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Faculty of Community Services

Faculty award recipients

Congratulations to the 2016/17 Faculty of Community Services award recipients. Your dedication to excellence is an inspiration to all of us.

Photography by Clifton Li.

School of Child and Youth Care

Collaborative Research Award

Judy Finlay, School of Child and Youth Care

Judy Finlay has been a pioneer in non-traditional research methods that are based on a deep engagement of marginalized and often extremely vulnerable communities as partners in her research. Finlay has, over the course of the past thirty years, developed collaboration among academics, community leaders, Indigenous leaders, and young people that has produced knowledge of immediate consequence to the wellbeing of real people in real circumstances. Her research is the foundation of social innovation and change-making. The benefits of Finlay’s research have been enormous to those often left voiceless, but also to students and the university.



Dean’s Teaching Award (RFA)

Tara Collins, School of Child and Youth Care

Tara Collins is an extraordinary teacher who combines a strong commitment to inclusive classroom communities with a personalized approach to ensuring effective and rewarding learning outcomes for students. She shares her vast professional and academic connections in the broader field of children’s rights with her students, so that virtually every aspect of the curriculum is tied to the very summit of scholarly and professional activity in the area of children’s rights in Canada and globally. From retired Senators of Canada to some of the best known scholars in the field, Collins ensures that students have access to the cutting edge of children’s rights theory, research and practice.



The Usha George Faculty Recognition Award

Kiaras Gharabaghi, School of Child and Youth Care

Kiaras Gharabaghi is an out-of-the-box thinker, an inquisitor of taken-for-granted assumptions and a colleague who infuses collaboration with joy. As the prime architect of the Child and Youth Care (MA) graduate program, he secured its approval in record time. As the strategic lead for social innovation in the faculty, he has charted an authentic approach that resonates with the social justice activism of our schools. His reputation as a transformative teacher and scholar landed him a seat on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Residential Services Panel, where he championed the voices of young people. His work enhances the reputation of Ryerson University, the Faculty of Community Services and the School of Child and Youth Care.

Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Chancellor's Award of Distinction

Janice Waddell, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing and Faculty of Community Services

An exemplary leader in promoting teaching excellence, Janice Waddell sets the gold standard. She braids together science and art in crafting the scholarship of teaching and learning. Students admire her as an innovative teacher and visionary leader. In her professional world she is a super star. Waddell has made an outstanding impact on building a culture of scholarship and teaching within our faculty, our university and beyond. A recognized scholar, an award winning teacher, a spirited mentor and community builder, she has made her mark as an esteemed and venerated leader at Ryerson.



Dean's Service Award

Lori Schindel Martin, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Lori Schindel Martin is an associate professor at the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. Her internal service work includes extensive contributions to Ryerson University at the school, faculty and university levels, such as the Research Ethics Board. Her external service includes representing Ryerson on the Ontario Interdisciplinary Council for Aging and Health. Her service extends to support for the development of internal research capacity and health care policy of not-for-profit service organizations such as Advanced Gerontological Education, Alzheimer Society of Hamilton & Halton, Gerontological Nursing Association Ontario and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario Best Practice Guideline review panel for Delirium, Dementia and Depression.



Knowledge Mobilization and Engagement Award

Jennifer Lapum, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Jennifer Lapum methodically embeds knowledge mobilization into her arts-based program of research. A powerful exemplar is the design, execution, and evaluation of the seven thousand twenty-forth patient art installation. The 1,700 square foot and 9½ foot high Baltic Birch and aluminum structure follows a labyrinth formation to characterize a patient's journey deep within oneself and the personal transformation that manifests. Poetry and images, derived from research on heart surgery, are imprinted on hanging textiles. Her research, including this ground-breaking approach to research dissemination in the health sciences, has had wide-spread impact on shaping scholarship and practice within and outside of Canada's healthcare system and the larger community.



Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard Faculty Award

Annette Bailey,  Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing



Social Innovation and Action Research Award

Josephine Wong, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Josephine Pui-Hing Wong's research program is underpinned by the principles of health equity and social justice. It focuses on how social identities and positions related to gender, class, sexualities, and racialization shape the health practices and health outcomes of marginalized groups, particularly in the areas of HIV/AIDS, social stigma and mental health. She works closely with diasporic communities to design rigorous and innovative community-engaged research that goes beyond understanding the effects of social marginalization on health to designing groundbreaking interventions to reduce health disparities and promote resilience. Her research is well recognized for its sustainable impact on health equity.

School of Disability Studies

Dean’s Teaching Award (Contract Lecturer)

Chelsea Jones, School of Disability Studies

Chelsea Jones is a remarkable instructor whose reflexive pedagogy supports students’ collective learning both online and in classrooms. Jones brings a decade of journalistic storytelling and her recent research on inclusive space-making to courses. Her creativity supports an innovative, experiential pedagogy: she teaches through podcasts, app-led neighbourhood tours, Twitter, and classroom art exhibits. Jones' gentle approach calls students to think through current events coupled with theory and community engagement. By positioning fairness, collaboration, and access at the forefront of her praxis, Jones involves students in classroom building for social justice as she advocates for their success across the university.

School of Early Childhood Studies

Provost's Innovative Teaching Award

Marni Binder, School of Early Childhood Studies

Marni Binder is a creative, caring and passionate professor who exemplifies innovative teaching approaches in her undergraduate and graduate courses. Binder's pedagogical beliefs promote the scholarly capacities of her students through experiential learning — bringing together active engagement, critical thinking and creative endeavours that involve the arts. Drawing on her research, extensive teaching and leadership experiences in public schools, she seamlessly transfers theory to practice connections to university teaching. She infuses technology in assignments, risk-taking and the visual arts through authentic applications of curricular design. Her research informs her teaching experiences.



Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award

Susan Jagger, School of Early Childhood Studies

Susan Jagger is an accomplished educator. Her creativity, experience, and commitment are an inspiration to her students and her positive attitude is contagious. On numerous occasions, she has proven her dedication and enthusiasm to the field of education. Her students appreciate her innovative and engaging teaching style, her open door policy, her loyalty, and her use of universal design in the classroom. Prior to joining the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson, she completed a PhD in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She also has a bachelor of science in Biology, a bachelor of education in Elementary Education, and a master of arts in Curriculum Studies from the University of Victoria.

Interdisciplinary studies

Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award

Pascal Murphy, G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education

Pascal Murphy's alternative teaching method removes hierarchies from the classroom and creates an atmosphere where learning occurs by sharing and accepting the experiences of others. Lives are rarely changed after a single class, but Pascal transforms his course into a life-changing experience that ignites a passion for social justice in every student. This passion and lessons learned are what will inspire future leaders from Ryerson to create positive social change.

"Taking a class with Pascal was a unique and unforgettable experience that has inspired me to continue on a lifelong path of learning and activism. I am grateful and fortunate to have had the opportunity to be in Pascal's class because I will forever be a better student, womyn, nurse and member of my community."  

– Nominator

Pascal teaches CINT/INT 908: Homelessness in Canadian Society, a course associated with the Faculty of Community Services.

Midwifery Education Program

Provost's Experiential Teaching Award

Vicki Van Wagner, Midwifery Education Program

Vicki Van Wagner was the first director of the Ryerson Midwifery Education Program and is one of the original and most influential registered midwives in Canada. She exemplifies excellence in experiential clinical teaching in her work with midwifery students, clinical teachers, and through her widespread contributions to curriculum development at Ryerson, in Nunavik and internationally. Van Wagner's innovations make the teaching and learning of midwifery skills effective, fun and accessible. She is collaborative, clear, informed, relaxed, confident and inclusive. Her experiential approach inspires students to link theory with practice and gain confidence and competence with the very hands-on work of being a midwife.

School of Nutrition

Dean's Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Award

Nick Bellissimo, School of Nutrition

Nick Bellissimo is an internationally-renowned expert in the area of food intake regulation, exercise physiology, and energy imbalances. His dedication to the field of nutrition has led to the publication of five peer-reviewed journal articles, and four abstract presentations last year. In addition to his in-class teaching, he mentors several undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctorate fellows. His passion for knowledge-sharing is reflected through his role as the founder and the director of Nutrition Discovery Labs, Nutrition and Exercise Testing Laboratory, and the Nutrition and Exercise Education program designed for secondary students.

School of Occupational and Public Health

Dean's Teaching Award (Contract Lecturer)

Melissa Moos, School of Occupational and Public Health

Melissa Moos is an enthusiastic, patient and student-oriented educator, whose use of multimedia and current events promotes student engagement and interest. She has over ten years of teaching experience in a variety of settings, and is highly regarded for her ease of communication and teaching methods. Moos strives to learn new and innovative methods of teaching practices through professional development, and continues to grow as an educator.



Dean’s Service Award

Eric Liberda, School of Occupational and Public Health

Eric Liberda’s activities at Ryerson University and the extramural groups in which he works with exemplify his commitment and dedication to community service. In addition to teaching over 750 students in 2015, Liberda has found the time to excel in his taught courses while maintaining an impressive peer-reviewed publication output and serving on more than a dozen departmental, faculty, university, and community level committees. He has acted as chair for several essential services such as the Academic Integrity Council, and as member on a large number of committees across the university.



Dean's Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Award

Richard Meldrum, School of Occupational and Public Health

Richard Meldrum is an experienced researcher with a background in public health and food safety. The author of 30 peer reviewed journal papers, Meldrum is currently supervising two PhD and one master's project. His main research areas are food safety policy and the effects of climate change on public health. Meldrum has been pivotal in enhancing undergraduate project work within the School of Occupational and Public Health by spearheading the development of a Departmental Research Ethics Board and by coordinating and encouraging various external agencies to collaborate in the support of undergraduate research.

School of Social Work

Dean's Teaching Award (RFA)

June Yee, School of Social Work

June Yee is an academic scholar who has a passion for inspiring students to reach their academic potential and takes the time to work alongside students to reach their learning goals. She has shaped the social work profession and scholarly field on race and racism in numerous ways, including in the areas of immigration, mental health, social and community services, employment for internationally educated social work professionals and child welfare. Yee makes a valuable impact on student learning in the classroom that is directly connected to her research and practice work in the community.

School of Urban and Regional Planning

Yeates School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Awards

Pamela Robinson, School of Urban and Regional Planning

Pamela Robinson exemplifies engaging and innovative teaching, mentorship of the highest quality and an ever present collaborative spirit. She is an exceptional teacher, influential mentor, authentic leader and valued colleague. Her leadership is collaborative, nimble and responsive. Graduate students and alumni alike describe Robinson's mentorship as having a tremendous impact on their growth as individuals, scholars and impassioned planners. Her impactful mentorship as associate dean also fosters a milieu that encourages a sense of community in which FCS graduate program directors share best practices with the shared goal of ensuring that graduates are positioned for success in their chosen profession.