2022 A&S Outstanding Teaching Awards

May 12, 2022 by A&S News

The Faculty of Arts & Science presents Outstanding Teaching Awards annually in recognition of teaching excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. They are given to faculty for the excellence of their classroom instruction and for their contribution to their unit’s course design and curriculum development.

Congratulations to this year's recipients:

Robert C. Austin, Associate Director, CERES; Professor, Teaching Stream
Centre for European, Russian & Eurasian Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Austin’s teaching inspires gratitude and enthusiasm from his students who attest that he makes each of them feel like they matter, even in large classes. His courses are thoroughly interdisciplinary in scope, drawing on an impressive range of subjects, from traditional concerns to contemporary. He also stands out for understanding the importance of travel in any study of history, having organized 44 International/Indigenous Course Modules (ICMs), field trips and summer schools. As a former student says, Austin is an instructor who acts as “a servant of his students, a servant of the subjects he teaches, and a servant of the University.”

Robert Gazzale, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Economics

Over the last 10 years, Gazzale has been a driving force behind the continuous renewal of the course content, structure and delivery of the department’s Principles in Economics courses which annually enroll over 5,000 students. His commitment to student learning and enhancing student experience is reflected in his efforts during the pandemic to develop in-person learning opportunities and optimize the transition to online instruction. Perhaps one of the best measures of his dedication is the significant number of first-year students who credit his course with their decisions to change programs and pursue economics.

Jason Harlow, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Physics

Harlow is described as an inspiration to his fellow faculty members, the teaching assistants he supervises and the undergraduates he teaches. He creates a positive and encouraging learning environment in which students find that “physics has never been more interesting.” One of his major contributions has been the creation of exercises — Practicals — that have had a significant positive impact on course evaluations. The frequent discussions with students during his office hours about topics raised in the exercises — which could be conducted at home during the pandemic — were evidence that they were engaging, challenging and stimulating.

Hang-Sun Kim, Associate Professor, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures

Kim’s many contributions to her department include remodelling and substantially improving the language program over a number of years. In addition to being an outstanding administrator and organizer, Kim is an educator whose students and teaching colleagues rave about her — describing her mastery of topics, adaptive teaching style and the high quality of her instruction. She nurtures an inclusive and rewarding teaching environment, one that is intellectually stimulating and challenging that brings out the many voices in her classes. It is no surprise that students describe her as one of the best professors they had at U of T.

Kate Neville, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and School of the Environment

An exceptional scholar, teacher and colleague, Neville is described as an instructor who cares deeply about her students, pedagogy and crafting a meaningful classroom experience. She pays close attention to the intellectual orientation of her students, providing instruction and mentoring tailored to a student’s academic interests. Behind her dedication and passion for teaching lies her commitment to finding ways to “live more equitably and sustainably on a finite planet.” To Neville, teaching is central to her contribution to an environmentally and politically informed community of scholars, practitioners and citizens.

Online Learning Academy Fellowship

The Faculty of Arts & Science Online Learning Academy Fellowship provides instructors with the opportunity to design or redevelop an online or hybrid course. Each fellow will receive funding and support from the Online Learning Academy to realize their digital learning course design project. Completed projects will provide inspiration and models for other faculty through various means of showcasing their work to the broader Arts & Science community.

Congratulations to this year’s recipient:

Krista Maxwell, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Maxwell’s original and innovative course, Social Studies of Autism, will provide an advanced introduction to critical autism studies, an emergent field in which social science and humanities scholars will examine autism as lived experience and a complex set of social and cultural phenomena. The idea for the course grew from Maxwell’s experience with two autistic medical anthropology students, her growing understanding of the needs of neurodiverse students and from her own diagnosis of autism.