued, and therefore better, because of his advocacy and leadership.

Beyond the campus, David builds remarkable interactions between the University and the wider community, working with the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission and with senior citizens to bring people together, to use drama to create real-life situations. The GeriActors and Friends, for example, train seniors in creative expression, acting, writing, civic engagement, and social and political analysis. David has received major awards for his teaching, and is regarded as “truly a catalyst—as a teacher and educational leader, his impact has been extraordinary.”

Nick Bontis
Strategic Market Leadership, McMaster University

“Nick Bontis is a teacher, a textbook, a guide, and a living example of success in the modern business world”—one student summarizes her assessment of this extraordinary professor. Nick has revamped a capstone course, introduced simulations now used in many other business schools, published award-winning cases, and connected with the public through print, radio, and TV. An outstanding educator with a global reputation, Nick has received eleven major teaching awards in six years. He earned McMaster’s outstanding teacher of the year, the faculty’s outstanding undergraduate teacher of the year, the faculty’s outstanding graduate teacher of the year, and the faculty’s[...]

“Nick Bontis is a teacher, a textbook, a guide, and a living example of success in the modern business world”—one student summarizes her assessment of this extraordinary professor. Nick has revamped a capstone course, introduced simulations now used in many other business schools, published award-winning cases, and connected with the public through print, radio, and TV. An outstanding educator with a global reputation, Nick has received eleven major teaching awards in six years. He earned McMaster’s outstanding teacher of the year, the faculty’s outstanding undergraduate teacher of the year, the faculty’s outstanding graduate teacher of the year, and the faculty’s researcher of the year—all simultaneously.

Nick regards his courses as “dynamic organisms in search of continual renewal,” leading to reflection, innovation, and student success. A fourth-year Commerce student calls him “the most influential professor I have ever had,” echoing hundreds of similar assessments by other students, regularly giving Nick scores of 9 or 10 on a 10-point teaching evaluation scale. Dean Paul Bates describes a late Monday class: “He has orchestrated a night of enthusiastic life-long learners. He has, once again, imbued a wild passion for learning that is awe-inspiring to all.”

Kenneth Cramer
Psychology, University of Windsor

The first words of Ken’s teaching philosophy, “I teach first-year students,” make a proud declaration of his commitment to his several classes of 800-plus students. One student even remarks, “Big classes are beneficial because there is cause for more debate.” Every student’s comments celebrate the sheer force of his persona, his restless energy. But Ken’s effect is not hollow entertainment. “He makes me want to learn. Not a day goes by,” says a former student, “that his teaching and mentorship don’t manifest themselves for me in some positive and constructive way. It has made all the difference in my life.”[...]

The first words of Ken’s teaching philosophy, “I teach first-year students,” make a proud declaration of his commitment to his several classes of 800-plus students. One student even remarks, “Big classes are beneficial because there is cause for more debate.” Every student’s comments celebrate the sheer force of his persona, his restless energy. But Ken’s effect is not hollow entertainment. “He makes me want to learn. Not a day goes by,” says a former student, “that his teaching and mentorship don’t manifest themselves for me in some positive and constructive way. It has made all the difference in my life.” The word TEACH has become bold-face, capital letters in Ken’s life. His graduate seminars are about psychology, indeed, but they are also about learning, and about learning to teach. Ken has earned several major teaching awards from his University and his Province.

His pedagogical publications, research, workshops, and conference presentations reflect his commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning. In our research-dominated university culture, Ken is a comet, commanding attention, awe, and inspiration. These are not exaggerations, for, as Ken himself says, “In this environmental age, teaching is biodegradable: it’s a job you work yourself out of… .”

Carolyn Eyles
Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University

Carolyn “was, and still is, my greatest role model. I will strive for the rest of my career to make the kind of impact she makes on her students every day.” A hands-on teacher, dedicated to field work both virtual and real, Carolyn translates the elements of her curricula into exploratory journeys to Costa Rica, the Rockies, and to the Hamilton area. Spurred by her passionate intensity and engaging teaching, students regularly give her 9 on a 10-point evaluation scale. “I was so enthralled by her course that I decided to pursue a degree in Earth and Environmental Science.” Her[...]

Carolyn “was, and still is, my greatest role model. I will strive for the rest of my career to make the kind of impact she makes on her students every day.” A hands-on teacher, dedicated to field work both virtual and real, Carolyn translates the elements of her curricula into exploratory journeys to Costa Rica, the Rockies, and to the Hamilton area. Spurred by her passionate intensity and engaging teaching, students regularly give her 9 on a 10-point evaluation scale. “I was so enthralled by her course that I decided to pursue a degree in Earth and Environmental Science.” Her colleagues, likewise, have given Carolyn eight significant teaching awards, including the McMaster University President’s Award for Excellence.

