April 8, 2019

Campus community celebrates exemplary contributions to teaching and learning

2019 Celebration of Teaching ceremony honours this year’s University of Calgary Teaching Award recipients

The University of Calgary Teaching Awards celebrate individuals from across campus who have made outstanding contributions to student learning. President Ed McCauley and Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall presented the 2019 awards on April 2 at the sixth annual Celebration of Teaching, hosted by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

“At the Celebration of Teaching, we recognize exceptional contributions to teaching and learning at the University of Calgary,” Marshall says. “The 2019 University of Calgary Teaching Award recipients are enriching the quality and breadth of learning for our students and exemplify our core principles of curiosity, support and excellence.”

The awards are as rigorous as they are prestigious, requiring all nominees to submit comprehensive nomination dossiers supported by personal teaching philosophies, quantitative data and evidence from students and colleagues. Once completed and submitted, the dossiers are reviewed and discussed at length by adjudication committees.

2019 University of Calgary Teaching Award Recipients 

Among this year’s recipients is Dr. Anusha Kassan, PhD, an assistant professor in the Werklund School of Education. Responding to her Award for Full-Time Academic Staff (Assistant Professor), Kassan says, “It feels great to be recognized in this way! I have always immersed myself in my teaching, as I believe it is of critical importance to educate the next generation of psychologists to be culturally responsive and socially just in their emerging roles. To receive external recognition for this hard work is extremely rewarding.”

Monica Jean Henderson is one of 2019’s three recipients of the Award for Graduate Assistants (Teaching). Upon receiving this prestigious recognition, Henderson acknowledged the importance and value of supportive community.

“To me, this award is a testament to the exceptional teaching and mentoring of all those I’ve encountered during my time as an undergraduate student, graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Calgary,” she reflects. “I would not be here without the incredible guidance and encouragement from my co-nominators and supportive colleagues, not just in their roles in this nomination process, but for their roles in my development as a teacher and an individual from my time as an undergraduate student until now.”

Henderson offers unique insights into her teaching philosophy and her contributions to the University of Calgary’s focus on educational excellence: “Teaching and learning are such human experiences; it does not make sense to me to separate who I am and who I want to be in the world from who I am and who I want to be in the classroom.

“I believe that being my authentic self — a person who loves education but who isn’t perfect — in the classroom gives my students the freedom to also be their authentic selves. And it is only with that freedom that I believe the deepest, most honest, and most transformative learning experiences can happen.”

Kassan shares thoughts on her personal approach: “My teaching is informed by an overarching social justice lens, which means that I aim to work with students in a holistic manner in order to make education transformative for them,” she notes. “Likewise, in supervising graduate students, I take a feminist-multicultural approach, which allows me to support them in both their personal and professional development.”

Visit the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning for more information on the University of Calgary Teaching Awards.

Full list of Teaching Award Recipients

Continuing and Professional Education
Dr. Cyndie Baum, PhD, Werklund School of Education

Educational Leadership
Group: Werklund School of Education and Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. (MFNERC) (Dr. Meadow Schroeder, PhD, Dr. Erica Makarenko, PsyD, and Dr. Jac J.W. Andrews, PhD [Werklund] and Lorne Keeper, Margaret Scott, Shirley Myran and Derek Courchene [MFNERC])
Individual, Formal: Dr. Scott Radford, PhD, Haskayne School of Business
Individual, Informal: Dr. Uttandaraman Sundararaj, PhD, Schulich School of Engineering

Experiential Learning Initiatives
Dr. Annette Tézli, PhD, Department of Sociology 

Full-Time Academic Staff
Assistant Professor: Dr. Anusha Kassan, PhD, Werklund School of Education
Associate Professor: Dr. Kristine Bauer, PhD, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Instructor: Dr. Samantha Thrift, PhD, Department of Communication, Media and Film
Professor: Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew, PhD, Werklund School of Education
Senior Instructor: Dr. Todd Hill, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine

Graduate Assistants (Teaching)
Anna Ordog, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Suzanne Chew, Department of Geography
Monica Jean Henderson, Department of Communication, Media and Film

Graduate Supervision
Dr. Colleen Kawalilak, PhD, Werklund School of Education

Librarians, Archivists and Curators
Dr. Michele Hardy, PhD, Taylor Family Digital Library

Non-Academic Staff (Individual)
Dr. Naor Cohen, PhD, Haskayne School of Business

Teaching in Online Environments
Dr. Rachael Crowder, PhD, Faculty of Social Work

Sessional Instructors
Dr. Cari Din, PhD, Faculty of Kinesiology
Mary-Ann Mitchell-Pellett, Werklund School of Education

Team Teaching
Stephanie Bartlett and Erin Quinn, Werklund School of Education

Work-Place Integrated Education
Dr. Rachel Grimminck, MD, FRCPC, DABPN, Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine