Trent University's union for contract faculty, CUPE 3908 Unit 1, is pleased to announce that José Miguel Garcia Ramirez of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 CUPE Award for Excellence in Part-time Teaching.
Mr. Garcia Ramirez has been teaching as a CUPE instructor at Trent University since 2008. During his first year at Trent he taught Introduction to Spanish and Intermediate Spanish. Over the past three years, Mr. Garcia Ramirez has continued to teach Introduction to Spanish and has added the following courses to his teaching repertoire: conversation classes for continuing, intermediate and advanced Spanish and fourth-year reading courses Didáctica de la Lengua Española and Relatos de Vida.
“This excellence in teaching award recognizes the positive impact which contract teachers at Trent have on their students,” explained Stephen Horner, the chair of the CUPE Teaching Awards Committee. “The committee was impressed by the nominations that were submitted over the time period of 2008 to the present, which described José Miguel as an outstanding teacher and educator who has great influence on students and their learning. The quality of the nomination letters for José Miguel, as well as many other CUPE 3908 Unit 1 members, speaks to the important role that contract faculty are increasingly playing in the academic lives of their students.”
Several themes across all nominations convinced the committee members that Mr. Garcia Ramirez was very deserving of this award. The themes in the nominations ranged from providing “a very close and safe environment for students to work and grow in” to the “major role” Mr. Garcia Ramirez plays in his students’ “understanding of the content, contextualization of class material and appreciation for the Spanish culture and language.” Others speak of the impressive 100 per cent class participation and his high expectations for his students to accomplish their goals not only in his courses, but in their lives in general. “His reputation within the Spanish Department grows every year,” explained a student nominator. “He is also one of the teachers that will continue to gain Trent the high-class reputation for undergrad studies that it currently holds.”
“I am very happy to receive this award,” said Mr. Garcia Ramirez. “It is an honour to be recognized for my work as an instructor. I have met many excellent professors at Trent, but there is one in particular—Gary Aitken—who has had a great influence on myself and my students as an outstanding advisor. I would also like to thank the students who nominated me; students who, every day, achieve one of the fundamental goals of the university: to acquire, develop and share knowledge. ¡Gracias!”
Mr. Garcia Ramirez has worked for the Government of Andalusia since 1989; he is currently on a ten-year leave (2009-2019) which allows him to teach at both Trent University and the University of Granada. José Miguel credits the flexibility of the University of Granada for the wonderful opportunity which allows him to balance work and life in Peterborough with his work at the University of Granada; a challenging task given the geographic distance, with an ocean between the two locales.
Mr. Garcia Ramirez has earned a B.Ed.Sc and a M.Ed.Psych from the University of Granada and holds a University Expert designation in Education and Psychosociology. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. at the University of Granada and is scheduled to defend his dissertation in June 2012. His dissertation research, which is titled “Interpersonal Communication and Listening Processes in University Teaching,” is under the supervision of Manuel Fernadez Cruz, Research Professor in High Education in the University of Granada.
The CUPE Award for Excellence in Part-time Teaching was established to honour the work of contract faculty within the Trent community, providing students and colleagues with an avenue to express their appreciation and respect for the high quality of teaching provided by contract instructors.
Previous recipients of the award include: Matthew Thompson, Chemistry (2011), Leigh Symonds, Anthropology (2010); Shaoling Wang, Modern Languages and Literatures (2009); Adam Stibbards, Psychology (2008) Brent Wood, English Literature (2007); Melanie Buddle, History (2006); Fred Pulfer, Mathematics and the School of Education (2005); Graham Murphy, Cultural Studies (2004); Wendy Kelly, Psychology (2003); Jim Cosgrave, Sociology (2002); and Jill Smith, Women's Studies (2001).
José Miguel Garcia Ramirez will be among four teaching award recipients honoured at a special reception celebrating Trent’s teaching excellence on Wednesday, April 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Lady Eaton College’s Pit. Presentations will begin at 4:15 p.m. All are welcome.
To learn more about Trent’s teaching excellence visit: www.trentu.ca/teaching