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Dean's Teaching Awards - Faculty (RFA): 2018 recipients

Becky_ChomaBecky Choma
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Becky Choma has dedicated her career to teaching and student mentoring. In 2012, Dr. Choma became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2016, she won an Early Researcher Award to support research training in Ontario. She is an ardent follower of the literature on teaching and adopts a model that promotes active learning inside and outside the classroom. The research laboratory is an extension of her classroom. Dr. Choma has created and funded over 15 undergraduate research assistant positions, providing Ryerson University students with unique opportunities to conduct studies on prejudice and discrimination that have real-world relevance.



Sara_EdgeSara Edge
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Arts

Since July 2015, Dr. Sara Edge has brought tremendous value to Ryerson in her capacity as an educator, supervisor and researcher. She effectively incorporates her extensive academic background accessibly into lectures, pursues pertinent equity-based knowledge generation and inspires inclusive student engagement. Dr. Edge brings principles of collaboration and knowledge integration into the classroom. Her students practice their analytical, interpersonal and communication skills through innovative experiential learning opportunities, student-driven initiatives, guest lectures and field trips. Dr. Edge has a proven record of going above and beyond for students through mentoring on professional development and motivating high-quality learning by incentivizing participation.


Elsayed_ElbeshbishyElsayed Elbeshbishy
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Since Dr. Elbeshbishy joined Ryerson in 2015, he has demonstrated excellent teaching and student supervision which is highly recognized by students. He has played a key role in several committees related to teaching and academic affairs in the department and faculty level to improve the quality of the education. He uses small scale physical models (visual aids) of real structures that stimulate students' imagination in understanding the three-dimensional aspect. He prepared "Digital Audio and Video Lab Manual" in order to enhance the teaching experience of the students and give them more time to conduct the experiments by themselves in the lab.


William_HuggonWilliam Huggon
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts

Will Huggon joined Ryerson in 2015 and quickly became a popular professor teaching large introductory classes – this includes the added responsibility of students not only new to psychology, but to university life. Despite his heavier teaching load as an LTF, Will consistently receives excellent feedback, frequently mentioning a student-centred approach. Introductory courses have a large amount of complex material in a short time, but this is one of Will’s teaching strengths – a logical, natural presentation including clear connections between concepts combined with seamlessly incorporating student questions. His teaching style has been described more like engaging and intriguing conversations than lectures.​



Julie Kellershohn
Marketing Management, Ted Rogers School of Management

Julie creates an engaging classroom environment, provides experiences that translate theory into practice and looks for opportunities to connect her students to industry professionals to take subject matter beyond the textbook and into an experiential educational moment. She creates a rapport with her students by encouraging them to think critically and provides a safe engaging class environment, encouraging team work, so they can learn from each other. Julie comes into teaching with a unique industrial background, which she leverages in the classroom. Julie clearly loves her time teaching and she continues to evolve her teaching skills to meet student needs.



Adrian_MaAdrian Ma
School of Journalism, Faculty of Communication and Design

Adrian Ma's exceptional knowledge of digital media and current industry trends have rejuvenated the journalism program at Ryerson. His enthusiasm and innovation have galvanized both students and faculty, catapulting the curriculum into the modern era. Through his engaging lectures and lab tutorials, he strives to share his enthusiasm of the reporter's craft in online and interactive storytelling. All the while, Adrian creates a respectful conversation in the classroom about the intricacies of reporting on underrepresented minorities, including the LGBTQ and Indigenous communities. With infectious energy, Adrian fosters an inclusive and supportive learning environment, which prioritizes academic rigour and journalistic inquiry.


Joseph Recupero
RTA School of Media, Faculty of Communication and Design

The RTA Sport Media program is in its fourth year and for the past three years, assistant professor Joe Recupero has successfully developed new curriculum for courses such as single-camera and multi-camera TV production, media writing and current affairs documentary. Joe's approach to teaching is unique, both within the classroom and in the lab. Joe's pedagogy rests on both theory and practice. Joe has been effective in leveraging and combining his 30 years of industry experience with his theoretical and technological innovative focus. His approach truly benefits the student learning and contributes to setting a high standard for all.



Jasna Schwind
Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services

Increasingly, university students are experiencing stress and anxiety, such that it impedes their academic success and personal wellbeing. Congruent with her teaching-learning philosophy, Dr. Schwind practices holistic person-centred education, where she meaningfully engages students in teaching-learning relationships through creative activities. In addition to creative self-expression of the Narrative Reflective Process, which includes storytelling, metaphors, creative writing and critical reflection, she has been engaging her students in brief mindfulness practices at the start and at the end of each of her weekly classes. Students' feedback consistently express the benefit from these activities, requesting that such be integrated in all courses.


Oona_St-AmantOona St-Amant
Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Services

Dr. Oona St-Amant is passionate about teaching-learning and espouses that education happens at 'the hyphen'. This philosophy permeates her work and pushes her for excellence in teaching. Her students admire her ability to be engaging, unpack complex ideas with clarity and invite critical thinking. For Dr. St-Amant, teaching and research are not separate initiatives, but coupled aspects of transformative knowledge translation. She is vested in extending Nursing pedagogy and scholarship through her program of research which sheds light on culturally responsive care, global health and unpaid care work through various initiative including performance-arts. Dr. St-Amant is one of a kind.



Sharareh Taghipour
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Sharareh Taghipour's goal in teaching, besides promoting the knowledge of students in the subject matter, is to help students become decent and caring people in their social and professional lives. Through her innovative course design and teaching style, she improves the students' critical thinking and decision-making abilities, and enhances their team working and communication skills. Dr. Taghipour has demonstrated strong evidences of excellence in classroom teaching creativity and innovation, curricular design, leadership in teaching, and teaching effectiveness. She treats the students with respect and dignity, and is always willing to provide support to them inside and outside the classroom.


Melissa_ToffaninMelissa Toffanin
School of Accounting and Finance, Ted Rogers School of Management

Melissa is unusually passionate about teaching, and her enthusiasm shows through in both the time that she allocates to her task and in her approachability and affability with students. Melissa's goal is to provide students with easy and friendly ways to engage with her, with other students and with the subject matter. Melissa does all this while teaching arguably the most challenging course in the program, a Finance course required of all students, not just numerically-inclined ones. Melissa is a most deserving recipient of a Deans' Teaching Award this year.