Trent University is honouring the incredible contributions of exemplary educators with a week-long virtual celebration of teaching excellence recognizing professors, instructors and teaching assistants from English, Chemistry, International Development Studies and Nursing as our 2019/20 award recipients.
“Each year, the Trent University community comes together to recognize outstanding professors, instructors and teaching assistants who make possible the personal, transformative academic experiences for which Trent is known,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor. “This year, although we cannot be on campus to celebrate together, it is still important to carry on with this tradition. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, committed and compassionate educators who embody the Trent experience and inspire students to achieve great things.”
From April 27 to May 1, across the University’s social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, Trent will shine a spotlight on the 2019/20 teaching excellence winners, including:
- Kathryn Chittick (English): Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching
- Derya Tarhan (International Development Studies): CUPE 3908-1 Award for Excellence in Teaching
- Kim English (Nursing): Award for Excellence in Online Teaching
- Kelly Wright (Chemistry): Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance
The campaign will launch with a celebratory video featuring all winners, as well as congratulatory message from Trent president Dr. Leo Groarke and will feature photos and videos of each winner. The campaign will culminate on Friday with a closing video message honouring all teachers and instructors at Trent from Dr. Joel Baetz, director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, organizers of the annual celebration.
“Over the last month or so, when our instructors were asked to teach remotely, they did so with an incredible amount of ingenuity, dedication, and generosity. It was challenging, but they did it, showing care for their students and their learning. I was so deeply impressed by those efforts,” said Professor Baetz. “And around this time of year, we’d usually be gathering, celebrating a few of our excellent teachers at Trent. And though we can’t get together this year, I hope that Kathryn, Kelly, Kim, and Derya all feel warmed by the spotlight that we’re trying to shine on them. They are wonderful teachers, and their students are grateful for the inspiration.”
Full profiles on each recipient including recipient quotes can be found below.
TEACHING AWARD RECIPIENT PROFILES
Kathryn Chittick, Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching
Recognizes faculty and staff members who encourage learning and who offer unique experiences to their students, challenge them to do their best work, and inspire them to learn.
Dr. Kathryn Chittick, a professor in the department of English, is recognized as a committed, compassionate, and challenging teacher who routinely empowers her students with a confidence they didn’t know they possessed. The fact that Professor Chittick has been nominated by undergraduate and graduate students, alumni as well as both faculty and staff is a strong recommendation of the far-reaching and lasting impacts of her teaching. Each spoke to the honest concern and kindness that Prof. Chittick demonstrates towards her students, as well as her ability to inspire and innovate their level of direct and embodied engagement with course materials.
In learning about being honoured with the Symons Award, Prof. Chittick reflected upon her experience in supporting students to realize their potential. “I like showing individual students how they really did have all the material already there for a very good essay, if they just rearrange the sentences and notice the argument that is emerging – I like them to realize how clever they really are,” she said. “And also, that doing better is in no way impossible, there is no brick wall in front of them. It just takes hard work, that is to say, a willingness to do it one more time.”
Derya Tarhan, CUPE 3908-1 Award for Excellence in Teaching
Recognizes contract faculty who have a strong, positive impact on students’ learning.
Derya Tarhan, an instructor with the department of International Development Studies is recognized for having a strong, positive impact on students’ learning through his clear lectures, relevant readings, patience while teaching, creative seminars, and general approachability. Professor Tarhan’s classes are dynamic, interesting, and enjoyable environments where he pushes students out of their comfort zones in order to inspire applied learning. Prof. Tarhan listens to student feedback and is responsive to their needs, makes himself available and provides timely feedback, while also remaining aware and supportive of student wellbeing. He has facilitated learning that has been meaningful and fun while going above and beyond to support student initiatives, including a student-led conference for which Prof. Tehran has invested much time and energy.
In learning about the award, Prof. Tarhan said, “I feel overwhelmingly grateful to all members of the International Development Studies community, who all welcomed me into an incredibly enriching, supportive and invigorating learning environment.”
Kim English, Award for Excellence in Online Teaching
Recognizes instructors who have demonstrated a passion for, and commitment to, online teaching and who have implemented effective approaches to fostering active learning and student involvement.
Professor Kim English, faculty member with the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing, is recognized for her innovative and accessible online course designs, and for her unique, engaging teaching style while being wonderfully attuned to the needs of distance learners. Professor English choses an approach that embraces flexibility and enthusiastic engagement in the digital context. She utilizes a digital remote nursing station as the focal point of her course work and has created "module" sections that are simple to navigate while giving her students choice. Her "digital storytelling" project allows a high degree of creativity from her students and her approach allows for financial accessibility as well.
In accepting the award, Prof. English nods to the support she received through the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and the ways she was able to make content “come alive” while also making it accessible, stating, “As a result of the support from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, I was able to really work on increasing the engagement for the students in this course. This was a game changer for me as the centre supported my (many!) ideas and worked with me to increase accessibility options for students.”
Kelly Wright, Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance
Recognizes teaching assistants who excel at encouraging learning in workshop, tutorial, seminar, laboratory, or field settings
Kelly Wright, a teaching assistant in Chemistry, is recognized for going above and beyond for the students in her labs and seminars. She has made a point to spend time one-on-one with each and every student, ensuring they fully understood complex laboratory techniques so that they would be well equipped to go on to work independently in industry or to continue in academic research. Seeing a particular need for more skill development required to complete an assignment, Ms. Wright organized a seminar where she led a detailed presentation on how to construct specific figures. Profoundly knowledgeable and organized, not only was Ms. Wright helpful to her students in planning and thinking through their experiments, she also made herself available after hours, even on the weekends to some groups in order to ensure their successful completion despite setbacks.
For more information about the Celebration of Teaching Excellence, including more details about the teaching awards and past teaching award recipients, visit trentu.ca/teaching
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham – Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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