Centre for Teaching Excellence

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

2020-2021 TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARDS

We had an exceptional response from students for this year’s call for nominations for the Teaching Excellence Awards. Students wrote of faculty who

  • Transformed their learning.
  • Created a sense of learning community in their class.
  • Used interactive teaching methods that valued student perspectives and diverse ways of knowing and being.
  • Supported their remote learning.

This year we had a record number of nominations: 508 nominations of 218 faculty representing 39% of all teaching faculty who were nominated for the Teaching Excellence Awards.  We are incredibly fortunate to have so many inspiring and dedicated instructors at Capilano.

 

2020-2021 TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARDS Recipients

Allen Stevens
Education Assistant Program

 

Allen's Quote

My goal is to create conditions that will enable students to become lifelong learners. We are simultaneously teaching and learning from each other.

Student's Quote

Allen puts his heart and soul into our lessons and discussions. His students never feel judged, and his feedback is always valuable.

Danielle Wills
Mathematics and Statistics

 

Danielle's Quote

Teaching sciences is the art of distracting the mind with numbers and concepts, so the mysteries of the universe can introduce themselves to the heart.

Student's Quote

Danielle supported our online learning by incorporating interesting teaching methods/tools, and excellent instruction, but what set Danielle apart was her willingness to help.

Jane Ince
School of Communication

 

Jane's Quote

In a world full of distractions, engaging every student in every class is my teaching priority. I hope they walk away each time with one gem, one nugget of knowledge, or one new tool in their toolkits that they can apply to their studies, their careers and their desire to make the world a better, more communicative place.

Student's Quote

Jane showed me classes could be fun. She is engaging, raw and honest in her teaching. I transformed the way I saw my classes.

Justin Wilson
Psychology

 

Justin's Quote

“The self is not infinitely elastic – it has potentials and it has limits. If the work we do lacks integrity for us, then we, the work, and the people we do it with will suffer.” – Parker J. Palmer

To me teaching is about being humxn where one learns how to hold, rather than occupy space. Teaching is so much more than subject matter expertise, simultaneously representing  a journey beyond fear and into authenticity where we learn to listen and listen to learn – To respect otherness and understand how interconnected and resourceful we all are. As these personal leadership qualities deepen, we are better able to hold spaces in which people feel invited to create their own communities of mutual support where people feel heard, understood, and valued.

Student's Quote

Justin is one of those teachers who really sees his students as people, which is particularly important when discussing very heavy, emotional topics.

Sarah Yercich
Sociology and Criminology

 

Sarah's Quote

Teaching is about creating open, respectful, and safe learner-centred environments in which students feel valued, empowered, and inspired. My approach focuses on students’ active engagement and inquiry, both within the classroom and their studies overall. This requires a dynamic approach to teaching that fosters engagement and collaborative participation in the learning process, as well as creative and non-traditional assignments that encourage in-depth engagement with the subject matter. However, one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that what you teach is just as significant as how you teach it and, more importantly, how you treat your students. The learners in our classrooms are not just students. They are people with complex needs and lives both inside our classes and outside of university. As educators, we need to remember that kindness, compassion, understanding, and empathy are important educational tools.

Student's Quote

Sarah is one of the most selfless profs I’ve had. She really cares about our well-being and is there for us when we are struggling.

2019 – 2020 Teaching Excellence Awards Recipients

Leah J Bailly

Leah J Bailly

English

Faculty Quotes

My students teach me so much about community, social change and the future of critical thinking. My job as instructor is to continue to listen and learn from their diverse, complex, innovative points of view. – Leah J Bailly

Student Quotes

Leah had me rethink my entire life and future with just one course. Her drive and passion for English is incredibly genuine, which helps her pass along her knowledge to students.
Michael J Begg

Michael J Begg

Legal Studies

Faculty Quotes

My goal is to guide students to their own moments of inspiration. By pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in the classroom, I try to create a space within which students feel safe taking risks. When students go along with this, the courses sing, and we all learn more. – Michael J Begg

Student Quotes

Michael has transformed the way I see and understand law. Whether it’s through his humor or theatrical performances, he brings the law to life in our classroom and gives it meaning, context and purpose.
Dara K Greaves

