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Cormack Teaching Awards and Dean's Medals

September 04, 2012
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2012 Cormack Teaching Award Winners Announced

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) is pleased to announce that Drs. John Bogardus, John Harriss, Nicole Jackson, and Kate Slaney are the recipients of the 2012 Cormack Teaching Awards.

“I’m enormously proud of our Faculty’s tradition of teaching excellence,” says John Craig, Dean of FASS. “Teaching is so strong within our Faculty that it’s quite difficult to narrow down the list to only a handful of winners. Each year, the committee receives numerous nominations about the creative and meaningful ways that our teachers engage students. It’s a pleasure to acknowledge some truly outstanding instructors with the Cormack Awards.”

Dr. John Bogardus, Senior Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology, is an educator wholeheartedly dedicated to creating self-reflective and collaborative learning environments. For Dr. Bogardus, “Each class represents a new challenge in building relationships, assessing students’ needs and adjusting the classroom practice accordingly.” He focuses on ethical, productive, analytically sound, and deeply engaged work that resonates far beyond the classroom. As one student notes, “John has such a passion for connecting to students and so much respect for each of us. He makes learning safe and engaging in every moment.” Learn more about John Bogardus

Dr. John Harriss, Professor and Director, International Studies, FASS, has taught at least twice as much as has been required of him since he began teaching at SFU in 2006, while also redesigning the undergraduate major and the MA program in International Studies. His commitment to his discipline and his students shine through in the classroom. According to one student, Dr. Harriss embodies “what all university professors should be like, if we were so lucky….intimidating in his intellectual accomplishment and approachable in his warm and personable manner.” Learn more about John Harriss

Dr. Nicole Jackson, Associate Professor, International Studies, creates a dynamic and highly-interactve classroom by using structured debates, short videos, guest speakers, a core “introductory reader” to bring diverse students into some common understandings for more advanced work, and various multi-media sources. One of her most successful teaching tools involves having students study the roles of various actors in complex modern political environments, culminating in a mock UN subcommittee to respond to a scenario based on actual current events. Learm more about Nicole Jackson

Dr. Kate Slaney, Assistant Professor, Psychology, joined the department in 2006 and quickly took on teaching five of the department’s most difficult undergraduate courses, achieving “among the very highest ratings” in the department for large-lower division classes. This is no small feat. Students frequently express considerable apprehension about these courses; but through (in students’ words) “excellent assignments, handouts, and communication skills” and abilities as “enthusiastic, passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable, encouraging, fair, kind and demanding,” Dr. Slaney has managed to “make the boring interesting.” Learn more about Kate Slaney

The Cormack Awards were created in 2010 to recognize excellent and innovative teaching within FASS at all ranks (lecturer, assistant, associate and full professor). Nominations may come from students, colleagues, chairs or directors. Cormack award winners receive their awards at the FASS annual reception and also present short presentations on some aspect of their teaching in a public symposium (both events held in the fall semester). New nominations will be solicited in February/March 2013.

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