Awards & Showcases
2022 Award Recipients
Decanal Awards for Teaching Excellence and Outstanding Mentorship
Decanal Award for Teaching Excellence in Education
Professor Bente Graham
In their lengthy testimonials, nominators recognized the ways in which Professor Graham continually developed new teaching strategies and demonstrated excellent pedagogy. They highlighted her deep care and concern for students, and the long-lasting impact of her work. One faculty nominator shared, “Bente has a wonderful way of knowing how to get the best out of her students through support, intentional planning and teaching and scaffolding of their learning in her courses. Bente encourages students to do their best work. I regard Bente as an exemplary instructor for her students but also as the consummate role model for colleagues like myself.”
Trent Durham GTA Award for Teaching Excellence
Dr. Amy Spendik
Professor Spendik, coordinator of the Policing and Community Well-Being program at Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, received lengthy student nominations which spoke of the impact she has had on student learning, and her imaginative and adaptive approaches to course design and delivery. One of Prof. Spendik’s glowing nominations noted: “The most important thing I can convey is that Dr. Spendik is a caring, empathetic professor who has invested in her students' success in the classroom and beyond it as well.”
Decanal Award for Teaching Excellence in Nursing
Dr. Abeer Omar
Professor Omar, assistant professor Trent/Fleming School of Nursing, received passionate nominations which commended her ability to create course materials and curriculum design which fostered motivating learning environments. One of her passionate student nominators noted: “Her genuine concern for our success and her passion for teaching were apparent. She challenged us with high expectations, while at the same time doing whatever she could to help us achieve them.”
Decanal Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr. Neal A. Smithwick
Professor Smithwick, received many nominations that reflected his ability to engage and inspire students, motivating them to pursue a deeper understanding of the subject matter. One nominator shared, “Dr. Neal Smithwick is an exemplary professor. His lectures are detailed and informative, and his delivery of material is superb. He moves about the room, engaging students in discussion, asking questions, opinions, and is very enthusiastic about teaching and helping us achieve the answers.”
Decanal Award for Teaching Excellence in the Sciences
Dr. Shannon Accettone
Professor Accettone, assistant professor in Chemistry and Forensics, received nominations which spoke to her innovative course design and assessment strategies, and her willingness to incorporate student feedback into the development of her courses. One nominator shared “her dedication to advancing her student learning experiences has provided an environment that encourages students to come to her and discuss issues that they are having not only in their academic careers but in their lives in general.”
Decanal Award for Teaching Excellence in the Sciences
Dr. David Beresford
Professor Beresford, assistant professor in Biology, received many nominations speaking to the dynamic and engaging hands-on learning experiences he created with students. Student nominators described the lasting impact of the experiential learning they undertook with Prof. Beresford. “Dave makes all students feel at ease and goes above and beyond to make the course enjoyable and memorable,” shared one nominator. “I would recommend his classes to all of my peers and will take all of the classes that he offers.”
School of Graduate Studies Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship for Senior Mentors
Dr. Jonathan Bordo
In his substantive and heartfelt testimonials, graduate students and faculty, recognized Dr. Jonathan Bordo’s willingness to embrace new ideas and methodologies, commending the encouraging way in which he helped his students to develop their own intellectual identities and passions. One nominator noted: “Always receptive to new ideas, Dr. Bordo’s approach is encouraging and inspiring, growing and stretching his students and their thought, helping them to find their feet as academics.”
School of Graduate Studies Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship for New Mentors
Dr. Wesley Burr
In their expansive nominations, student nominators lauded Professor Wesley Burr’s accessible and responsive approach to mentorship, and his ability to create collaborative opportunities for his students. One nominator noted: “He exhibits a contagious passion for science and research, and consequently instills a similar passion in the students for whom he acts as a mentor.”
University-wide Teaching Awards
Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Christine Goodwin-De Faria, Child and Youth Studies
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.
