2022 CEPS Awards

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

CEPS Annual Award Winners. Moving left to right: Dr. Ed McBean, Susan McCormick, Dr. Stacey Scott, Dr. Ritu Chaturvedi, and Dr. Leanne Chen
CEPS Annual Award Winners. Moving left to right: Dr. Ed McBean, Susan McCormick, Dr. Stacey Scott, Dr. Ritu Chaturvedi and Dr. Leanne Chen

Five members of the CEPS community have been awarded for their exceptional contributions to the College.

Once a year, the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) community takes the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our faculty and staff through annual awards recognizing outstanding efforts in teaching, research, and excellence. The CEPS awards consist of the Assistant Professor Research Excellence Award, SEPS Graduate Supervision Award, CEPS Undergraduate Supervision Award, CEPS Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and CEPS Staff Excellence Award.

“Everyone in CEPS has shown great dedication and commitment to the community over the past year through their teaching, research, learning and support,” says Dr. Richard Zytner, interim dean CEPS. “I am very grateful to all of our faculty and staff for providing such a positive learning environment for each other and our students.”

The awards were presented at the CEPS annual college meeting on June 21, 2022. The nominations were adjudicated by the College Awards Committee, which consists of one voting member from each of CEPS’s five academic units: Physics, Mathematics and Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science and Chemistry. The winners are as follows:

Assistant Professor Research Excellence Award

Prof. Leanne Chen, Department of Chemistry, receives this year’s Assistant Professor Research Excellence Award. The award is given to the assistant professor who best demonstrates enhanced research productivity and the potential for continued research program growth.

Chen is an emerging leader on computational electrochemistry. Her research program focuses on using renewably generated electricity to drive chemical processes for energy storage that could reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and carbon dioxide release from energy sources. Since joining the Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Professor in March 2020, Chen has already produced eight independent publications, obtained over $465,000 in competitive research funding and trained 17 students. In the first two years of Chen’s independent research career at Guelph, she was the corresponding or co-corresponding author in seven high impact, peer-reviewed publications. To date, she has 26 publications that have been cited over 1,400 times.

CEPS Graduate Supervision Award

Given to the faculty member who best exemplified sustained excellence in graduate student supervision, Prof. Ed McBean in the School of Engineering receives the CEPS Graduate Supervision Award.

Over the past 18 years, McBean consistently supervised 12 to 18 graduate students each year and offers each of them unique and specialized opportunities for growth and development. He provides his students with a dynamic learning environment, allowing them to craft our own tools to use in their research. He has always cultivated opportunities to generate exposure to engineering outside of the classroom or the research setting. McBean also fosters a passion for research in his trainees and is dedicated to student mental health. He has always made mental health as of paramount importance and makes it a priority to “get a smile and a laugh out of every meeting”.

One former PhD student said, “Dr. McBean exemplifies all the qualities of a strong graduate supervisor: he shows an interest, he spends time, he is supportive, he challenges students to become independent thinkers and researchers, and gives them the freedom to develop and grow.”

CEPS Undergraduate Supervision Award

Prof. Stacey Scott, School of Computer Science, receives the CEPS Undergraduate Supervision Award, given to the faculty member who best exemplifies sustained excellence in undergraduate supervision.

She has dedicated significant time and energy to recruiting, guiding and developing young research talent. Scott has supervised 31 full-time (co-op, summer interns, etc.) students, 45 part-time undergraduate research assistants and 58 undergraduate capstone/independent project students in her career. She has a strong track record of publishing with her undergraduate trainees in high-quality, internationally recognized peer-reviewed venues. Scott is seen by students as a dedicated mentor and advocate for her students’ personal and professional growth, taking the time to get to know each one individually.

One undergraduate student said, “Working with Prof. Scott as an undergraduate research assistant was scholastically invigorating, productive and an exceptionally positive experience. Her tireless commitment to her student’s education and her proactive engagement to help their professional development makes her an asset to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.”

CEPS Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

Awarded to the faculty member who best exemplifies sustained excellence in undergraduate teaching, Prof. Ritu Chaturvedi, School of Computer Science, receives the CEPS Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Since joining the School of Computer Science in 2017, more than 3,800 students have enrolled in Chaturvedi’s five unique undergraduate courses, including introductory programming and introduction to databases. Her teaching evaluations have been consistently excellent. Students’ course engagement is Chaturvedi’s top priority, evidenced from the innovative pedagogical methods she applies in her courses to engage students, especially in larger classes. In 2021, she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Student Experience award through the Residence Services Professor Recognition Program at the University of Guelph.

One student said, “Dr. Chaturvedi is always happy to answer questions and explain concepts, but above all, she is very patient, empathetic, and goes above and beyond to aid the learning of her students. Her commitment to her student’s learning and development is exemplary and impressive. She focuses on building future leaders and encourages students to achieve their full potential.”

CEPS Staff Excellence Award

Susan McCormick, Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, receives the CEPS Staff Excellence Award, given to the staff member who has provided exceptional contributions towards fulfilling the College’s mission and mandate.

McCormick has had exceptionally high levels of sustained performance over the past 34 years of service to the University of Guelph. She provides invaluable support to faculty, staff and students. McCormick has a friendly personality, and she contributes to the creation of a respectful, collegial and supportive environment among graduate students and faculty. If she was not already surpassing all expectations, she became the Graduate Program Assistant for the new Professional Masters in Data Science program. She has continually gone above and beyond to help faculty and admin staff. According to the Department, McCormick is an integral part of the Department culture that they could not imagine it without her.

Congratulations to all the 2022 CEPS faculty and staff award recipients!

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