Two professors have been recognized by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) as its top teachers in terms of teaching excellence and innovation.
Allison Hargreaves has been named the first winner of the FCCS Teaching Excellence Award and Karis Shearer has been named the first winner of the FCCS Teaching Innovation Award.
Hargreaves was given the award based on her ability to inspire students. In her teaching evaluations one student commented her course was “life-changing,” and that the course material was so engaging that students regularly arrived early in order to allow time for more discussion.
The FCCS awards committee was particularly impressed with her dedication and the way she carried her teaching philosophy into the classroom.
Shearer was given the award on the strength of her innovative teaching approaches, particularly for her recent Canadian Poetry On and Off the Page course. This course asked students to create their own poetry experiments and provided them opportunities to engage with several important contemporary Canadian poets.
The FCCS awards committee noted the extensive experiences this course encouraged and remarked that Shearer encouraged not just innovative poetry, but innovative learning methods inside and outside the classroom.
FCCS Dean Wisdom Tettey was on hand to present the awards on August 27, 2013 and said that “FCCS values teaching excellence and innovation as fundamental pillars of its mandate and the awards are an expression of the recognition that is due our colleagues. Drs. Hargreaves and Shearer exemplify our commitment to providing the highest quality learning experience for our students. They are helping to sustain and to build on the long tradition of pedagogical excellence that our Faculty is known for through engaging, transformative, cutting edge, socially conscious, and globally oriented instructional content and approaches. “
Tettey was also excited to present the sculptures that accompany the awards, both of which were created by FCCS student Michael Kiss. Kiss primarily works with sculpture, exploring organic and industrial forms through stone, metal and wood.
“FCCS commissioned Mr. Kiss based on the impressive body and quality of work that he has produced as a student,” said Tettey. “His work starts with a basic concept, but this evolves as the process unfolds. He represents the caliber of student that emerges from the inspiring learning environments nurtured by colleagues such as Allison and Karis.”
Kiss’ commission allowed him to create 14 sculptures that will be used for a number of future FCCS awards.