Deans' Teaching Award: 2015 recipients
Ahmed Abdelrahman (Shaker)
Department of Civil Engineering
Ahmed Shaker joined the Department of Civil Engineering in Fall 2007, and currently he is the interim Graduate Program Director of Civil Engineering Department. Dr. Shaker is the winner of the prestigious Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship (European Commission), the National Science Progress Award in Surveying and Mapping from the Chinese National Congress (China), and the Bronze Medal Award from the Canadian Remote Sensing Society (Canada). Dr. Shaker has taught in Egypt, Hong Kong, Spain and Canada. Dr. Shaker's teaching skills are highly recognized by the students with respect to his effective teaching, industrial story sharing, and his open door strategy. He participates in various committees in the department and faculty level so as to improve the quality of education and promote the departmental programs to the youth community. Under Dr. Shaker supervision, 15 awards have been received by his students in the last 5 years.
Department of Psychology
Students refer to Alexandra Fiocco as a mentor. Students say she equipped them to apply skills to the real world, and she is dedicated, encouraging, and caring. In essence, Dr. Fiocco cares about teaching and she shows this through all of her practices. She has taken time to develop her skills through LTO workshops, and mentorship at the department level. She participates in student events, she provides students experiential opportunities in her laboratory and she is not afraid to innovate in her classroom. She believes her job is to prepare her students for future challenges and she does so by modelling effective problem solving and allowing students the space to discuss their needs. As one student said in an email to her "I always seem to walk away from your office feeling better than when I walked in."
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Christopher Gibbs is a dynamic business man and academic with an outgoing personality, a passion for people and desire to provide outstanding service. He is a high achiever, an articulate professional whose demeanor consistently demonstrates veracity and accountability. He has shown outstanding leadership in the classroom providing course content that is current, relevant and delivered in an innovative manner. With more than 20 years of diverse travel, sports, entertainment, and hospitality industry experience he guides and engages students through case studies, debates or in-class activities. His students always get the opportunity to participate in a learning activity in class. His ability to motivate students and his peers at Ryerson University and within the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is a testament to his passion for teaching and academia.
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies
Christopher Greene acts as an endless source of knowledge, inspiration and commitment to environmental issues as covered in the program and to effective and inclusive teaching. Professor Greene always demonstrates immense patience and understanding towards his students, and there is never a question disregarded or belittled. He helps to nurture the ideas and interests of students in his courses, and always stresses the ability for students to discuss any issues they are having with him. Through his teaching, he showcases the many facets and routes of the environmental realm, and because of this, students gain confidence and hope for the direction in which they will go. He acts as a role model for students in the EUS program and a person deserving profound respect and admiration.
Department of Mathematics
Chul Kim combines excellent instruction and creative approaches to transform the way students see first and second year calculus. In Dr. Kim's hands, low-tech analog materials like slices of apples as well as high-tech gear like tablet technology all become tools to illuminate the mechanism and magic of the subject. Since Dr. Kim joined the Ryerson faculty in 2001, thousands of students have had the privilege of his enthusiastic and passionate pedagogy, and they have hailed him repeatedly as "the best professor in Ryerson," or as "the greatest professor ever." He has worked tirelessly ensuring consistency of quality instruction and earning the respect of his colleagues. Despite numerous accolades, Dr. Kim continuously seeks to improve his teaching and his craft. His dedication, organization, and industry are inspirations to this peers and students alike.
School of Child and Youth Care
Calvin Langton is an invaluable asset to the faculty and university. Dr. Langton exemplifies the scientist-practitioner ideal. He is actively involved in conducting and publishing research on applied and theoretical issues, which are directly relevant to clinical work with clients across the lifespan. Indeed, he exemplifies the scientist-practitioner-teacher ideal because, to his impressive research and practice efforts, he adds innovative, supportive, and highly successful engagement with students. As a practicing clinical forensic psychologist in a department representing child and youth care, Dr. Langton demonstrates outstanding commitment to multidisciplinary evidence-based practice and emphasizes the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration. He invests considerable time, energy, and enthusiasm teaching about research and practice. Students feel validated, respected, and encouraged by his inclusive and exciting teaching strategies. He is a one of a kind professor; many of us seek to emulate him.
