2021 University of Calgary Celebration of Teaching

June 25, 2021

2021 Celebration of Teaching honours virtual connections

University of Calgary Teaching Award recipients provide innovative learning opportunities for students

The University of Calgary Teaching Awards have recognized outstanding contributions to teaching and learning at the university since 2014. The awards honour excellence in 13 categories, from curriculum development to experiential learning to the role of non-academic staff in student learning. 

The awards are as rigorous as they are prestigious, requiring all nominees to submit a comprehensive nomination package supported by personal teaching philosophies, quantitative data and evidence from students and colleagues. Once completed and submitted, the dossiers are reviewed and discussed at length by 11 adjudication committees. 

Celebrating UCalgary's extraordinary educators

Due to COVID-19, the award ceremony was held virtually this year on June 22. But that didn’t diminish the accomplishment of this year’s winners.   

“These outstanding educators not only embraced the challenge of teaching during a worldwide pandemic, but found new ways to teach and for our students to flourish,” says Dr. Leslie Reid, vice-provost (teaching and learning), and the evening’s host.  

This year’s slate of award recipients saw the limitations presented by COVID-19 and rose above them to provide truly outstanding learning opportunities to our students. Some professors Zoomed-in experts from around the world to talk to their students, while others divided their large classes into small online cohorts to allow for authentic connection between participants. Some instructors and technicians created virtual hands-on learning opportunities so students could complete their course experiments from their homes. And others worked diligently to create and maintain safe spaces for those students who were required to come to campus. 

Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Teri Balser, PhD, sums it up nicely: “Our teaching and learning community came together in the face of adversity during this pandemic, without ever losing sight of the ultimate goal — to create meaningful learning experiences for our students. During COVID-19, we were physically apart and yet, in some ways, more connected than ever before.” 

For more information on the University of Calgary Teaching Awards, visit the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

2021 University of Calgary Teaching Award recipients 

Curriculum Development 
Faculty of Kinesiology Curriculum Review Team (Dr. Cari Din, PhD, Dr. William Bridel, PhD, Simon Barrick, Dr. Dave Paskevich, PhD, and Jodie McGill), Faculty of Kinesiology 

Educational Leadership 
Group: Quality Graduate Supervision MOOC Team (Dr. Michele Jacobsen, PhD, and Dr. Hawazen Alharbi, PhD), Werklund School of Education
Individual, Formal: Nickie Nikolaou, Faculty of Law 
Individual, Informal: Dr. Jean-Yin Tan, DVM, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine 

Experiential Learning  
Dr. Mindi Summers, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science 

Full-Time Academic Staff 
Associate Professor: Dr. Miwa Takeuchi, PhD, Werklund School of Education 
Instructor: Dr. Mohammad Moshirpour, PhD, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering 
Professor: Dr. Jessica M. Theodor, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science 
Senior Instructor: Dr. Simon Spanswick, PhD, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts 

Graduate Assistants (Teaching) 
Jacob Forshaw, Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science 
Kaltrina Kusari, Faculty of Social Work 
Robyn Paul, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering 

Graduate Supervision 
Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos, PhD, Faculty of Social Work 

Librarians, Archivists and Curators 
Nadine Hoffman, Libraries and Cultural Resources 

Non-Academic Staff (Individual) 
Steven Nunoda, Department of Art and Art History, Faculty of Arts 

Non-Academic Staff (Group) 
Physics and Astronomy Technical Team (Peter Gimby, and Wesley Ernst), Undergraduate Learning Services, Faculty of Science 

Sessional Instructors 
Dr. Carol A. Gibbons Kroeker, PhD, Faculty of Kinesiology 
Dr. Carol Ing, EdD, Faculty of Social Work 
Dr. Polly L. Knowlton Cockett, PhD, Werklund School of Education

Teaching in Online Environments 
Dr. Soroush Sabbaghan, Werklund School of Education 

Team Teaching 
Integrated Learning Stream – Electrical Engineering (Dr. Mike Potter, PhD, Dr. Laleh Behjat, PhD, Dr. Kartik Murari, PhD, Dr. Seyed (Yani) Jazayeri, PhD, Dr. Geoff Messier, PhD, Dr. Rushi Vyas, PhD, Robyn Paul, Monique Sullivan, Kat Dornian, and Jason Long), Electrical and Software Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering 

Work-Integrated Learning 
Catherine Heggerud, Haskayne School of Business 

Be part of the celebration

Watch the 2021 Celebration of Teaching in its entirety or catch your favourite educator receive their award.