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Showcasing Excellence

This month we showcase Faculty member Michael Hickson from Philosophy! Learn more about Michael by reading and watching his video below.

How does some one get showcased?

The Centre for Teaching and Learning regularly showcases inspiring faculty, staff, and student members of the Trent University community. One or two paragraph suggestions can be sent to Adam Guzkowski (adamguzkowski2@trentu.ca) for review at the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

In order to be featured in the showcase series, individuals or groups should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • They have demonstrated innovative approaches to teaching and/or learning in or beyond the classroom
  • They have been involved in developing, leading, or supporting exceptional teaching and learning opportunities
  • They have a demonstrated track record of facilitating significant learning and development opportunities for faculty, staff, or students
  • Their work has helped to create and/or enhance dynamic and supportive environments for teaching and learning
  • They have been engaged in notable research on teaching and learning
  • They have shown a noteworthy commitment to maximizing the quality of their teaching and/or learning

Those selected to be celebrated in the showcase series will complete a video-taped interview of 30 minutes to describe their teaching, learning, research, project, service, and/or innovation, and will be featured on a Showcase Poster as well as on the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

April 2017

Michael Hickson sitting on steps in 'The Pit' in Champlain CollegeMichael Hickson

Combining classical and innovative pedagogies

Sharing his passion for learning with his students, Michael Hickson fosters dialogue and debate as a part of the enriching experience of engaging with authors from past ages. Using current events and a case-based approach as ways of teaching moral principles and ethical theories, Michael facilitates students gaining informed judgements about what’s going on in the world and a desire to do something about it.


» Watch Michael's video interview

February 2017

Rob Loney sitting on steps in the science complex

Robert Loney

Providing expertise in practical applications of environmental techniques

Applying his technical and organizational acumen, Robert Loney helps to administer classes, produce course materials, organize and maintain equipment, and deliver graphical and computer support. As part of the teaching team for courses such as Cases in Environmental Science and Studies and Introduction to Geographical Information Systems, Robert helps students learn the knowledge and skills that will allow them to engage with complex environmental problems with a sense of hope and confidence.

» Watch Rob's video here

December 2016

Student Haddon Rabb sitting on a bench in Gzowski college

Haddon Rabb

Furthering research and practice in emergency medical response

Co-writing an article on the patterns and rates of injuries in obstacle course racing, Haddon Rabb is immersed in working to understand contributing factors and trends in the incidence and severity of medical emergencies. Through his involvement on and off campus, including his former leadership of the Trent University Emergency First Response Team and his role as an integral member of the Eastern Canada Spartan Race medical team, Haddon applies his learning and research to strengthen the quality of emergency medical assistance and care.

» View Haddon's video here

November 2016

Sita A. Gardner standing, smiling at camera in Otonabee College's room 143

Sita A. Gardner

Raising the bar for student learning and achievement

Helping students make sense of global events, Sita A. Gardner uses an inclusive, interactive pedagogical approach to engage students in developing a healthy curiosity about the world while learning to think critically and extend themselves academically. Applying her research on the linkages between economics and politics, including the manifold ramifications of globalisation, Sita teaches students about international relations and U.S. and Canadian foreign policy and challenges them to pursue how they can be instrumental in affecting constructive change in the world.

» Watch Sita Gardner's video here

September 2016

Jessica Lee standing outside of Blackburn hall in the summer, smiling at camera

Jessica Lee

Helping students consider and embark on studies in Education

Recruiting and managing the enrolment of prospective Education students, Jessica Lee provides expertise, guidance, and support throughout the applications and admissions process. Through her many touchpoints at Trent, including as a staff member, a Master of Education student, and an Alumni Council member, Jessica helps enrich engagement in many different contexts of formal and informal learning.


» Watch Jessica Lee's video here

Mike Jorgensen at the Rugby field

Michael Jorgensen

Integrating academic and athletic pursuits

Researching the psychology of concussion prevention and injury management, Michael Jorgensen focuses on understanding the stories and motivations of competitive athletes. Building on his experiences as a researcher and athlete at Trent, as well as on the skills developed through an internship at Rugby Ontario and volunteer work at Rugby Canada, Michael is committed to developing rugby as a sport and making competitive sport safer for all athletes.


» Watch Mike Jorgensen's video here

March 2016

Jane Mackie in nursing lab

Jane Mackie

Challenging students to become successful and independent learners

Providing students with the resources and supports needed to excel in life sciences at Trent, Jane Mackie creates opportunities for students to immerse themselves in challenging content. Using teaching approaches including flipped classrooms, case studies, and group discussions, Jane scaffolds learning experiences to help students become strong life-long learners.


» Watch Jane Mackie's video here

January 2016

Ian Thomson from IT Department

Ian Thomson

Facilitating the integration of technology into teaching and learning

Working as part of the Learning Technology Team along with Jeff Gardiner and Chris Los, Ian Thomson provides expertise and support in the use of technology in teaching and learning at Trent. Managing and monitoring the performance of tools such as Blackboard and Panopto, Ian ensures that appropriate technologies are easy for faculty and students to integrate into the educational experience.


