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Faculty of Science 2020 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.  

Chancellor's Award of Distinction

Recognizes life-long career commitment to teaching and learning as evidenced by an outstanding and sustained record of teaching excellence.

Andrew Larson, Department of Chemistry and Biology

Across all letters in support of Dr. Laursen is the resounding sentiment, “I cannot think of a better example of excellence in the arena of teaching and learning at Ryerson.” His innovative teaching focuses on experiential learning and include: flipped classrooms; students developed podcasts; Halloween parades; and development of a first year “Biology Kit” for a lab away from lab project. Andy has taught and excelled in both large and small classrooms as evidenced by his incredibly high student evaluation scores. He is also currently GPD of the EnSciMan Graduate Program and a key builder of graduate education at Ryerson.

Dean’s Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Awards

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

Konstantinos Georgiou

Konstantinos Georgiou (Pre-Tenured), Department of Mathematics

Dr. Georgiou deserves the Dean's SRC Activity Award for his contributions in his research expertise, and his training record of HQPs. Dr. Georgiou is a well-recognized scholar in Theoretical Computer Science with more than 60 publications in international peer-reviewed conferences and journals, 10 of which were published in 2019. Only while at Ryerson University, since 2015, he has supervised more than 20 students in various research programs. 4 of his MSc students graduated in 2019. In his career, he has secured $240k in research funding, while he is also prolific in contributing to various SRC activities promoting academic excellence.

Janet Koprivnikar (Tenured), Department of Chemistry and Biology

Dr. Janet Koprivnikar’s research considers the ecology of infectious diseases in wildlife. Her work takes an interdisciplinary and multi-faceted approach to better understand strategies used by hosts and parasites in defence and maximizing success, respectively, and how these may be affected by environmental perturbations – key issues given that emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are of major concern for the health of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. The high impact of this research is underscored by 11 journal articles in the preceding year with students and international collaborators, well as involvement in 9 conference presentations and invited talks.

Ali Miri

Ali Miri (Tenured), Department of Computer Science

Dr. Miri has over 25 years of research experience in security and privacy technologies. He has contributed a stream of innovative solutions to address challenges faced in cybersecurity and computer networks. He is the Director, Information and Computer Security Laboratory (iCaSL), and the Broadband Internet Innovation Center (BIIC), in which he leads a very active research program. He has collaborated with a large number of government and industrial collaborators. He has received over $7M in research funding, supervised 93 HQPs, and has published over 220 manuscripts, books and patents.

Dean's Service Award

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

Konstantinos Georgiou

Konstantinos Georgiou, Department of Mathematics

Dr. Georgiou has made significant service contributions to the Department of Mathematics, as well as to his profession (external service). Among his most notable contributions are the shaping of the newly introduced graduate program over the last 4 years through various service activities. Moreover, Dr. Georgiou has been involved in the local organization of two international conferences, held on campus, promoting this way the reputation of his department and of Ryerson University. Overall Dr. Georgiou has been an inspiration especially among the graduate students and his young colleagues due to his exceptional service record for a tenure-track faculty.

Dean's Teaching Awards

Recognizes continuing teaching excellence and achievement in instruction.

Monica Sauer (Contract Lecturer), Department of Chemistry and Biology

Dr. Sauer is an excellent instructor who incorporates different teaching methods such as visual learning, e-learning, classroom discussions and practical applications to enhance the student learning experience. Her teaching philosophy which focuses on helping students to enjoy and appreciate learning is to be admired. She helps students use their critical thinking skills to understand the material in her courses. Dr. Sauer goes beyond the classroom setting to help her students by always offering her help and guidance. She focuses on promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Ryerson community. She is truly an inspiration and an asset to Ryerson’s Faculty.

Todd Springer

Todd Springer (Faculty), Department of Physics

Dr. Springer is a dedicated educator who joined Ryerson in 2016, where he has taught 18 science and engineering classes, including 8 different courses which range from large enrollment first-year engineering courses to upper division science courses. A firm believer in cooperative group problem solving and peer instruction, Dr. Springer incorporates interactive engagement techniques and e-learning resources in his courses to promote deep conceptual understanding. He has also worked to modernize and improve the introductory laboratory experiments with the creation of new experiments, and with the development of lab manuals which encourage active learning.

Julia Hanigsberg Make Your Mark Staff Award

Recognizing those who have demonstrated excellence in client service, community engagement, innovation or sustainability.  

Stephanie Jakobowicz

Stephanie Jakubowicz, Dean's Office

Stephanie Jakubowicz (née Suckling; FoS) continues to provide outstanding support to the research endeavors of the Department of Chemistry & Biology. Her role as Research Accounts & Support Officer enables streamlining of our array of research accounts and grants connected to a plethora of vendors, stipend accounts, etc. through a department linked at the graduate level to Environmental Science & Management and Molecular Science. Stephanie also coordinates our financial operations at the undergraduate level to programs in our department and Biomedical Sciences. She has consistently demonstrated exemplary service to our unit in an efficient and highly professional manner.

Linda Grayson Administrative Leadership Award

Recognizing those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership through effectively managing a project, activity or team, to achieve outstanding results.

Shawn McFadden

Shawn McFadden, Department of Chemistry and Biology

Shawn McFadden embodies the best elements and practices of shared, positive and professional working relationships between faculty, staff and the students we serve. He has demonstrated outstanding vision over the last 3 years in terms of designing and creating safe laboratory work spaces and practices that enhance the student experience. His leadership has included extensive consultation with all stake holders in providing the initial designs and layouts. He has also championed the development of the technologically advanced showcase Ryerson Analytical Facility (RAF) in the past year, and pursued support within Ryerson to equip the RAF with new analytical instrumentation.

Sarwan Sahota Ryerson Distinguished Scholar Award

The Sarwan Sahota Ryerson Distinguished Scholar Award is presented annually to one or more faculty members who have made an outstanding contribution to knowledge or artistic creativity in their area(s) of expertise while employed at Ryerson

Michael Arts

Michael Arts, Department of Chemistry and Biology

Dr. Michael Arts is a preeminent Canadian scholar with an international reputation for his work on fatty acids in aquatic food webs. He has made groundbreaking discoveries and developed innovative techniques highlighting how lipids can be used as biomarkers of health and as biochemical tracers of ecosystem function under natural and anthropogenic stress. With over 120 papers, 4,737 Google Scholar citations, and books that provide an essential background to the field of study, Dr. Arts is known for both the quality of his research and his passion for developing solutions to the impacts of climate change on fatty acids

YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award

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

Alireza Sadeghian

Alireza Sadeghian, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Sadghian’s contributions to graduate education have been extremely impactful but are highlighted by simple metrics. He has supervised 13 Phd, 27 Masters and 11 Post Docs. Many are now professors in their own right or have leadership roles in industry. All this has been accomplished while spending 10 years as the Chair of the Department of Computer Science. Prof. Sadeghian has clearly shown leadership in this capacity and heartily deserves this award.