Dara K Greaves

English

Faculty Quotes

A big part of my teaching is making connections – between me and the students, and between our classroom discussions and their lived experiences. I put a lot of energy into achieving these connections, and I’m grateful for the many motivated and creative students at Cap who return that energy a thousandfold! – Dara Greaves

Student Quotes

Dara pushed me to think critically and pull apart pieces of literature in different ways, as well as to bring my own experiences and opinions into class.
David M Matijasevich

David M Matijasevich

Political Science

Faculty Quotes

Teaching is about recreating the best learning moments and hoping that they get passed on. – David M Matijasevich

Student Quotes

David’s way of teaching fosters dialogue between the entire class. David effortlessly manages to cultivate a unique environment in that students feel safe to voice their conflicting political opinions.
Tia M Smith

Tia M Smith

Early Childhood Education

Faculty Quotes

Amidst the role of teacher and students there can exist spaces of dialogue. It’s in these unanticipated and generative spaces that we gain new perspectives and our work becomes further relevant and engaging. – Tia M Smith

Student Quotes

Tia Smith not only offers an unconditional amount of compassion to all of her students, but as well has taught me to incorporate that quality when thinking and considering children, families and communities.

2018 – 2019 Teaching Excellence Awards Recipients

Reg Johanson

Reg Johanson

English

Faculty Quotes

I like it best when, despite the obstacles, we get somewhere unfamiliar. – Reg Johanson

Student Quotes

Reg is an amazing teacher and human being. He cares about his students and makes everyone feel included in his discussions, no matter their viewpoint. He is driven and passionate about the topics he teaches which are always highly relevant. The topics discussed in class are always very interesting as they broaden your perspective and sharpen your critical thinking. Reg doesn’t solely focus on the technical side of writing but rather emphasizes creativity and reflection. He is truly an amazing teacher that adapts his teaching to the class he has. His group style teaching is a great way to keep us engaged as we constantly have collaborative talks that help us piece together single ideas into wonderful class discussions. Truly excellent teacher that spreads positivity and open-mindedness in all his classes.
Kym Stewart

Kym Stewart

Communications

Faculty Quotes

“Teaching at Cap U makes me truly happy. I love that I can ask students to take risks and play with curricular content and they trust me enough to engage in seemingly odd and unique lessons. Our experiences together are premised on creating a sense of wonder and awe in our everydayness so that skills developed in class can be used outside of it. – Kymberly Stewart  

Student Quotes

“Kym is the best teacher I have ever had. She is very passionate about what she teaches everyday we have her, which makes me and the class feel more passionate about the topic. She is extremely supportive in that she helped me immensely with a paper I had to write outside of class time. She always made class interesting by how she spoke and with in class activities she would have us do making it very easy to learn. Kym is very organized as she has plans for every class and has strict deadlines to ensure we can get our work in on time. She is very caring and it is obvious that she loves what she does through the enthusiasm she brings each day in and out of the class.“
Annabella Cant

Annabella Cant

Early Childhood Care & Education

Faculty Quotes

I became one with teaching. I feel at home in every classroom: daycare, undergraduate, or Master’s class. I love the thirst for learning and I love to meet it with my thirst of learning and sharing. I feel that my responsibility is to find a diversity of ways to reach every one of my students. By doing so, I am hoping to ignite a strong agency in them for sharing my lessons forward in their lives. I need to make sure that what I teach can be lived. I live teaching. – Annabella Cant  

Student Quotes

Annabella is always very energetic when she teaches the class. Whether we are going over the class readings or just a simple discussion of a project or documentary that we have watched. She is always sensitive and understanding to the students needs and is always personable with her students by checking on how we are feeling. She always makes me feel like I can approach her with any issue I may be having and she is willing to go above and beyond to make it better as best as she can. For example, during a night class with her if she see that the class is getting tired she will tell us to go for a walk or take a break to do some stretches together so we can come back into focus. Overall, she’s an extremely positive person and amazing teacher that keeps the class engaged with her jokes and high energy. She truly loves what she does.
Seanna McPherson

Seanna McPherson

Motion Picture Arts

Faculty Quotes

Each student has a story that lives inside of them. My aim is to inspire and support students to find their voice and engage in discourse through disciplinary concepts, critical inquiry and creative process. – Seanna McPherson  