»Watch Ian Thomson's video here

December 2015

Betty Wondimu

Betelhem Wondimu

Envisioning policies for economic empowerment

Looking at the numbers, Betelhem processes statistics as part of her research into correlations between social and economic disparities. Passionate about the platform that Trent provides for transformative learning and critical dialogues in and outside of the classroom, Betelhem’s interest in policy development and leadership involvements on campus have already had noticeable impacts at local and provincial levels.


»Watch Betelhem Wondimu's video here

October 2015

Dan Longboat

Dan Longboat

Inspiring students to be hopeful visionaries

Honouring the tremendous responsibility and privilege of being a teacher, Dan Longboat helps students develop broader, richer, and deeper understandings of the beautiful intricacies of the world around them, and their connections to, relationships with, and responsibility for themselves, their families, their communities, and the environment. Drawing on traditional Haudenosaunee knowledge, Dan teaches the importance of valuing the interactions of multiple knowledge systems, and the necessity of applying creative, innovative, and integrative thinking to develop real solutions to complex and compounded environmental issues.

»Watch Dan Longboat's video about teaching

September 2015

Academic Skills team

Erin Stewart Eves, Dana Capell, Andrea Maxie, & Mary Ann Armstrong

Empowering students to improve and excel in their studies

Consulting in person and online, Erin, Dana, Andrea, and Mary Ann help undergraduate and graduate students develop and enhance skills and strategies for academic success, and provide offerings such as an academic integrity module, an academic mentoring program, online resources, and in-class workshops.



»Watch the Academic Skills team video

June 2015

Rhonda Smith

Rhonda Smith

Fostering passion and knowledge about forensics and the law

Teaching about Canadian legal frameworks and contexts, Rhonda Smith asks probing questions that draw students at Trent into critical conversations about complex concepts. Creating lively and interactive classroom environments, Rhonda helps students understand the legal system and their potential roles in the world of law.



»Watch Rhonda's Showcase Video

May 2015

Kate MacIsaac

Kate MacIsaac

Providing support to students in crisis

Supporting crisis management and prevention for students, Kate MacIsaac helps Trent students build on their own strengths and resilience to find relief in the midst of challenging times. Through the education and information she provides, and through the Student Support Certificate program she manages, Kate also helps enhance the capacity of faculty and staff to support students in times of distress.


»Watch Kate's Showcase Video

March 2015

Cornel Grey

Cornel Grey

Exploring narratives and negotiated identities

Combining the study of literary texts with sociological analysis, Cornel investigates how individuals and groups navigate the cultural contexts of different settings and societies. Having been involved in many ways at Trent has allowed Cornel to make deep connections between learning environments and social environments, which is motivating his desire to continue working in post-secondary education after finishing his degree.


»Watch Cornel's Showcase Video

Blaise Gelinas


Blaise Gelinas

Combining classroom and extracurricular learning

Maximizing his learning at Trent through his involvement in learning, research, and volunteer activities, Blaise Gelinas is focusing his attentions on the psychology of addictive behaviours, with a plan to incorporate counselling and clinical research into his future endeavours.



»Watch Blaise's Showcase Video

Three librarians


Librarians Dwayne Collins, Ellen Olsen-Lynch & Jean Luyben

Charting pathways to information resources

Helping students and faculty at Trent navigate the journey of information search and retrieval, Dwayne, Jean, and Ellen select and ensure access to relevant resources, tools, and materials, and teach about the creative process of research in-class, online, and one-to-one.


»View the Librarian's Showcase Video

Kathy Fife


Kathy Fife

Supporting teaching and learning that opens minds

Serving as the central support for both Philosophy and Gender & Women’s Studies at Trent, Kathy Fife’s work and institutional knowledge make her an invaluable resource and the go-to person for students and faculty in both departments.



»View Kathy Fife's Showcase Video

Jennifer Lund


Dr. Jennifer Lund

Supporting integrated and accessible education for students

Championing full accessibility for students throughout their experiences at Trent, Dr. Lund collaborates with faculty, staff, and students to help ensure teaching and learning supports and strategies for success are developed and implemented.



»Watch Jennifer's Showcase Video

Ralph and Aaron


Dr. Ralph Shiell and Dr. Aaron Slepkov

Transforming student experiences in Physics

To more effectively evaluate student learning in physics at Trent, Profs. Shiell and Slepkov have developed an innovative strategy for scaffolding student questions that measure skills and knowledge incrementally, giving students credit for their thinking at each stage in their problem solving.


»View Ralph and Aaron's Showcase Video

Students who worked in Honduras

Lana De Bastiani, Jenna Craft, Kathleen Crook and Keeley Moloney

Venturing outside the typical classroom

Travelling to Honduras during the Fall Reading Break, 3,320 km away from Trent, Lana, Jenna, Kathleen, and Keeley taught children in rural Honduras about social determinants of health (education, nutrition, hygiene and play) in classrooms that included mountainsides, remote villages, and single room school houses. During their trip, they also delivered 360 lbs of food and 400 lbs of donated school supplies.