Christine Goodwin-De Faria is an Assistant Professor in the Child and Youth Studies Program at Trent Durham GTA. She is a creative, inspiring, and compassionate teacher who supports student learning by incorporating multiple means of instruction and engaging assessments. Professor Goodwin-De Faria shares her passion for youth rights and justice with her students, inspiring and supporting them as they pursue their interests through independent research projects and volunteer work. Perhaps most significantly, she has encouraged students to deepen their understanding of their own abilities. Students and alumni recognized the important role Professor Goodwin-De Faria has played in their development, helping them to move from nervous first-year students to confident upper-years and graduates who feel “capable and worthy” of presenting their research at university-wide events. Even as she challenges them to move outside of their comfort zones, students celebrated Professor Goodwin-De Faria’s exemplary concern for their well-being, noting that she made extraordinary efforts to listen and respond to students’ concerns and invited students to seek her counsel on academic and professional matters well beyond the end of a given course.
Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation (Two awards in 2022)
Dr. Joel Baetz, English Literature
Recognizes faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves through their educational leadership, teaching, innovation, and successful communication.
Joel Baetz is an Associate Professor, Teaching Intensive and Acting Chair of the Department of English Literature. Professor Baetz is recognized for his extraordinary pedagogical leadership and innovation at the course and institutional levels. In his Communications and Critical Thinking courses, Professor Baetz reshaped the bounds of traditional humanities instruction by incorporating experiential learning projects that allow students to research and author reports for community partners. Of equal significance is the pedagogical leadership Professor Baetz displayed “in his innovative and compassionate teaching of the faculty” throughout the many Covid-related disruptions to teaching and learning. While Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Professor Baetz developed innumerable resources on remote course design and instruction including Going the Distance, a course for instructors on online instruction. Faculty recognize the wide reach of Professor Baetz’s pedagogical innovations noting that his work is “everywhere manifest in the best aspects of Trent’s pedagogy.”
Dr. Susan Hillock, Social Work
Susan Hillock is a Professor in the Department of Social Work and is recognized for her extraordinary pedagogical innovations and leadership at the course and program levels. As the Department of Social Work’s Founding Director, Professor Hillock helped to build the program from the first-year curriculum through to the professional years. She developed and taught fifteen new courses, infusing each with insights from her research into teaching and learning and her steadfast commitment to anti-oppressive practice and principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Professor Hillock has been instrumental in guiding Social Work into a successful academic department and professional program, authoring multiple comprehensive reports to achieve pre-accreditation approval and designing the field education courses that place BSW students into professional practicums. In addition to her work within Social Work, Professor Hillock has taken leadership within Trent and beyond in “advocating for more inclusive and anti-oppressive teaching practices across the university.”
Award for Excellence in Online Teaching
David King, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies
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.
David King is an instructor with the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies. Professor King goes to great lengths to support students through online learning, presenting materials in an accessible and digestible format and developing discussion posts that encourage students to “look past the content, not regurgitate it.” His students appreciate his creative use of technology and social media to connect them to Arctic peoples and communities noting that they almost felt like they were in the North when they took his class. Sharing his passion for the field of Circumpolar World Studies, Professor King inspires his students to learn more about the North, “opening up an entirely new perspective on Canada as well as their degree.”
CUPE 3908-1 Award for Excellence in Teaching
Catherine Davis, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies
Recognizes contract faculty who have a strong, positive impact on students’ learning.
Catherine Davis, is a workshop leader with the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies. Students value the ways in which Ms. Davis creates safe space within her classroom, ensuring that “every single voice is heard, appreciated and valued.” They note her meticulous preparation for each class and the way she incorporates materials that “reflect Indigenous peoples as contemporary authors, scholars, researchers, and leaders, ensuring that Indigenous students … can see themselves as potential research leaders.” Students and faculty also appreciate the care with which Ms. Davis responds to students’ work and describe Ms. Davis as a “fearless guide,” who “humanizes” learning by sharing examples from her own experience and research process.
Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance
Kalyca Hebert, Psychology
Recognizes teaching assistants who excel at encouraging learning in workshop, tutorial, seminar, laboratory, or field settings
Kalyca Hebert, a Teaching Assistant in Psychology, is recognized for her extraordinary support for students’ learning. Students and faculty see the ways in which Ms. Hebert provides “unique, directed, and personal attention” to students. She interacts with students throughout class meetings, striving to understand each individual’s questions and concerns and providing tailored support to small groups, always engaging with students with the attitude of “how can I help you?” Students also appreciate how approachable she is, noting that Ms. Hebert goes above and beyond to answer emails “at all hours” and to “speak privately” with students who are hesitant to share their ideas and concerns with the larger class.