Congratulations to the winners of the CBS Teaching and Mentorship Awards 2019

Posted on Friday, December 20th, 2019

Interim dean of CBS Glen Van Der Kraak and staff teaching award winner Chris Meyer2019 Staff Teaching Excellence Award: Chris Meyer, Molecular and Cellular Biology

In his role as the lab coordinator and demonstrator for all offerings of the MCB Plant Biology courses, Dr. Meyer plays a substantial role in the education of many students each semester. Through creativity, the adaptation of technology, and the application of pedagogically sound approaches, Dr. Meyer has been instrumental in ensuring that our students receive a high-quality learning experience that sets them up for future success in our programs.

Dr. Meyer is also supportive of our students outside of the classroom, through taking an active role in lets talk science and running botany themed social media accounts - an underutilized approach to engage with students and bring attention to our programs in the college.

Glen Van Der Kraak and Timothy Bartley2019 Mentorship Award for Postdoctoral Fellows: Timothy Bartley, Integrative Biology.

Dr. Bartley studies how organisms’ responses to global environmental change are ‘rewiring’ food webs. During his time at Guelph, Dr. Bartley has formally mentored dozens of students from undergraduate to doctoral students.

In the letters of support, Dr. Bartley is described as someone with consistent patience and willingness to provide support and guidance in both formal and informal settings. Dr. Bartley was also described as “an incredible mentor throughout my entire research career, in both official and unofficial capacities. He has helped with my development as a researcher in my field, navigate difficult professional situations, and work through personal challenges”

The broader university community also benefits from Dr. Bartley’s mentorship, through the University of Guelph library he aids in the development of undergraduate Science writing. As well, he regularly participates in numerous integrative biology classes giving lectures on approaches to writing. As noted in the letters “I have been the beneficiary of several of these lectures …and his seminar is extremely effective”.

It is clear from the nomination package that Dr. Bartley has been critical to the personal and professional success of many of our undergraduate and graduate students.

Prof. Todd Gillis and Prof. Patricia Wright2019 Graduate Mentorship Award: Professor Patricia Wright, Integrative Biology.

Professor Wright’s research program is focused on factors that underlie osmoregulation and respiration in aquatic animals, and how animals maintain homeostasis with changes in the external environment.

From reading the nomination letter, and letters of support, it is clear that the success of Professor Wright’s program is due, at least in part, to her ability to challenge and inspire her students, set up opportunities, and be flexible in her supervisory style.

A past graduate student, now a postdoc, wrote “…reflecting on my experiences from an undergraduate honours thesis student to graduate student in Dr. Wright’s lab I believe what makes Dr. Wright such an effective supervisor is that she is aware of the different barriers to success that individuals may experience in academia. With this knowledge, she creates opportunities to circumvent barriers and provide support and enhance the success of her students."

As a result of Professor Wright’s obvious success as a graduate mentor, and her ability to create a very rich and inclusive training environment for her students, she is highly deserving of this award.

Prof. Todd Gillis and Prof. Sarah Adamowicz2019 Faculty Teaching Excellence Award: Professor Sarah (Sally) Adamowicz, Integrative Biology.

Dr. Adamowicz’s research program is focused on biodiversity, evolution and phylogenetics.

As outlined in the nomination letter, and letters of support, in the classroom she has a large toolkit of techniques to engage students and be an effective educator, including: active learning, social learning and engagement, inclusivity, student-led learning, and metacognitive strategies. Dr. Adamowicz places a strong emphasis on continuous improvement in her teaching by attending the Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop Series which has allowed her to advance her skills and the delivery of coding techniques to her students.

In the nomination letter, Dr. Adamowicz is described as a passionate teacher, mentor and advisor who uses creative approaches to inspire students to think critically, work in teams and take leadership. Letters of support from students describe someone with a dynamic lecturing style, who has empathy for her students and who has had a very significant impact on their success.

Dr. Adamowicz is very deserving of this award.

Prof. Brian Husband and Stacey Forbes2019 Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: Stacey Forbes, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences.

Stacey is a M.Sc. student who is studying the effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on exercise performance in elite ringette players.

It is clear from the nomination letter, and letters of support, that Stacey has had a significant impact on the students that she has taught. Stacey is described as an exceptional team member who exhibited a strong work ethic and collegiality in working with others to deliver a high-quality learning experience. Letters from students indicate that she demonstrated enthusiasm and genuine excitement about human anatomy and that they greatly appreciated her significant efforts to create innovative learning experiences that aided in their success.

As outlined in one of the letters of support: “…as a student, when you first meet Stacy, you lose all intimidation that is usually felt when speaking with a GTA. She emanates positivity and enthusiasm for both human anatomy and teaching. She creates a positive learning environment and demonstrated her dedication to facilitating our exploration and learning of the human body…”.

Thanks to Stacey for her dedication to undergraduate training.

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