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Deans' Teaching Awards: 2011 recipients

Jennifer Carson
Faculty of Arts

Dr. Jenny Carson is an inspiration to her students. Since coming to Ryerson in 2005, she has developed a loyal following of devotees who praise her brilliance, enthusiasm, commitment, respectfulness, and ability to make the study of history both fascinating and relevant. Above all, Jenny stands out for her willingness to make time for current and former students, providing assistance with coursework, help with applications for graduate programs and employment opportunities, and contacts with professionals in various fields. Such a commitment has proven incredibly productive, as Jenny's students have gone on to pursue successful endeavours in graduate school, education, and law, among others; what is more, they are quick to credit Jenny as a primary reason for their success. In short, Jenny's teaching is not confined by the walls of the classroom or the boundaries of her discipline, and this has inspired not only her students, but her colleagues as well.

Anne-Marie Lee-Loy
Faculty of Arts

In her seven years here at Ryerson, Dr. Anne-Marie Lee-Loy has consistently demonstrated a truly remarkable level of teaching excellence. Her unsurpassed dedication to her students and her ability to share with them her passion for learning have become legendary. She incorporates innovative and effective teaching strategies into her courses, embraces the principles of experiential learning, and fosters in her students a culture of respect and a sense of their own citizenship or belonging to the community both within and beyond the campus. She is highly respected and admired by students and colleagues alike. In describing Dr. Lee-Loy's approach to teaching, one of her students quoted Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." I join this student in suggesting that Dr. Lee-Loy has lit countless fires not only in the minds but also in the hearts of her many students.

James Nadler
Faculty of Communication and Design

James Nadler is a gifted teacher who serves as a strong role model and mentor to his students both at Ryerson and in the media industry after they graduate. His ability to motivate students and enthusiasm for teaching are at the highest level. His student evaluation scores have been consistently excellent in courses ranging from first year writing labs to business/legal courses to a mass lecture on broadcast history. James brings fierce dedication to teaching, industry experience, innovative research and humour in the classroom. He has developed new courses and innovative teaching methods (one involved free cans of tuna). Students and faculty evaluators of Professor Nadler's teaching point to his compelling style and the active engagement of students in his classes. For a newly tenured faculty member these are remarkable achievements. In the coming years, James is sure to serve as an example of Ryerson's commitment to first-rate teaching."

Said Easa
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Easa, FEAS Director of Quality Assurance, has demonstrated outstanding commitments to excellence in teaching. He has led the FEAS's efforts to implement the new CEAB accreditation criterion. In the classroom, he is known for his innovative tools to motivate students. For example, in lectures he asks critical thinking questions to push students' thinking outside the scope of the topic. A former student wrote "Dr. Easa's ability to interact and motivate students makes him one of the best teachers at Ryerson." His scholarly achievements have been well recognized. He has almost 200 refereed journal articles to his credit and is extremely active in the profession. He served as Vice-President (Administration) of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, chaired its Education and Research committee, and led several national conferences. He is the recipient of numerous best-paper and lifetime achievement awards recognizing 28 years of distinguished contributions to teaching and research.

Alagan Anpalagan
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Anpalagan is recognized for his dedication to enhance and promote undergraduate and graduate education in the department of electrical and computer engineering through his effective teaching, student engagement, curriculum development and academic administrative work; for being a passionate teacher, a great mentor and counselor for students; and for being a role model for students through his professional activities within and outside Ryerson. For his valuable and sustained contribution to the department and its students over the last few years, that made a significant positive difference in students' education, training, and learning experience at Ryerson, this submission is made for the faculty teaching award.

