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Four “truly outstanding instructors” win Cormack Teaching Awards in FASS

Monday, June 25th, 2012

From left to right: Kate Slaney, John Bogardus, and Nicole Jackson, three of the four recipients of Cormack Teaching Awards for 2012 …

… and John Harriss, this year's fourth winner.

John Craig, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has a problem that he seems unusually happy to acknowledge: “Teaching is so strong within our faculty that it’s quite difficult to narrow down the list to only a handful of winners.”

He’s talking about the process of determining recipients of the faculty’s Cormack Awards for Teaching Excellence, given each year to outstanding instructors within FASS. Fortunately, this year’s awards committee was able to meet the challenge, and Craig recently announced the names of four “truly outstanding instructors” who will receive the honour at the next FASS annual general meeting in fall. The list includes, by design, a lecturer, an assistant professor, an associate professor, and a professor:

  • John Bogardus, senior lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology, is an educator wholeheartedly dedicated to creating self-reflective and collaborative learning environments. The former sawmill and steel foundry worker, first aid attendant, journeyman carpenter, and psychiatric nurse focuses on producing ethical, productive, analytically sound, and deeply engaged work that resonates far beyond the classroom.
  • John Harriss, professor and director, International Studies, has taught at least twice the required course load since starting to teach at SFU in 2006. He also redesigned the undergraduate major and the MA program in International Studies. According to one student, Harriss is “intimidating in his intellectual accomplishment and approachable in his warm and personable manner.”
  • Nicole Jackson, associate professor, International Studies, creates a dynamic and highly interactve classroom by using structured debates, short videos, guest speakers, a core “introductory reader,” and various multi-media sources. One of her most successful teaching approaches involves having students act as a mock UN subcommittee to respond to a scenario drawn from current events.
  • Kate Slaney, assistant professor, Psychology, joined the department in 2006 and quickly took on the task of teaching five of the department’s most difficult undergraduate courses. Although students are often apprehensive about large lower-division classes, they have given her exceptionally high ratings, along with praise for “excellent assignments, handouts, and communication skills” and for her ability to “make the boring interesting.”

This post is based on information from the FASS website. Read the full story at FASS Faculty Profiles – Awards and Honours.

John Bogardus’s faculty profile page: www.socanth.sfu.ca/people/john_bogardus/

John Harriss’s faculty profile page: www.sfu.ca/internationalstudies/harriss.html

Nicole Jackson’s faculty web page: www.sfu.ca/internationalstudies/jackson.html

Kate Slaney’s faculty profile page: www.psyc.sfu.ca/people/index.php?topic=finf&id=112

Kate Slaney’s lab website: www.sfu.ca/psyc/faculty/slaney/

Read about the nomination process for the Cormack Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

Recipients of 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Congratulations to the 2009 recipients of the SFU Excellence in Teaching Award:

To find out how these exemplary teachers motivate students to love loathed subjects and learn in difficult circumstances, read the SFU News.

Listen to faculty members discuss teaching and learning in large classes

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Adapting to the demands of teaching larger and larger classes requires a shift in thinking about the instructor’s role. With the new role, one where the tension between efficiency and effectiveness is ever-present, comes the opportunity to explore new ways of engaging students in their learning.

On April 7, 2010, SFU faculty members, instructors, and graduate students joined Dr. Russell Day, Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, and Dr. Douglas Allen, Professor, Economics Department – recipients of the 2009 SFU Excellence in Teaching Award – to discuss ways they have adapted to the greater diversity, the greater technological skills, and the larger and larger numbers of students while remaining connected to sound pedagogical principles. Some of the questions explored include the use of humour and story-telling, and the use of technology in support of teaching (e.g., web, clickers). 

The session was recorded with the Digital Lecture Recording system. Press play below to listen or download the audio recording (MP3).

Note: there is music at the beginning of the recording.

Russell Day

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Russell DayDr. Russell Day received the 2009 SFU Excellence in Teaching Award .

Student nominators say his lectures are engaging and laced with his trademark humour as well as passion for his topic. They also appreciate the music he plays (U2 and Queen) prior to class and his invitation to drop by his office and introduce themselves.

Day balances his first-year class load with teaching instructional-skills workshops at universities across the country. Not bad for a fellow who never earned a high school diploma and started university at age 30.

Email: russell_day@sfu.ca

Department of Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Link: http://www.sfu.ca/psyc/faculty/day/  


Gary Poole

Thursday, January 1st, 1998

Dr. Gary PooleDr. Gary Poole received the 1998 SFU Excellence in Teaching Award.

While many instructors might come to teaching unintentionally, Poole says he always had a burning ambition to teach.  “I’m a compulsive teacher. I like explaining things to people. I like being around when people get that Aha!”  Maintaining his enthusiasm for teaching is never a problem, despite the fact he’s been standing behind a lectern for many years.  “I keep it fresh because the students are fresh,” he says.  In 1994, Dr. Poole’s teaching excellence was further recognized when he was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

Email: gary.poole@ubc.ca

Department of Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Link: http://www.spph.ubc.ca/?p2=/modules/hce/faculties/faculty.jsp&fId=43

Dennis Krebs

Sunday, January 1st, 1989

Dr. Dennis Krebs received the 1989 SFU Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2007, Dr. Krebs’ teaching excellence was further recognized when he was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

Research Interests: Evolution of morality and self-deception.

Teaching Interests: Social, developmental, social evolution, professional issues.

Email: krebs@sfu.ca

Department of Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Link: http://www.psyc.sfu.ca/people/index.php?topic=finf&id=47