Teaching Awards were presented at last week's Senate meeting

The following professors received Teaching Awards at the Senate meeting held on Monday, Oct. 24.

Teaching Innovation Award

Dr. Pauline Sameshima (Education professor and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies) has received a 2022 Teaching Innovation Award from Lakehead University’s Senate Teaching and Learning Committee.

The Committee highlighted Pauline’s implementation of the “the Slides Strategy,” a teaching technique that “stimulates high levels of engagement in students, allowing them to understand each other’s perspectives well and affording much more creativity and the ability to participate in reading assignments to a greater depth than existing alternatives.”

The Teaching Innovation Award recognizes the development and/or implementation of innovative pedagogical practices and technologies.

For an explanation of “the Slides Strategy,” please see the publication by Pauline Sameshima and Tashya Orasi, “What’s better than the asynchronous discussion post?

The Lake Superior Living Labs Network Team, led by Dr. Lindsay Galway and Dr. Charles Levkoe, the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, for designing and implementing a Climate Action Field School which took place during August of 2021. This week-long training program brought together more than 20 faculty, staff, and students from Lakehead University with a collection of community partners with a wide range of expertise to learn from one another and engage in creating change. Participants and partners expressed appreciation for the diversity, intensity and interdisciplinary of the experience, and described it as both inspiring and amazing.

Teaching Support Award

Alexa Haberer, Technologist from the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, has the logistical acumen, competence, enthusiasm, adaptability, resilience, and empathy to manage outdoor adventures (including protocols for transport, field meal preparation, outdoor pedagogy, outdoor accommodation, and first aid and emergency response) amidst the ever-changing conditions of a global pandemic (despite lockdowns, the easing and then tightening of restrictions) and does so with unstoppable energy, compassion for all, and the patience to assist those who struggle.

And then factor in that Alexa is a professional to the core, wonderfully creative and skilled in her teaching philosophy and pedagogical practice, and she can balance student interests, needs, and safety.

Contribution to Teaching Awards

Dr. Farhan Ghaffar's students applaud the clarity of his instruction, and repeatedly express appreciation for the way he has introduced critical concepts to them in an engaging way that responds to different learning styles. His students write about his collaborative teaching style, which combines "a perfect mix" of theoretical and application-oriented elements. Many comments from his students speak to his in-depth knowledge of his subject material, his preparedness, and the understanding and respect he shows his students. The effort Dr. Ghaffar puts into every lesson has enhanced and fostered students' learning experiences, and his enthusiasm for teaching has helped his students unlock their own passion for circuit design.

Messages from Dr. Ravi Gokani's students repeatedly comment on the extraordinary efforts he makes to provide all his students with opportunities to succeed and the respect he shows his students. The creativity he employs in his course design has greatly enhanced the learning experience for his students, who appreciate his varied modes of instruction (which include structured debates, student presentations, lectures, class discussions and video presentations) and the way he models the teacher as a learner. He has clearly made a very positive impact on the academic careers of many of his students through his
enthusiastic and engaging approach to teaching.

Dr. Sarah Jacoba's innovative approach to her course instruction clearly resonates with many of her students, who over and over again express appreciation for the passion she brings to her instruction. Letters and comments from students consistently speak of her diverse teaching methods, clarity of instruction, and dedication to student success. More than anything else, though, her students applaud the welcoming environment in Dr. Jacoba's classes. By accommodating different learning styles and ways in
which students express their creativity, Dr. Jacoba has created a space that "allows students to better explore the
types of thinkers they are, and the types of thinkers they want to be".

In their letters and comments, students of Dr. Francisco Ramos-Pallares write very favourably about his clear, organized approach to instruction. Many students wrote that they appreciated the relevance of the material he taught and the varied, engaging methods he employs to respond to the different abilities and learning styles of students coming into his courses.

Dr. Ramos-Pallares works hard to make sure every student is involved in the process of developing a deeper understanding of the physical meaning of concepts. By providing his students with opportunities to practice critical thinking and to build skills necessary for their careers after graduation, Dr. Ramos-Pallares makes it clear to his students that he is dedicated to helping them achieve success.

Dr. Sam Salem's respect for his students and passion for teaching are clear, based on the repeated comments by students applauding his thorough and enthusiastic instruction. Students appreciate the steps he takes to accommodate the different level of experience they bring to his courses - he encourages student feedback so that he can respond to student needs, he readily changes his pace and delivery methods and is very generous with his time when responding to student questions. Dr. Salem's
dedication to student success is clear, and he keeps his courses engaging and challenging while remaining friendly and fun.

It is evident that Steven Secord's efforts to make his courses engaging and effective are appreciated by his students, who consistently write about his passion for teaching, his innovative use of technology, and the clarity of instruction that all make his classes the "best online course[s] ever!"  Mr. Secord's students write about the many opportunities his classes provide to learn from and engage with professionals in various types of science education. It is also clear that Mr. Secord creates a positive,
supportive environment for his students that helps build the confidence necessary to engage in meaningful discussion and deeper learning. The impact he has made on his students might be best illustrated by an excerpt from a nomination letter: "Steven is the teacher we all hope to be, as we head into our chosen career as educators of future generations."