Greg Evans
Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto

Greg Evans is an environmental engineer whose students are encouraged to think of themselves as global citizens, putting their engineering skills to work for social change. He has shifted the perception of what engineering education could be. In courses such as “From Role Play to Reality,” students work on projects like an eco-tourism resort on an Aboriginal reserve in the Northwest Territories or an analysis of air pollution from Toronto’s airport rail link. He has co-developed with a student the “Team Effectiveness Learning System,” a web-based tool that supports personalized learning of team skills in very large undergraduate courses. He[...]

Greg Evans is an environmental engineer whose students are encouraged to think of themselves as global citizens, putting their engineering skills to work for social change. He has shifted the perception of what engineering education could be. In courses such as “From Role Play to Reality,” students work on projects like an eco-tourism resort on an Aboriginal reserve in the Northwest Territories or an analysis of air pollution from Toronto’s airport rail link. He has co-developed with a student the “Team Effectiveness Learning System,” a web-based tool that supports personalized learning of team skills in very large undergraduate courses. He also created the Leadership Infusion Initiative as a way to provide all undergraduate engineering students with a basic understanding of leadership.

Building bridges matters to Greg: he has supported diversity initiatives for the Aboriginal, Black, and LGBTQ communities. He also led a substantial expansion of outreach programs in an effort to encourage elementary and high school students to pursue higher education in science and engineering. Greg is helping to establish engineering education as a profession, through initiatives such as the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering and the Graduate Collaborative Program in Engineering Education.

Alison Flynn
Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

Alison Flynn’s student comments say it all: “Amazing, amazing, amazing professor-shared the material effectively, easy to follow, made every part of the course easy to understand” — not the typical comments for organic chemistry, often considered one of the toughest courses to pass in university. A colleague describes her as a chemistry education superstar for her intelligence, expertise, versatility, and sheer energy. A leader in the use of technology in the classroom, she collaborates with students and uOttawa’s Teaching and Learning Support Service to develop open access online tools to teach students chemistry nomenclature and core concepts in French and[...]

Alison Flynn’s student comments say it all: “Amazing, amazing, amazing professor-shared the material effectively, easy to follow, made every part of the course easy to understand” — not the typical comments for organic chemistry, often considered one of the toughest courses to pass in university. A colleague describes her as a chemistry education superstar for her intelligence, expertise, versatility, and sheer energy. A leader in the use of technology in the classroom, she collaborates with students and uOttawa’s Teaching and Learning Support Service to develop open access online tools to teach students chemistry nomenclature and core concepts in French and English, used by tens of thousands of students worldwide.

As well as being a first-rate instructor, Alison is a pioneer in chemistry education research in Canada; she is one of the first faculty members to supervise graduate students in this area. Her research has made her a sought-after speaker on how to effectively and efficiently “flip” the classroom so that students can learn simple concepts at home and undertake problem-solving in class. She and her colleagues have implemented and evaluated a new organic chemistry curriculum at the University of Ottawa, a curriculum that replaces rote memorization with deep learning processes. Her articles in the most renowned international journals for chemistry education have been highlighted by editors. An innovator and scholarly teacher, she is truly transforming the teaching of the life sciences at the University of Ottawa and beyond.

James Fraser
Physics, Queen's University

James creates communities of learning where students participate as “apprentice scientists” who can experience the exhilaration of being partners in knowledge-making and knowledge-sharing. His ability to inspire enthusiasm for physics has attracted increasing numbers of students to the discipline and reduced the gender gap in physics at Queen’s.

Nothing is more rewarding for James than seeing the lightbulb come on for students when they make leaps of understanding. He is advancing the trend of forming student-professor partnerships both in research and in teaching. A specialist in laser optics, he connects his research passion for light with his educational goal of[...]

James creates communities of learning where students participate as “apprentice scientists” who can experience the exhilaration of being partners in knowledge-making and knowledge-sharing. His ability to inspire enthusiasm for physics has attracted increasing numbers of students to the discipline and reduced the gender gap in physics at Queen’s.

Nothing is more rewarding for James than seeing the lightbulb come on for students when they make leaps of understanding. He is advancing the trend of forming student-professor partnerships both in research and in teaching. A specialist in laser optics, he connects his research passion for light with his educational goal of illuminating the complexities of physics, especially for first-year students. The stories of the lab become his course material. At the same time, he sees his classrooms as demonstration sites for new teaching approaches and engages students at all levels, from novice to advanced, in contributing to his course development and pedagogical innovation.

But his students are not the only beneficiaries of his visionary teaching. Fellow faculty are invited to observe his novel teaching approaches, and he mentors colleagues as they introduce their own new teaching strategies. He is appreciated on an international level for helping to transform how physics is taught, bringing intellectual generosity to the field.

Timothy S. O'Connell
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Brock University

Through his innovative “BaseCamp,” Tim O’Connell takes novice students with little experience in outdoor recreation and exposes them to hiking, canoeing, and rock-climbing in order to foster student success and leadership skills. That model has been adopted as a best practice by other Canadian universities. Tim has also led wilderness trips for groups of people with cognitive, emotional, mental, and physical disabilities. His broad view of the outdoors helps students think differently about how they engage with and respect diverse forms of relationship with the natural world. He literally and figuratively takes his students on a walk across the curriculum[...]

Through his innovative “BaseCamp,” Tim O’Connell takes novice students with little experience in outdoor recreation and exposes them to hiking, canoeing, and rock-climbing in order to foster student success and leadership skills. That model has been adopted as a best practice by other Canadian universities. Tim has also led wilderness trips for groups of people with cognitive, emotional, mental, and physical disabilities. His broad view of the outdoors helps students think differently about how they engage with and respect diverse forms of relationship with the natural world. He literally and figuratively takes his students on a walk across the curriculum in an authentic, thoughtful and student-centred way. For Tim, students are sense makers who make their own meaning from their experiences.

His philosophy is to lead from behind or lead from beside. He designs course components that include content that is both theoretically relevant and applicable to the students’ experience at the same time. Tim encourages deep reflection and awakens new insights through methods such as journaling: the result is that students leave with a new appreciation for engaging with the outdoors. His high-profile research in experiential education and its subsequent pedagogical applications in curriculum changes, program redesigns, and outdoor education labs have made him a leader both inside and outside his discipline.

Nicola Simmons
Education, Brock University

Nicola’s Education students might be asked to rewrite a course reading as a free verse poem or to consider the connection between theory and practice by building their thoughts with Lego. By freeing the creative spirit, this kind of pedagogy pushes students not only to make new connections but to see old connections from a new standpoint, which brings them into deeper critical conversations and engagement with the material. She is centrally concerned with the quality of students’ educational experiences and with their ability to function as critically informed learners across their lifespan. Nicola clearly walks the talk of best[...]

Nicola’s Education students might be asked to rewrite a course reading as a free verse poem or to consider the connection between theory and practice by building their thoughts with Lego. By freeing the creative spirit, this kind of pedagogy pushes students not only to make new connections but to see old connections from a new standpoint, which brings them into deeper critical conversations and engagement with the material. She is centrally concerned with the quality of students’ educational experiences and with their ability to function as critically informed learners across their lifespan. Nicola clearly walks the talk of best practices in adult learning.

Her impact on teaching and learning stems from her commitment to mentoring others. This is where her heart’s work lies. She is a pioneer who champions the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in Canada and internationally, building a better teaching and learning landscape in Canada. She established SoTL Canada, chaired the Educational Developers’ Caucus, and served as Vice-President for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. At the heart of these innovative techniques and influential scholarship, though, is a teacher with a profound effect on her students and colleagues. As she puts it, “ultimately, my leadership is about moving out of the way so others can move into leadership roles.”

Alan Steele
Department of Electronics, Carleton University

The magic of communication made possible by technology inspires students as they participate in electrical engineering research with Alan Steele. Students comment on how much they enjoy his courses, and one has even said: “too bad it was so short!” He is committed to helping aspiring engineers develop their creative and analytical dispositions as well as the practical skills they need to succeed on their journey. His graduates have become leading research engineers who push the boundaries of optical communications.

Students develop a passion for communication technologies when they engage with Alan. Through project-based pedagogy he makes complex concepts understandable,[...]

The magic of communication made possible by technology inspires students as they participate in electrical engineering research with Alan Steele. Students comment on how much they enjoy his courses, and one has even said: “too bad it was so short!” He is committed to helping aspiring engineers develop their creative and analytical dispositions as well as the practical skills they need to succeed on their journey. His graduates have become leading research engineers who push the boundaries of optical communications.

Students develop a passion for communication technologies when they engage with Alan. Through project-based pedagogy he makes complex concepts understandable, brings them to life, and connects them to real-life situations. A field trip to the Canada Science and Technology Museum inspired students to explore traditional radio communication and ultimately to establish the Carleton University Amateur Radio Club, and they invited Alan to be advisor and mentor.

Alan’s impressive commitment to improving student learning is transforming the way that electronics and electrical engineering are taught. He has designed technologically innovative programs to supplement what is offered in courses, and he has played an inspirational role in mentoring colleagues to adopt learning-centred approaches in engineering. Alan is on a passionate quest to inspire new generations of engineers by capturing their imaginations and enabling them to push the boundaries of communication technologies.

Gordon Stubley
Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo

Gordon has had a transformative impact on his university: as one colleague says “if you want a teaching and learning initiative at Waterloo to have legs, give it to Gord.” A mechanical engineering professor, he has had a campus-wide impact on both students and colleagues from Arts to Math to Health Sciences. He has changed the culture around teaching, acting as a guide committed to making teaching count and to helping his colleagues and his students succeed. Some of that change includes Waterloo’s Teaching Fellows program, their annual teaching and learning conference, and their new English literacy program.

He believes[...]

Gordon has had a transformative impact on his university: as one colleague says “if you want a teaching and learning initiative at Waterloo to have legs, give it to Gord.” A mechanical engineering professor, he has had a campus-wide impact on both students and colleagues from Arts to Math to Health Sciences. He has changed the culture around teaching, acting as a guide committed to making teaching count and to helping his colleagues and his students succeed. Some of that change includes Waterloo’s Teaching Fellows program, their annual teaching and learning conference, and their new English literacy program.

He believes his role as a teacher is to “help his students realize the limitations in their present understanding, feel safe in giving up the security of their present view, and build a new and broader framework for successfully tackling engineering challenges.” He is a teacher who always puts students first. His depth of knowledge both in his field and in the craft of teaching, coupled with his passion with sharing that with others, makes him an exceptional educator. He has led to a renaissance in teaching in the Engineering Faculty and in the university as a whole. His is a story of firsts that last.

Glen Van Brummelen
Mathematics, Quest University

Glen’s mantra is “I don’t teach mathematics; I teach students.” He engages his students utilizing provocative questions, student-centred activities, and discovery-based methods. His approach is warm and open, and “he is phenomenally sensitive to the perspectives needed for the appropriate development of mathematics in the lives of our students.” His empowering approach to education has had a phenomenal impact on his students and propelled them to great heights, as in one example from his Spherical Trigonometry class. This undergraduate class of first-year students was so engaged in the material and so unencumbered by traditional approaches to inquiry that they were[...]

Glen’s mantra is “I don’t teach mathematics; I teach students.” He engages his students utilizing provocative questions, student-centred activities, and discovery-based methods. His approach is warm and open, and “he is phenomenally sensitive to the perspectives needed for the appropriate development of mathematics in the lives of our students.” His empowering approach to education has had a phenomenal impact on his students and propelled them to great heights, as in one example from his Spherical Trigonometry class. This undergraduate class of first-year students was so engaged in the material and so unencumbered by traditional approaches to inquiry that they were able to discover a logical flaw in a fundamental theorem proof that had stood since 1807.

Glen was one of the founding tutors of Quest University. He helped create the principles for this revolutionary approach to education, an interdisciplinary, block-based model that is now being adopted around the world. A mentor to fellow faculty in this unique curriculum, he uses teaching triads to support innovative and ground-breaking instruction. Indeed his impact can be felt in the comment of one of his former students: “Glen opened my eyes to this whole world of possibilities of mathematics and what incredible things can be done with it.”

Jay Wilson
Department of Curriculum Studies, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan

Jay Wilson is “a consummate educator with ridiculous levels of energy and an insatiable desire to improve himself and inspire his students to do the same.” As a teacher of educational technology, Jay is always innovating, finding ways to include authentic experiential learning and to enhance the learning environment. This includes changing the location of a video design course to rustic labs in a remote setting that might be hostile for technology, but which was perfect for organically and relentlessly focussing his students on learning. His colleague says, “He does this masterfully, and as a result, students receive a learning[...]

Jay Wilson is “a consummate educator with ridiculous levels of energy and an insatiable desire to improve himself and inspire his students to do the same.” As a teacher of educational technology, Jay is always innovating, finding ways to include authentic experiential learning and to enhance the learning environment. This includes changing the location of a video design course to rustic labs in a remote setting that might be hostile for technology, but which was perfect for organically and relentlessly focussing his students on learning. His colleague says, “He does this masterfully, and as a result, students receive a learning experience that is unique, substantial, and lasting – and just the right amount of terrifying.”

Jay has shifted his university culture by re-energizing teaching through workshops, mentoring, and “Transforming Teaching” courses. He has created new programs and supported other departments to develop programs, including a certificate in indigenous languages. As a mentor, Jay is one of those rare people who has “personal gravity”: people flock to him because, as a past student says, “You can’t teach someone how to care. They either do, or they don’t. Jay does.”

Shelly Wismath
Liberal Education Program, University of Lethbridge

Shelly Wismath is “teaching ninja,” quiet, subtle and determined leader who has demonstrated what can be accomplished through sustained engagement with the intersection of research, teaching, and outreach. Colleagues say “Shelly is an unlikely teaching hero.” In her soft-spoken approach, she is recognized for her dedication to curriculum innovation, honing her teaching, mentoring colleagues, verifying the effectiveness of her strategies through research, and sharing her unmitigated joy in teaching. Shelly leads and mentors colleagues with gracious diplomacy.

She is an institution-builder, a key architect of the infrastructure for excellence in teaching at the University of Lethbridge by solidifying the Teaching[...]

Shelly Wismath is “teaching ninja,” quiet, subtle and determined leader who has demonstrated what can be accomplished through sustained engagement with the intersection of research, teaching, and outreach. Colleagues say “Shelly is an unlikely teaching hero.” In her soft-spoken approach, she is recognized for her dedication to curriculum innovation, honing her teaching, mentoring colleagues, verifying the effectiveness of her strategies through research, and sharing her unmitigated joy in teaching. Shelly leads and mentors colleagues with gracious diplomacy.

She is an institution-builder, a key architect of the infrastructure for excellence in teaching at the University of Lethbridge by solidifying the Teaching Centre, laying the foundation for key programs for support of teaching across campus. A distinguished scholar in abstract algebra, Shelly has transitioned from a recognized mathematician to a leader in liberal education, focusing on the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is a pioneer and role model for women in STEM, and students share stories of moving from fearing math to being incredibly empowered and confident in their abilities to solve problems and understand mathematical principles in a way that transcends their academics to impact success in life. Finally, Shelly is recognized for her passion and leadership in revitalizing liberal education, working with colleagues to build the program from the first-year experience cohort to the capstone course, reaffirming liberal education as central to the university’s mission. Her colleagues say Shelley “creates a community of inquiry in which students and instructors learn together to mutually construct knowledge and understanding and respect each other’s expertise.”

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