Department of Chemistry and Biology
Andrew Laursen is an extremely dedicated, responsive and caring professor who engages his students through a variety of creative, interactive and highly effective means. In short, his teaching exemplifies the very essence of classroom creativity and innovation. His approaches to his teaching include the "flipped classroom", the use of YouTube and homemade videos to complement his lecture material and the posting of prerecorded lectures on Ryecast, the latter to permit more time for in class discussion of the lecture topics.Through his role as Academic Program Coordinator in the First Year Science Office, he has shown excellent leadership in teaching and curriculum design as well as student mentoring and advising. His current work on a movie series entitled "Paddle to the Sea", a project aimed at engaging grade school students in learning about the Great Lakes is one of many examples of his outstanding educational contributions to the larger community.
Department of Law and Business
Since joining TRSM in 2012, Chris Macdonald has built a strong foundation for ethics and critical thinking education that delivers on the School's mission to shape conscientious, civic-minded business leaders who add value to their communities. He has done so through the development of new courses in business decision making and ethics in commerce, multiple guest lectures that he delivers across the University and beyond, and through the programming that he developed for the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre. Chris's accomplishments represent the direction higher education must take in the coming years: it should be innovative, technology enabled, and it must effectively break down disciplinary silos. As a philosopher by training who is based in a School of Management, Chris has a remarkable capacity to forge meaningful relationships with colleagues across departments and faculties at Ryerson for the advancement of ethics and critical thinking education.
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Community Services - Food Security
Reg Noble is instrumental to the success of The Chang School's award-winning Certificate in Food Security program. As Academic Coordinator, Reg ensures the academic rigour of curricular content and a rich learning experience for students. He is also an outstanding instructor. Students and colleagues praise Reg for his passion about Food Security issues, including his ability to engage and motivate students and foster a vibrant community of learners and peers. His deliberate selection of technological tools for teaching has led to excellent projects and partnerships that address food security issues nationally and internationally. Reg's outstanding leadership and adoption of new teaching methods have had a unique global reach, with students "attending" Ryerson from various countries around the world. Under Reg's mentorship, students have graduated with prestigious scholarships and academic awards. Reg is regularly asked to speak for international organizations, such as the United Nations.
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Jamin Pelkey, since his arrival to the LLC and the FoA in 2013, has been an instrumental partner in research, service, and most especially in teaching. In addition to bringing a dynamic range of languages to the Faculty of Arts, his contribution to curriculum development in the new Option in Anthropology Studies and the new program in Language and Intercultural Relations have been paramount to the building and success of these programs. Dr. Pelkey's teaching style is engaging, dynamic and inspiring. Be it in his large first year classes, or his fourth year seminars, students have the opportunity to learn that Dr. Pelkey is at once entertaining and a truly inspirational teacher.
School of Journalism
Every journalism student in graduating year has been taught by Lisa Taylor between twice and five times -- testimony to Lisa's nimbleness. She teaches foundational courses in general news, television reporting, media ethics and law, as well as information and visual resources for journalists. Students describe her as a wise counsellor, passionate teacher, and enthusiastic advocate for the rights both of students and of the stakeholders in journalism— including those who are interviewed for news stories and those whose lives will be touched by this work. At home in the lecture hall, the studio, and the small classroom, Lisa has now stepped forward to develop e-learning modules for the program's new curriculum, in the development of which she played a pivotal role. She spends time every year learning new tools and applying them in the classroom—steadily challenging and inspiring her students to reinvent themselves.
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Scott Tsai is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and Harvard University, respectively. Dr. Tsai specializes in fluid mechanics, and leads the Laboratory of Fields, Flows and Interfaces in developing biotechnology using microfluidics. His teaching style involves using curiosity-led approaches to ask effective scientific questions and understand problem statements. Dr. Tsai emphasizes dimensional reasoning and solution functional forms in the analysis of engineering problems, to build the students' intuition for problem solutions. Dr. Tsai credits colleagues in the department for sharing innovative ideas on how to engage students. He also draws inspiration from his former PhD advisor, who was passionate in both research and teaching. Most of all, Dr. Tsai is thankful to his students for making lectures enjoyable. The students' questions and discussions have made Dr. Tsai a better teacher and scholar.