Student Quotes

From the moment I met Seanna, she has been nothing but inspirational. She is one of the most creative and passionate people I have met. I have had many conversations with her on pursuing one’s goals in order to share with and inspire others to do the same. She is very approachable and treats everyone with care and genuine interest. She makes me want to be a better professional and person.
Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

Outdoor Recreation Management

Faculty Quotes

I often reflect upon William Butler Yeats’s quote that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. My role as an educator is to fan those flames with curiosity, wonder, empathy and passion, so that the fire for learning, burns white hot. – Bruce Wilson  

Student Quotes

Bruce is the best. He is unlike any other teacher I’ve ever learned from. Instead of focusing on old-school methodology and standardized testing under, he teaches individuals, not whole classes. I’ve been taken aside several times for coaching on how to achieve my goals and I’ve witnessed this invaluable process with Bruce and other students as well.In these changing times we must reward and value those who operate differently from the pack. That pack is slowing us down. Bruce is an exemplary educator; his passion for student learning trumps all else, even at the expense of ruffling a few feathers along the way. I’ve learned more about the realities of life and my career choices from this one man than I have from the collected lesson plans of several others on campus. He challenges us to think critically in an age where it’s becoming increasingly acceptable to simple listen to your phone and the collective hive mind that it represents. Bruce is a shining light as we stumble into the uncertainties of the modern world’s future.Thank you for everything, Bruce!

2017-2018 Teaching Excellence Awards Recipients

Stephen Atkins

Stephen Atkins

Theatre

Faculty Quotes

“Success is about making sure that every outcome, good or bad, is part of a productive and enlightening process. Coming up with a motivating questions is just as valuable as coming up with right answers. – Stephen Atkins”

Student Quotes

“Stephen always puts the creative process and the student first. His approach to truly collaborative art is one of a kind. Student input is always a key factor in all his classes. I am continually inspired upon leaving every class.”
Barb Mathieson

Barb Mathieson

Early Childhood Care & Education

Faculty Quotes

“Teaching for me is something that makes my heart sing. Whether I am teaching five-year olds or fifty-year olds, I love connection with my students and learning alongside them; they inspire me to push further and to think deeper. Teaching at Capilano University is a joy as the students are such a dynamic group and are so passionate and excited about learning. – Barb Mathieson”

Student Quotes

“Barb is the epitome of the teacher that I strive to become. In learning how to engage young children in processes that are less linear, she affords her students the same open-ended opportunities for learning; we are not forced to answer her questions, and are challenged to critically dissect all that we are surrounded by.”
Eugene Chu

Eugene Chu

Biology

Faculty Quotes

“I strive to impart a passion for learning to my students by creating a safe, fun and inspiring environment while providing all the necessary tools and resound to learn. – Eugene Chu”

Student Quotes

“He provides ample opportunities for us to think critically in class and be actively engaged in learning. His lectures promote student participation.”
Karen Okun

Karen Okun

Business Administration

Faculty Quotes

“”Participating in and facilitating the personal and professional development of other human beings and their aspirations is the most privileged profession I can imagine. Helping people find and appreciate the very best they can in themselves is key. – Karen Okun”

Student Quotes

“”Karen Okun is the best instructor I could ask for. She shows excellence in all areas as a teacher: a true champion of the field. My experience at CapU is greatly exceeding my expectations, and Karen has played a huge role in that.”
Greig Gjerdalen

Greig Gjerdalen

Tourism Managment & Outdoor Recreation Management

Faculty Quotes

“I like to treat all students as individuals and create a classroom community based on respect, trust, fairness and openness. I promote critical thinking and have students apply theory in their everyday life – Greig Gjerdalen”

Student Quotes

“He allows his students to absorb and interpret the information and encourages healthy debate on controversial topics. Classes are conducted to reach virtually every learning style: through lectures, readings, quizzes, papers, hands-on projects, discussion, debate, documentaries, field trips, he captures all the senses to fully engage every student.” “It is his passion for the material and genuine drive to be an excellent instructor that make him an inspirational faculty member and an asset to the University.”

Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the unceded sovereign Indigenous Nations of Lil’wat, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm(Musqueam), Shíshálh (Sechelt), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh(Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh).

 

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