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External Teaching Award Recipients

Toronto Metropolitan University is lucky to have many winners of prestigious provincial and national teaching awards as members of our community. If you know of a former winner of an external teaching award that is not listed here, or if you have a colleague or professor who you think would be a candidate for an external award and would like support or advice with the nomination process, please contact us. 

Award Recipients and Teaching Fellows

2011 - Arne Kislenko

Faculty of Arts, Department of History

From the 3M citation (external link) : Arne Kislenko has established and maintained not only a remarkable teaching reputation. He has also cemented an equally extraordinary reputation as an international scholar of international relations. As one student eloquently remarks, “He has this unique ability to teach in ways that establish, for us, a personal connection with the historical narrative.”

With Arne, his students make “pilgrimages” to the annual conferences of the Canadian Association of Security and Intelligence Studies. Imagine, as a student, going to such a conference, escorted by an ex-intelligence officer turned award-winning professor of history! Arne also devotes hours to personal mentoring and guidance,” a mentorship extending also to his Toronto Metropolitan University teaching colleagues.

Arne offers teaching seminars, workshops, and personal consultations. His pedagogical research is substantial, as is work with provincial, national, and international educational bodies. One student sees Arne Kislenko “as a model of teaching and academic perfection for our nation.” High praise. Deserved praise.

2002 - Malgorzata Zywno

Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

From the 3M citation (external link) : In his support for Gosha’s nomination, the VP Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University writes: “Rarely have I encountered a faculty member who engenders such respect for her single minded determination to provide the best possible learning experience for students.” Simply stated, Gosha has been a driving force behind the pursuit for educational excellence at Toronto Metropolitan University. This description captures the passion, energy and expertise Gosha brings to both her classroom teaching and educational research activities.

Gosha’s achievements are remarkable considering the barriers she has overcome. Gosha came to Canada from Poland as a government sponsored refugee, after refusing to join the Communist Party or work for the secret police. Currently, she visits high schools to talk about the engineering profession and mentors female high school students to consider non-traditional careers. For her contributions to the community, Gosha was honoured with a “New Pioneer Award” in 1996.

Gosha’s work on the efficacy of hypermedia in learning, technology integration and learning styles attests to her student centered approach in creating effective learning environments. It is also extraordinary that Gosha has earned international recognition for her leadership in educational research. For the third time, her paper was recognized at the UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education.

Gosha remains extremely active in faculty development and regularly contributes her expertise and pedagogical insights at numerous seminars and workshops at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has also been invited to lead seminars and as a keynote speaker at several institutions across Canada and Europe.

2015 - Dana Lee

Faculty of Communication and Design, RTA School of Media

 (PDF file) From the citation (external link) : Dana Lee "has always been at the cutting edge of innovations in pedagogy, and particularly student-centred learning. He was among the first to hold online office hours when technology was still trying to catch up, has developed several free online textbooks (one of which replaced a $200 required text), and builds complex demonstration set-ups that enable hands-on learning even in mass lectures. In his efforts, he therefore caters to students of all backgrounds, interests and abilities.

A student writes: [He] is by far one of the best teachers that I have had the pleasure of studying under. He teaches in a way that allows students with different learning styles (auditory, visual, tactile) [to] understand what is being taught. I have yet to meet any other teacher who puts so much of himself/herself into what they teach."

2014 - Vincent Hui

Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Department of Architectural Science

 (PDF file) From the citation (external link) : Professor Hui is guided by his own unique teaching philosophy, the “Five P’s of Pedagogy,” which frames the learning experience within a larger perspective of the professors, the projects, the profession, a students’ peers and their own personal development. In his own words, this philosophy has become “invaluable” to Professor Hui as he continues to grow as an educator, highlighting his desire to teach courses as he wished they had been taught when he was a student himself.

