Professor Lorraine Janzen Kooistra was named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations in September 2013. “Professor Lorraine Janzen’s research focus may be the literature of the 19th century,” said OCUFA President Kate Lawson, “but she uses technology and innovative classroom environments to make students feel like they’re very much learning in the 21st.” Chelsea Miya, an MA student in the Literatures of Modernity program, echoes this assessment: “her fusion of past with present, combining archival research with computer-enhanced learning, has revolutionized my approach to literary scholarship.” Professor Janzen teaches Victorian literature and culture, fairy tales, and children’s literature in the department; in all her courses, she uses a variety of experiential methods to inspire and engage students. For example, Professor Janzen encourages students to showcase their research and critical thinking about literature in digital exhibits open to a worldwide internet readership. “’Thinking through making’ in building a digital exhibit raises questions of authorship and audience, credibility and authority,” says Janzen. “It aims to make both students and professor critically aware of our social, economic, and political roles and responsibilities in the production and dissemination of knowledge.” Her students enthusiastically endorse her approach. “I know that future students will continue to benefit from her dedication to digital pedagogy and student-centred learning,” says former Undergraduate Research Opportunity Scholar Ali Versluis. Third year English student Nabila Islam agrees, praising Janzen’s “zest for learning as well as teaching and developing new strengths in her students.” Professor Janzen’s commitment to innovative teaching was recognized earlier this year with the Provost’s Experiential Teaching Award at Ryerson.
Professor Lorraine Janzen Kooistra was named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations in September 2013.