SFU’s annual Teaching Excellence Awards demonstrate the high priority the university places on teaching that can enhance the learning experience of students. The adjectives used by students to describe the three 2011 recipients, announced in February, indicate the depth of the influence an exceptional instructor can have on the up-and-coming generation.
Lynne Quarmby (above), a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is “inspiring.” Ash Parameswaran, a professor in Engineering Science, is “super approachable and nice” besides providing “SUPER clear explanations.” Jamie Mulholland, a lecturer in Mathematics, is devoted, passionate, creative, and fair.
The three instructors employ varied approaches to teaching. What they share is a love for their disciplines and a passion – and ability – to communicate this enthusiasm to their students. A theme that runs through their conversations about teaching is the importance of connecting the subject matter to the “real world” of their students. For example, Parameswaran challenges his students to create a “MacGyver-style” radio from everyday items.
All three instructors were honoured with $2,000 awards at SFU’s annual awards dinner on February 27. We will be posting video interviews with these exceptional members of the SFU community in the weeks ahead. Read more about their contributions here.