Dynamic. Innovative. Inspiring. They’re just three ways used to describe this year’s top teachers at UBC Okanagan.
At a reception Thursday evening, UBC Okanagan Provost Alaa Abd-El-Aziz recognized Stephen McNeil, assistant professor of chemistry, and Maurice Williams, associate professor of history, as the teachers of the year.
“Each year UBC Okanagan recognizes an outstanding professor as the recipient of the Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation — essentially our Teacher of the Year,” said Abd-El-Aziz. “This year I am proud to see two of our faculty members co-receiving the award. I feel this is a testament of the strength of our faculty and their teaching.”
McNeil is known for creating a student-centered learning environment, where he dedicates time and effort to empower his students and inspire them to become critical thinkers, said Abd-El-Aziz. “His approach to teaching is innovative and dynamic, and he has played a very important role in curriculum development, creating undergraduate and graduate inorganic chemistry courses for the benefit of our students.”
The creativity and passion Williams brings into his teaching role at UBC Okanagan is truly inspiring, said the Provost. “He goes above and beyond expectations to deliver courses that both engage and challenge his students. Dr. Williams introduced summer field courses as part of his Myra Canyon research project, demonstrating his interdisciplinary approach to teaching through a unique combination of teaching, research and service to the community.”
The Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation will be formally presented to McNeil and Williams at UBC Okanagan’s convocation ceremony on June 7. The two professors will share the $5,000 prize, join the UBC Okanagan Academy of Teaching Excellence, and participate in the selection process for future teaching award nominees.
Also commended for teaching excellence were 31 members of faculty selected by UBC Okanagan students for the Teaching Honour Roll. The honour roll recognizes professors who are among the top 10 per cent in student evaluations of teaching effectiveness.
Faculty members named to the Teaching Honour Roll are:
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Health and Social Development
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
School of Engineering
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