This year’s recipients of the annual President’s University-Wide Teaching Awards (UWTA) are being honoured for their innovation and commitment, as well as for having significantly enhanced the quality of learning by York students.
“Teaching excellence is the foundation of York’s reputation as one of the leading Canadian universities,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “These recipients are outstanding individuals who are to be commended for their commitment and dedication to creating a stimulating and rich learning environment for our students.”
The recipients are chosen from four categories: full-time faculty with 10 or more years of teaching experience, full-time faculty with less than 10 years of experience, contract and adjunct faculty, and teaching assistants. They are selected by the Senate Committee on Awards. The goal of the awards is to provide significant recognition for excellence in teaching, to encourage its pursuit, to publicize such excellence when achieved across the University and in the wider community, and to promote informed discussion of teaching and its improvement.
Each award winner will have their names engraved on the President’s University-Wide Teaching Awards plaques in Vari Hall. They will also be recognized during Spring Convocation ceremonies.
The recipients of the 2013 awards are:
Professor Dawn Bazely of the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science will receive the award in the Senior Full-Time Faculty category. The Senate Committee on Awards was impressed with the evident time and effort Bazely puts into thinking and writing about teaching, and making innovative changes to her courses. Students praised her ability to bring her research and life experience into the classroom, noting that she is a great mentor and wonderful role model whose passion inspires.
“It is a great honour to receive this award, especially because I have spent five of the last six years being the director of a research institute. To my mind, teaching and research go hand in hand and are completely intertwined,” says Bazely. “Those teachers who most inspired me during my undergraduate and graduate student times are (were) also outstanding and quite famous researchers. Not only were they my role models, but I also consider the wonderful students that I have had the privilege of teaching at York to be important role models for learning, teaching and research.”
Professor Peter Tsasis, jointly appointed to the School of Health Policy & Management in the Faculty of Health and the School of Administrative Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, will be awarded in the Full-Time Faculty category. Students clearly value Tsasis’ inclusive classroom environment where he uses multiple innovative and challenging learning strategies to engage all learners, wrote the Senate Committee on Awards. Letters in support of the nomination speak to his leadership in the use of diverse forms of experiential learning, as well as to his outstanding mentorship and commitment to students’ success.
“It is a tremendous honour that I am to receive this award,” says Tsasis. “I would like to thank my colleagues for their support, and the students, for whom I am given the privileged opportunity to help impact their learning journey.” In 2010, Tsasis received recognition for outstanding leadership as an undergraduate program director at the School of Health Policy & Management, and in 2011 he received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, in the Established Career Category, also at the Faculty of Health.