Carolyn has been responsible for developing a culture of teaching and learning in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, fostering formal and informal discussions of teaching and learning among colleagues. She disseminates her work nationally and internationally. She helped obtain a three-year grant, funded by Imperial Oil, the Faculty of Science, and the University, resulting in significant enhancements to the teaching and learning environment. One enthusiast summarizes Eyles in seven words: “This course was, hands down, the bomb!”

Sarah Keefer
English Literature, Trent University

Colleagues and students call it a “privilege” to have worked with Sarah. She has transformed departments, minds, lives, and her entire discipline: Anglo-Saxon and Old English. Sarah’s combination of high expectations and humane support is evident in her continual experimentation with ways to make every student a full participant in his or her education. Offering courses like “The Anglo-Saxon World of Tolkien” or “Imagining the Monstrous: A Journey from Abhorrence to Understanding,” Sarah keeps her classes current and engaging. In every instance, her governing verb in defining the learning process is “delight.” That joy defines her teaching and her contribution[...]

Colleagues and students call it a “privilege” to have worked with Sarah. She has transformed departments, minds, lives, and her entire discipline: Anglo-Saxon and Old English. Sarah’s combination of high expectations and humane support is evident in her continual experimentation with ways to make every student a full participant in his or her education. Offering courses like “The Anglo-Saxon World of Tolkien” or “Imagining the Monstrous: A Journey from Abhorrence to Understanding,” Sarah keeps her classes current and engaging. In every instance, her governing verb in defining the learning process is “delight.” That joy defines her teaching and her contribution as an education leader. Undergraduate students peer-review one another’s work and, in other significant ways, mirror the professional practices of professors.

Workshops, conferences, programs, committees, mentoring, research, and preparation of the future professoriate—each of these endeavours are given shape and life under Sarah’s creative leadership. Awards for both teaching and educational leadership have come her way, but the Educational Leadership and Innovation in Instruction award is particularly significant because her daunting area of instruction is scarcely regarded as relevant to undergraduate students, or even to universities at large. Her students consistently say, “Dr. Keefer’s effect on my life has been profound.”

Glenn Loppnow
Chemistry, University of Alberta

A colleague says that Glen enables his undergraduates to climb Mt. Everest without oxygen while most students who encounter the mathematically-based Physical Chemistry course are content to examine the summit from the base camp. First to use clickers in his department, Glen gets the overwhelming majority of his students in very large classes to engage, enjoy, and adjust to new rhythms of learning. Using “citizenship” group projects, Chemistry and non-Chemistry majors are challenged to provide local solutions to global issues. A student writes, “You seem passionate about making sure we actually LEARN.” Using live experiments and demonstrations, such as measuring[...]

A colleague says that Glen enables his undergraduates to climb Mt. Everest without oxygen while most students who encounter the mathematically-based Physical Chemistry course are content to examine the summit from the base camp. First to use clickers in his department, Glen gets the overwhelming majority of his students in very large classes to engage, enjoy, and adjust to new rhythms of learning. Using “citizenship” group projects, Chemistry and non-Chemistry majors are challenged to provide local solutions to global issues. A student writes, “You seem passionate about making sure we actually LEARN.” Using live experiments and demonstrations, such as measuring the reaction rate of contact explosives, puts Glen’s life on the line but instantly transforms a dry course into one that students call spectacular.

His risk taking has not only inspired colleagues but has accelerated a revolution in the undergraduate curriculum. Glen has organized and participated in numerous workshops that have created a network of instructors from Western Canada that share his vision. His creative endeavors have led to his becoming an executive for the Education Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Alberta representative to the Board of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Glen’s personal journey has been as transformative as his unrelenting efforts to change the teaching culture in his classroom, his department, and the research-intensive University of Alberta.

Sylvain Robert
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières,

From the heart of Quebec, a key sector in the world’s pulp and paper production, comes this wood, natural products and environmental chemist, carried away by his passion for the explosive mix that can be created when chemistry, computer science and education meet. “A model of 21st century teaching, made by a 21st century man”, concludes one student enthusiastically. A visionary in his use of computer tools, he was among the first to work on “making it possible to visualize at will … . (the) complex objects invisible to the naked eye” of contemporary chemistry. Not satisfied with making chemistry[...]

From the heart of Quebec, a key sector in the world’s pulp and paper production, comes this wood, natural products and environmental chemist, carried away by his passion for the explosive mix that can be created when chemistry, computer science and education meet. “A model of 21st century teaching, made by a 21st century man”, concludes one student enthusiastically. A visionary in his use of computer tools, he was among the first to work on “making it possible to visualize at will … . (the) complex objects invisible to the naked eye” of contemporary chemistry. Not satisfied with making chemistry students happy, he pushed the audacity to the point of creating and offering an institutional enrichment course that succeeds in making students from some 17 different programs enthusiastic about chemistry each semester.

His software innovations are spreading locally, nationally and internationally. Its virtual library of three-dimensional molecular structures, which began in 1989, continues to grow. Science et Vie magazine recommended it to its readers in 2001. Its websites are referenced on the e-learning space of the University of Burgundy, which lists the best e-learning sites for higher education.

