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Faculty of Science 2021 Award Recipients

The Faculty of Science is proud to have faculty and staff members who exemplify excellence at Ryerson. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients for their exceptional contributions in teaching, research, leadership, and service.  

Dean’s Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Awards

Recognizing individuals for their scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activity and impact on their disciplines.

Dr. Niushan Gao

Dr. Niushan Gao (Pre-Tenured), Department of Mathematics

Dr. Niushan Gao has made internationally recognized research achievements in the interdisciplinary areas of Quantitative Risk Management, Financial Mathematics, Actuarial Sciences, and Operations Research. During his employment at Ryerson, he has published research papers in the best journals in these areas such as Mathematical Finance, Finance and Stochastics, Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Mathematics of Operations Research, which is very rare among Canadian researchers in the area. Due to his excellent research work, Dr. Gao has been invited to give talks at many international institutions.

Dr. Alireza Sadeghian

Dr. Alireza Sadeghian (Tenured), Department of Computer Science

Dr. Sadghian’s contributions to SRC have been extremely impactful. He publishes his work in high-quality venues and is exemplary for his ability to produce useful real-world results that have been applied in various medical contexts. His work has inspired his students--many are now professors in their own right or have leadership roles in industry. He has been producing excellent results for years but this year was particularly fruitful and for this he heartily deserves this award.

Dean's Service Award

Recognizing exceptional or distinguished service to a department, school, faculty and/or the university.

Dr. Roberto Botelho, Canada Research Chair

Dr. Roberto Botelho, Department of Chemistry and Biology

Since joining Ryerson in 2008, Dr. Roberto Botelho has displayed an outstanding commitment to Ryerson through his many service contributions. Collectively, Dr. Botelho's contributions facilitated the development of new undergraduate and graduate programs and enhanced the curriculum of previously existing programs, developed networking opportunities for graduate students, increased research intensity and quality in molecular sciences, and helped develop a vision for Health research at Ryerson. Dr. Botelho is proud of his role in recruiting new faculty members to lead the future of education and scientific research at Ryerson, thus enhancing Ryerson's reputation within the national and international scientific stage.

Dean's Teaching Awards

Recognizes continuing teaching excellence and achievement in instruction.

Dr. Kathleen Wilkie

Dr. Kathleen Wilkie(Faculty), Department of Mathematics

Dr. Wilkie teaches to inspire interest and success in mathematics by demonstrating how it applies to every-day life. She motivates concepts with real-world examples and applications from her research in human disease, including cancer. In a field that many find challenging, Dr. Wilkie’s lecturing methods set students up for success by simultaneously building up their fundamental understanding, intuition, and confidence. Her comprehensive teaching style and use of real-life examples and physical props engages students with the course material in fun and memorable ways.

YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award

Recognizing faculty excellence in the complex process of mentoring graduate students to prepare them for productive careers.

Dr. Ali Miri

Dr. Ali MIri, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Miri is a dedicated and compassionate mentor who works to create personalized study and research plans for his students that build on their interests, strengths, and goals. He is a strong believer in EDI principles; his students come from different ethnicities, cultures, and genders from around the world. Dr. Miri uses his extensive network of collaborators, professional engagements, and projects to provide his students opportunities to improve their research and networking skills. To date, he has supervised close to 90 students and has served on over 100 additional advisory committees. He has co-authored over 230 manuscripts with his students.

Julia Hanigsberg Make Your Mark Staff Award

In recognition of Julia Hanigsberg, former vice-president, administration and finance.  

Kevin Liu, Technologist with the Department of Physics

Kevin Liu is an employee of exceptional talent and dedication, whose initiative and innovative contributions to his Department and the University through the last year merit gratitude and recognition. Exceeding his primary role supporting the delivery of Physics teaching labs, Kevin went to great effort this year developing novel physics simulations critical in our shift to online teaching labs, constructing a radiation-safe equipment enclosure critical in launching new biomedical physics research, and 3D printing hundreds of face-shields critically needed by our front-line healthcare workers. One cannot overlook Kevin Liu’s exceptional contributions to Ryerson’s success!

Department of Chemistry and Biology Technical Staff (RALE Development)

The Chemistry and Biology technical staff, Saif Al Alul, Robert Denning, Miriam de Jong, Angelica Florentinus-Mefailoski, Ella Hyatt, Shawn McFadden, Karen Puddephatt, Liberty Victorio-Walz and Wei Zhang, are being nominated for their dedication in creating the online Ryerson Augmented Learning Experience (RALE) in response to the Covid-19 Crisis. The creation of the RALE interface required the team to develop skills that go beyond their job descriptions in order to provide our students with a series of video and Augmented Reality learning experiences in place of the undergraduate labs required for their programs. Thanks to this team, Ryerson has the only Chemistry and Biology programs in the country that are using in-house developed AR experiences as an alternative to our laboratory experiments.

The Early Scholarly Research and Creative (SRC) Career Excellence Award

Recognizes an individual’s outstanding SRC activity in the first five years of their academic career and who has made a significant contribution in their area(s) of expertise.

Dr. Miranda Kirby, Canada Research Chair

Dr. Miranda Kirby, Department of Physics

Miranda Kirby is a Canada Research Chair in Quantitative Imaging, a Parker B. Francis Fellow in Pulmonary Research, and the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy Theme lead at iBEST. An expert in quantitative multi-modality imaging of lung disease, Professor Kirby is internationally recognized as a rising leader in her field. She has received research funding from NSERC, CIHR, NIH, the Lung Health Foundation and the Canadian Thoracic Society. Professor Kirby has over 70 publications and has, to date, trained 28 HQP, many of whom have received SRC awards and distinctions.