Trent University is pleased to announce that Dr. Keith Walden, professor in the Department of History, will be presented with the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching at the 2013 Convocation ceremonies.
Established in 1976, the Award is made available through the generous support of Trent University founding president, Professor Tom Symons and his wife, Christine. The award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who displays exemplary teaching and concern for students. This is the 36th year that the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching has been conferred.
“In receiving this award, Dr. Walden is recognized for his compassion, selflessness, and commitment to ensuring the success of his students. He is also credited, at the graduate level of study, for enriching the perceptions of the fields of Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies as a whole,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University.
The classroom environments which Professor Walden has established are lauded for their benefit to student learning by playing to the strengths and interests of not only the individual student, but also the class as a collective. “I never felt that what I said would be criticized – which is one of the reasons I wanted to participate so willingly,” explains a nominator. “I always did my readings for his class...”
Prof. Walden continues to show care and individual attention to his students’ academic growth outside of the classroom. In speaking to his support, one nominator writes: “Keith is dedicated to helping students develop as scholars. He has the rare ability to carefully guide students while, at the same time, allowing them to chart their own academic future and ensure they have the proper intellectual tools to develop their skills as teachers, researchers, and scholars.” Another nominator writes, “Dr. Walden’s feedback on assignments is physical evidence of his extraordinary level of dedication to and concern for his students. In some cases, particularly with shorter assignments, the amount of commentary and suggestions for further improvements rival the length of completed papers.”
“Keith has also served with distinction as an editor of The Canadian Historical Review and his great skill as a prose stylist as well as a meticulous, insightful reader of other people’s work has left many Canadian historians in his debt,” explains a colleague. “Outside of Trent University, he is recognized as one of Canada’s leading cultural historians, someone who has played a critical role in over the past three decades in helping to define our understanding of Canada’s response to modernity in the late 19th and early 20th century through his widely praised books Visions of Order, (1982) and Becoming Modern in Toronto: the Industrial Exhibition and the Shaping of Late Victorian Canada, (1997),” the second of which was awarded both the Chalmers Prize and a Canadian Historical Association ‘Clio’ award for best book on Ontario history in its year of publication.
It is clear that the respect for Prof. Walden held by his students and colleagues is reciprocal. In learning about this award recognition, Prof. Walden commented, “There are many outstanding teachers at Trent, including a number in my own department, who have not received the recognition of the Symons Award. I feel very lucky to have been singled out. I’m grateful to everyone who took time to write letters on my behalf. I’m grateful to all of my colleagues whose dedication has made me strive to be a better teacher and scholar. Most of all, I’m grateful to all of my students who have made being in the classroom such a rewarding experience.”
Prof. Walden joined Trent University’s History Department in 1976 as a sessional lecturer and was converted to the regular tenure stream in the academic year 1979-80. He is currently teaching Canada and Culture(s), a graduate-level course; the History of Night, a fourth-year course, and Canada in the Age of Consumption, a second-year course.
In addition to receiving his award at Convocation, Prof. Walden will be among four internal teaching award recipients honoured at the Celebration of Teaching Excellence on Thursday, March 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Alumni House in Champlain College. All are welcome.
To learn more about Trent’s teaching excellence visit: www.trentu.ca/teaching