A science fiction enthusiast, he deeply believes that “learning chemistry should be experienced as a virtual quest in a video game”.

Hamzeh Roumani
Computer Science and Engineering, York University

“Inspirational, kind, insightful, helpful, enthusiastic, dedicated, superb”—such adjectives consistently describe the awe in which students hold Hamzeh Roumani. They learn not only the practicalities of computer science, but how to make sense of complexity through intense engagement that can only be described as Roumani’s magic. Hamzeh’s philosophy and teaching strategies are as original and insightful as are the ways he conducts himself with his students and his discipline. Famous for the impact of his curricular innovations that have restructured the undergraduate program, his textbook, labs, software tools for feedback, teaching methods, and learning environments have inspired colleagues locally and internationally.

[...]

“Inspirational, kind, insightful, helpful, enthusiastic, dedicated, superb”—such adjectives consistently describe the awe in which students hold Hamzeh Roumani. They learn not only the practicalities of computer science, but how to make sense of complexity through intense engagement that can only be described as Roumani’s magic. Hamzeh’s philosophy and teaching strategies are as original and insightful as are the ways he conducts himself with his students and his discipline. Famous for the impact of his curricular innovations that have restructured the undergraduate program, his textbook, labs, software tools for feedback, teaching methods, and learning environments have inspired colleagues locally and internationally.

Hamzeh has received many teaching awards from his department, faculty, university, and province. He has disseminated his work through pedagogical publications, special projects, and websites that attract a worldwide audience. He has also worked with the Ontario Ministry of Education and is a founding member of “Best Engineering and Science Teaching,” bringing world-renowned scientists to York. Hamzeh continues to make a profound difference in scores of lives. One student speaks for many: “Professor Roumani’s exceptional ability to stimulate us to think outside the box has changed my academic career and my life.”

Baljit Singh
Veterinary Biomedical Science, University of Saskatchewan

“Among all the turmoil within the university, my peace and passion comes from my work, and time spent with the students.” To peace and passion must be added “growth.” Baljit’s teaching philosophy is a fascinating, evolving narrative of discovery, leading to the statement, “Now, I teach.” He is an anatomist; his students call him “one of the best profs on campus.” The first winner, in 2008, of The Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Teaching and Learning and a university Master Teacher, Baljit reaches out with his love of teaching into curriculum revision, mentoring, the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching[...]

“Among all the turmoil within the university, my peace and passion comes from my work, and time spent with the students.” To peace and passion must be added “growth.” Baljit’s teaching philosophy is a fascinating, evolving narrative of discovery, leading to the statement, “Now, I teach.” He is an anatomist; his students call him “one of the best profs on campus.” The first winner, in 2008, of The Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Teaching and Learning and a university Master Teacher, Baljit reaches out with his love of teaching into curriculum revision, mentoring, the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness, and published pedagogical research, the ultimate example of the individual mastering the lofty expectations of “the teacher-scholar” model.

The jewel in Baljit’s crown is being founding member of the Faculty in Residence Program. He lives with his family, in a residence hall, interacting with students daily, members of his extended family. Baljit is counselor, mentor, even summer job placement advisor. Workshops, conference papers, high school liaison, recruitment of Aboriginal students, and training international and local graduate students as teachers and researchers—all these add to his Teacher profile, demonstrating his dedication and outreach. He “encourages our individual learning, openly and with humour. Great job!”

John Smol
Biology, Queen's University

John Smol’s former student, current colleague, and nominator testifies: “John is the most successful research-based teacher at Queen’s and possibly in the country.” John’s international recognition as one of Canada’s foremost environmental scientists, coupled with his award-winning teaching programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and the public at large personifies teaching and educational leadership at its best. John’s achievements in both research and teaching are remarkable and seamless. Lauded by the NSERC President as “an interdisciplinary powerhouse”, John, a Canada Research Chair, has received 25 research awards and fellowships and recently named Canada’s Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medalist as top scientist or[...]

John Smol’s former student, current colleague, and nominator testifies: “John is the most successful research-based teacher at Queen’s and possibly in the country.” John’s international recognition as one of Canada’s foremost environmental scientists, coupled with his award-winning teaching programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and the public at large personifies teaching and educational leadership at its best. John’s achievements in both research and teaching are remarkable and seamless. Lauded by the NSERC President as “an interdisciplinary powerhouse”, John, a Canada Research Chair, has received 25 research awards and fellowships and recently named Canada’s Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medalist as top scientist or engineer.

As he melds exciting research discoveries into teaching, John’s audience is primarily his students but also policy makers, the media, and the public at large. John believes entering a “sacred trust” with students gives them “roots and wings,” demonstrating an extraordinary generosity, sharing his expertise and time. He is legendary in promoting numerous students to fill faculty and research positions in the best institutions around the world. Recipient of numerous department, faculty, and institutional teaching awards, John has been decorated for supervision, mentorship, and Queen’s highest award for service in recognition of his outreach teaching and public education.

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