Kaamran Raahemifar
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Raahemifar is a very dedicated professor who cares tremendously about his students - not only does he make analogies so that we can understand the abstract concepts of electrical circuits but he also spends additional time of his own to answer questions and explain one-on-one to whoever needs it. During my four years at Ryerson, I have never seen a professor who is so passionate at teaching and engaged with his students. It surprises me how many names he can remember - even when a class is about 200 students! Lectures are full of energy from both the professor and students wanting to participate because we don't feel embarrassed if we make mistakes. We are constantly reinforced that we are learning and there is nothing wrong with mistakes as long as we learn from it. I never want to miss any of his classes because he is just so good at what he does!

Nadya Burton
Faculty of Community Services

I am delighted to announce as recipient for the Dean's Teaching Award, Nadya Burton from the Midwifery Education Program.

A flood of letters from faculty and students supported Nadya's nomination--attesting to the highly significant impact of Nadya's extraordinary teaching. With a combination of academic rigor and meaningful application to practice, she fosters students' ability to work skillfully and compassionately across differences of identity and social location.

Here are her students' words:

"Nadya balances a deep critical analysis with a humanness that is inspiring to us as students and future midwives."

"With patience and care, she helped us face difficult ethical scenarios, address social injustice, and embrace and celebrate diversity."

"It takes a great teacher to get people to move beyond conceptionalizing theory and understanding it as something that can be felt."

"I learned that I am smart; that I have important things to say. My academic confidence grew tenfold."

Kiaras Gharabaghi
Faculty of Community Services

Dr. Gharabaghi has blended the key tenants of his discipline; relationship and critical self reflection into a unique approach to being with students and transforming their very nature so that they may transform the young people that they work with. As he says in his teaching philosophy: " ... a philosophy of relationship and connection. Learning is not only about the acquisition of knowledge and information, but much more fundamentally, it is about the connections we make every day between what we know, what we are experiencing and the relationships we encounter along the way." In the relatively short period of 4 years, Dr. Gharabaghi has engaged students on a learning journey in the classroom, in the halls, and in the social locations where students and faculty gather. He is a deserving recipient of the FCS Dean's Teaching Award as a collaborator in the translation of knowledge and understanding into critical reflection and ultimately into new habits for ethical practice with young people in today's society.

John Edward Stowe
Chang School of Continuing Education

"Only halfway through second semester of the Ryerson COMD201 course, having started in September with no knowledge of Chinese, I was able to write a four-paragraph presentation directly in Chinese, without translation, in Hanyu Pinyin, and to present it orally in understandable Mandarin," quoted Judith Dalché, one of John's students.

And Norah, a retired Ontario teacher, states: "He makes learning a joy and makes it possible to imagine and then achieve the previously unimagined goals."

Dr. John Edward Stowe's passion for teaching is infectious. He constantly inspires his students to step out of their comfort zone, by continuing their education in China at a Chinese university or by joining the national Chinese speech contest in Toronto.

John came to Ryerson from New York University, where he had previously taught Chinese Mandarin for 10 years. There he was presented with the Award for Teaching Excellence in 1988. In the year 2000, he created the Chinese Language Program at Ryerson, where he attracts university students as well as professionals. "Even very advanced students continue to enroll and even repeat a course just to be in Dr. Stowe's class as there is always something new to learn," testifies Venita Jay, MD.

Roy Morley
Ted Rogers School of Management

Roy holds a BSc in Civil Engineering, an MBA from York, a PhD from Ivey, and is a Professional Engineer (PEng).

His business experience includes engineering design and construction, project management of large, complex projects, business planning, consulting, marketing, and operations management. He has lived and worked in England, St. Lucia-West Indies, Africa, and Trinidad. He has served as a Director on Boards in the Private and Not-for-Profit sectors, and for many years has been very active in the Voluntary/Not-for-Profit Sector.

In over 26 years at Ryerson, he has taught nineteen different courses. His primary area of interest is services organizations, and service quality, but his teaching repertoire is very broad. Also, he has worked with numerous student groups, either as Faculty Advisor, or in some other role.

Roy had consistently achieved an enviable record of high quality teaching. Letters of support from students and faculty, in addition to extremely good teaching evaluations, substantiate this.