Awards & Showcases
Nominations for 2021 Internal Teaching Awards are Now Open!
Do you know exceptional faculty, staff, or teaching assistants who contribute to incredible teaching and learning experiences at Trent? Nominate them for an internal teaching award!
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University is consistently recognized nationally and internationally for award-winning faculty who are committed to the success of the individual student. As dedicated mentors and teachers, Trent faculty pride themselves on making their classes and lessons both challenging and enjoyable for their students.
At a University renowned for teaching excellence, faculty members are honoured on an annual basis with a number of distinguished teaching awards. For taking the student experience to the next level, Trent’s teachers have also been recognized provincially and nationally with the most prestigious teaching awards and honours.
Recent Award Recipients
Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching (2020)
Kathryn Chittick (English)
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.”
Award for Excellence in Online Teaching (2020)
Kim English (Nursing)
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 chooses 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.”
CUPE 3908-1 Award for Excellence in Teaching (2020)
Derya Tarhan (International Development Studies)
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.”
Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance
Kelly Wright (Chemistry)
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.
OUSA Award Celebration of Teaching Excellence
[From Left: Scott Henderson (Head of Trent Durham), Daniel Travers, Amanda Paxton, Jim Cosgrave, Joel Baetz, Alba Agostino, Cathy Bruce (Dean of Education, Teaching & Learning)]
On November 27, 2019, we held the inaugural OUSA Award Celebration of Teaching Excellence at Trent University Durham. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Teaching Excellence Award recognizes educators who excel at unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people and successfully engaging individuals in the learning experience so as to spark the desire to learn in students.
This year, we celebrated these exceptional recipients of the OUSA Award for Teaching Excellence:
- Daniel Travers, History (2019)
- Alba Agostino, Child and Youth Studies (2018)
- Amanda Paxton, English Literature (2017)
- Joel Baetz, English Literature (2016)
- Jim Cosgrave, Sociology (2015)
- Ben Bauer, Psychology (2014)