This drive to constantly innovate the classroom experience and be relevant in a world that is consistently changing every day is best exhibited by Professor Hui’s efforts to bridge the gap between the university and the outside world. Professor Hui believes it is crucial that students are given opportunities to explore subject matter in a variety of different spaces, under different contexts and with different tools. This is why Professor Hui is lauded by colleagues for bringing digital fabrication and contemporary software tools inside the classroom – and outside of it through the Digital Media Experience Lab he helped to develop with Toronto Metropolitan University’s Library Information Technology Services.

It is also why he created the Toronto Metropolitan University Architectural Science Design Lab, which allows students to design and build their works with each other and various interested partners. In only three short years, the Lab has produced nearly 20 projects. And it is most certainly why Professor Hui spearheaded and developed a co-op program for Architectural Science students at Toronto Metropolitan University, providing them with invaluable work experience and a different classroom setting through which to explore, learn and grow.

2012 - Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

Faculty of Arts, Department of English

 (PDF file) From the citation (external link) : Dr. Janzen Kooistra has the unique distinction of having taught at every level of the Ontario educational system, from elementary school to master’s courses at Toronto Metropolitan University. Combining this vast classroom experience with an accomplished record of scholarship in Victorian literature and culture, she has emerged as a leader in the area of Digital Humanities pedagogy Although her scholarly gaze is firmly rooted in the 19th century, her pedagogical accomplishments have blazed a trail for 21st century scholars and students working in Digital Humanities, and, as one supporter notes, “she has been instrumental in establishing Toronto Metropolitan University’s English Department as one of the more ground-breaking and dynamic sites of innovative humanities instruction in the country.”

Dr. Janzen Kooistra’s teaching practices are grounded in her belief that students are producers, not merely consumers, of scholarly knowledge. All of her courses and assignments are designed to provide students with unique opportunities to gain confidence as writers and creators, and reflect her sustained commitment to the philosophy of “thinking through making.” In her popular 2nd year course, “Fairy Tales and Fantasies,” students curate their own course-related digital exhibits of rare children’s books which are preserved in Toronto Metropolitan University’s Children’s Literature Archive. Students in her 3rd year Victorian Literature course build digital exhibits on their individually developed topics, many of which are published on venerable scholarly platforms such as NINES (the Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth century Electronic Scholarship). Through these assignments, students gain first-hand experience with the process of peer review and publication, and begin to understand, as one student writes, “how their work has meaning and purpose beyond the classroom.”

2011 - Don Kinder

Teaching Chair and Head, Library Learning Services, Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives

From the press release: Librarian Don Kinder has been awarded a prestigious OCUFA Librarianship award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession. 

“Until I had gone through the packages of the librarian nominees, I did not truly realize how much they actually do for students and faculty,” said Professor Andrea Buchholz, a current committee member and previous Teaching award winner. “This particularly applies to Mr. Kinder. He tightly weaves librarianship, teaching, and learning together and creates a strong learning environment for students through library resources.”

2006 - Suzette Giles

Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives

 (PDF file) From the citation (external link) : Ms. Giles' career as a Librarian at Toronto Metropolitan University has been stellar in building and promoting the specialized social science and geospatial data collections at the Toronto Metropolitan University Library, and educating students, staff and faculty in the effective use of these collections. Her tireless efforts have led to establishing the innovative Geospatial, Map and Data Centre in the Ronald D. Besse Information and Learning Commons in the Toronto Metropolitan University Library.

Ms. Giles is roundly praised and respected by colleagues, faculty, and students for her commitment to service and education. Her work has directly assisted faculty in acquiring research grants; she has mentored numerous student geographers; she has advised and supported her library colleagues; and she has collaborated with faculty in teaching the discovery and interpretation of data in the classroom. In short, as one faculty colleague in the School of Urban and Regional Planning writes, “Ms. Giles has played a pivotal role in actively and enthusiastically supporting the teaching, learning, and research functions that are the essence of our School.”

2002 - Malgorzata Zywno

Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

1973 - R. Maher

Faculty of Arts, Department of English

Teaching Awards Contact 

Andrea Ridgley
Manager, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching