Trio recognized with awards for Teaching Excellence and Innovation
Three great teachers who inspire their students and prepare them to achieve remarkable things were honoured by UBC with awards for Teaching Excellence and Innovation in a ceremony on the Okanagan campus this week.
Naomi McPherson, associate professor of anthropology is recognized in the senior faculty awards category.
The award for junior faculty member is shared by Erik Rosolowky, assistant professor of astronomy, and Paul G. Davies, associate professor of psychology.
All three teach in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
“The awards recognize innovative teaching in class but also take into consideration activities that support teaching that occurs outside of the classroom,” says Doug Owram, deputy vice chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus.
McPherson created an interdisciplinary graduate Pro Seminar and has been an active contributor to the development of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program. She has created new courses, contributed to revisions of the Anthropology major and has worked with Indigenous Studies on growth and development of its program. She currently supervises 11 graduate students.
“She sets a high standard of excellence in teaching practice, is active in building a learning community, supporting global awareness and developing interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, and she provides outstanding student support and guidance,” Provost Wesley Pue said in conferring McPherson’s award.
Davies uses innovative lecture techniques, including multimedia and case studies, to encourage students to apply classroom knowledge to the real world.
“Dr. Davies continues to advance the field of psychology through innovative research that informs his courses,” Pue said. “We are very proud to have a colleague who is such a remarkable teacher, a noted researcher and leader in his field.”
In bestowing the award, he noted that prior to coming to UBC from the University of California Los Angeles, Davies was ranked number one out of 4,577 professors on their standard teaching criteria.
Rosolowsky came to UBC in 2008 after his postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. Since then, he has applied his expertise to develop the astronomy curriculum at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
“He has been instrumental in the assessment of first-year physics instruction, helping to inform the development of that curriculum,” said Pue, who accepted the award on Rosolowksy’s behalf.
The Teaching Excellence and Innovation Awards recognize a senior faculty member with 10 years or more teaching experience and a junior faculty member with less than 10 years of experience in teaching. The awards consist of a $3,000 cash prize and the recipients will be honoured at Convocation on June 7.
The award recipients join the UBC Okanagan Academy of Teaching Excellence and participate in the selection process for future teaching award nominees.
In addition to the teaching awards, a number of other faculty members were recognized with Honour Roll distinctions, as were outstanding teaching assistants and tutors.
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