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Engaging style earns psychology professor spot in finals of Best Lecturer competition

By Antoinette Mercurio

Sohail Rashid

Described by his students as engaging and inspiring, psychology professor Sohail Rashid is a finalist in the 2010 TVO Best Lecturer competition.

A Ryerson professor nominated for his engaging and energetic teaching is in the finals of the 2010 TVO Best Lecturer competition.

Psychology professor Sohail Rashid has been chosen as a top 10 finalist in the annual contest, selected from a group of 332 nominees. TVO will air a video of one of Rashid's lectures on March 13 at 5 p.m. Viewers can then vote online or by phone. The winner will be announced April 17 with the winner's school receiving a $10,000 TD Insurance Meloche Mennox scholarship.

Ryerson has a record of success in the competition: history professor Arne Kislenko won in 2005 and professors Oren Amitay, psychology; James Cunningham, philosophy; and Dana Lee, radio and television arts have all been semifinalists in the past.

"I am very pleased and honored to be representing Ryerson in the top 10 of the competition. I really didn't think I would make it so far due to the number of nominations this year," Rashid said.

Teaching at Ryerson for more than 22 years, Rashid describes his lecturing style as animated; entertaining and engaging students through his use of everyday examples to illustrate difficult concepts. Students have said, "He is the most inspiring lecturer . . . his enthusiasm and energy for psychology are so contagious, his students are motivated to immerse themselves deeper into the subject. His encouragement and sense of humour make the difficult subject matter easy to understand and enjoyable. Without a doubt, professor Rashid's dynamic teaching style leaves a lasting impact on his students."

"He has amazing energy and enthusiasm for the course and everything he teaches. He delivers the material in a way that is fun and exciting and you can't help but hang on to his every word. He relates real-world situations to theory that make even the most difficult topics easy to understand."

Rashid teaches introductory psychology, personality theories, social psychology, psychology of thinking and industrial psychology. He's been nominated for teaching excellence awards and was involved with Ryerson University Now, a Spanning the Gaps program initiative, teaching introductory psychology to marginalized high school students in an effort to encourage them to pursue post-secondary education. He's also volunteered with the Learning is ForEver Institute, the seniors program at The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. Crossing disciplines, Rashid currently teaches an adult developmental course for the Collaborative Ryerson-Centennial Nursing program.

Click here for video of Rashid's submission lecture.

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