Teaching awards presented to those who make a difference
Great teachers inspire students to achieve remarkable things – and three of UBC’s best were honoured with awards for Teaching Excellence and Innovation in a recent ceremony at the Okanagan campus.
John Wagner, associate professor of anthropology in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, is recognized in the senior faculty awards category.
The award for junior faculty member is shared by Ilya Parkins, assistant professor and chair of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, along with Jonathan Holzman, associate professor with the School of Engineering.
“Our celebrated teachers begin with innovation in the classroom but their dedication goes well beyond the corridors of traditional learning,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard. “It is a pleasure to recognize John Wagner, Illya Parkins, and Jonathan Holzman for their achievements, their community work, and for inspiring their students in meaningful ways.”
Wagner is renowned for bringing a wealth of theory and real-life practicality to the academic experience. His refreshing teaching approach has coined the term “Wagnerism” among his students and he encourages all of his students to perform to the top of their capabilities.
“John Wagner is well known for his experience and interests in development, foreign aid, and ecological practice,” says Provost Wesley Pue, in conferring the award. “He leads by example, integrating teaching with research and guiding his students to be better global citizens. John is a leader in society as well as at UBC.”
Parkins runs the Gender and Women’s Studies (GWST) program and has acted as advisor since its inception. She has expanded the area of study, seeking to establish an interdisciplinary Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her dedication to students is evidenced in the growing enrollment in GWST, which has increased by more than a third since 2009.
“Ilya Parkins is committed to excellence in teaching, mentoring her graduate students, and building a learning community that continues to grow, thanks to her focus, dedication, and enthusiasm,” says Pue. “Ilya makes a strong contribution to graduate studies and adds to UBC’s reputation as a research destination for students.”
Holzman has not only pioneered the Integrated Optics Laboratory and Applied Micro and Nanosystems Facility at UBC’s Okanagan campus, but has developed curriculum, implemented innovations in teaching and learning, encouraged interdisciplinary approaches to learning, and supported national and global initiatives in electrical engineering.
“Jonathan Holzman has played an integral role in building academic programs and laboratories and fostering global awareness in technology and teaching,” says Pue. “He has been instrumental in bridging learning between college and university environments. These attributes make him a great faculty member. But what makes Jonathan a great teacher is his ability to foster leadership qualities, teamwork, and problem-solving skills with his students.”
UBC’s 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’ experience in teaching. The awards consist of a $3,000 prize and the recipients will be honoured during June’s Convocation ceremonies.
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, 42 faculty members were recognized with Honour Roll distinctions.
The Provost’s Award for Teaching Assistants and Tutors, which carries a $500 cash prize, was presented to six recipients.
Honour Role Recipients
Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
Grisel Garcia Perez
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Health and Social Development
Joan Bassett Smith
Paul Van Donkelaar
Sally Willis Stewart
Faculty of Management
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering
Provost Award for Teaching Assistants and Tutors
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