2015 Outstanding Teaching Award Winners
Four faculty members from across Arts & Science are this year’s recipients of the Faculty of Arts & Science Outstanding Teaching Awards. Established in 1993, the awards highlight the value the Faculty places on excellence in teaching. Recipients are selected based on nominations by peers and students. David Cameron, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science, presented the awards on May 11th.
This year’s recipients are:
William Ju, Human Biology Program
William Ju has taught hundreds of students over the last five years, and is widely considered a rising star in undergraduate science education. He’s described as sharp, creative and deeply passionate about education, student engagement and cultivating excellence. Bill’s nomination was led by his students and they had much to say about what an extraordinary teacher he is. One wrote: “It did not take long for me to realize that Dr. Ju’s passion for teaching and care for his students was special. From the very first day of class, he made it clear that his goal was to not only impart his neuroscience knowledge to us, but to get us excited about the subject in a way that would drive our own independent learning long after the course was finished.”
Charlie Keil, Cinema Studies & History
For almost 20 years at the University of Toronto, Charlie Keil has made — and continues to make — a profound impression on generations of students. The letters from students in support of his nomination were filled with admiration. Some note his sophisticated understanding of film, others his clarity and precision. One student simply called him the “best professor I’ve ever had at U of T.” Keil has also played a significant role in advancing the discipline of cinema studies itself at U of T. In addition to being a great teacher, Keil is known as a generous mentor to less experienced colleagues.
Melody Neumann, Cell & Systems Biology
Melody Neumann joined the department in 2003 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2010. In that time, she’s proven herself to be an exceptional biology teacher and a leading innovator in online learning and course design. In the words of her department’s chair, Ulrich Tepass: “Melody is one of the most proactive innovators and early adopters of new teaching methods certainly in Cell & Systems Biology, and perhaps the University. These contributions have had a significant impact on student learning at the University of Toronto.” Further, colleagues attest that Neumann is very generous in sharing her expertise with other faculty members in the department, thereby enhancing teaching throughout the curriculum.
Sabine Stanley, Physics
Sabine Stanley joined physics nearly 10 years ago and in that time has become one of the very best instructors among the unit’s research-intensive faculty. Her classroom instruction is superlative. She’s highly regarded for her clear, organized and illuminating lecture style and for her ability to successfully shepherd students from a wide range of academic backgrounds and levels of ability through her courses. Stanley also works to actively engage undergraduates in her research and has supervised 10 students in the last five years. Also noteworthy is the important role she has played in curriculum renewal, particularly in the areas of classical physics and in computational physics.