Biology members win Faculty of Science teaching awards!

October 13, 2022

Congratulations to Ranah Chavoshi who is the recipient of a 2022 Faculty of Science Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award, and to Jaime Chalissery, Claire Gooding, Tiia Haapalainen and Kendal Singleton, who are recipients of a 2022 Faculty of Science Excellence in Course Team Award.

Read the Faculty of Science News story "SFU Science Announces Recipients of 2022 Excellence in Teaching Awards" and see below for more information regarding their outstanding achievements.


Ranah Chavoshi is a master's student in both Sherryl Bisgrove's and Chris Kennedy's labs and was nominated by faculty members and instructors who worked with her in BISC 326, Biology of Algae and Fungi, a challenging course that includes lectures, two 4-hour labs per week, and a weekend long field trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. Her nominators described how she sometimes took a leading role as an instructor, giving lectures on her own research, preparing and delivering synchronous introductory lectures at the beginning of each lab (during the 2020 lockdown), and collecting seaweed specimens to show students some of the macro algae they can find on their local beaches. They noted her ability to communicate complex topics and to inspire and motivate students, all while ensuring her classroom is an inclusive and positive space to learn. Ranah continues to go from strength to strength as a graduate student: she recently received first prize in Ocean Wise's Innovator Lab competition with a seaweed-bioplastic prototype that uses seaweed's properties to create a biodegradable film to reduce plastic! This work directly relates to her role in BISC 326.

Clockwise from top left, Claire Gooding (MPM candidate, Gries lab), Jaime Chalissery (graduated with MPM, Gries lab), Kendal Singleton (MPM candidate, Gries lab), and Tiia Haapalainen (Teaching Laboratory & Museum Collections Technician) were nominated as a team for their work in BISC 317 - Insect Biology. Jamie, Kendal and Tiia played critical roles in modifying the course content so that it could be taught face-to-face while still meeting SFU's COVID safety guidelines. In the subsequent offering, Kendal, Claire and Tiia continued to display the same excellent level of team work in delivering this important and popular course. According to their faculty nominator, their team spirit, complementary experience and collective dedication ensured that students had the best possible learning experience. The photo that they have created (above) truly captures their love of the course, of insects, and the team!

Congratulations to all and thank you for your dedication!