Danielle Murdoch wins 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award

March 09, 2023

Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology congratulates senior lecturer Danielle Murdoch for being one of three educators to win a 2022 SFU Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of her educational leadership, commitment to excellence, and extraordinary scholarly engagement in pedagogy.

Since joining SFU Criminology as a lecturer in 2016, Murdoch’s intrinsic love of learning has led her to a non-stop journey of learning, unlearning, and relearning, bringing a unique approach to teaching characterized by care, connection, inclusivity, and diversity in content and assessments.

“I aim to create supportive learning environments where students feel comfortable asking me questions and participating in discussions during class and attending one-on-one student hours”, says Murdoch. “I strive to be a more inclusive educator by listening to my students, observing their curiosities, and identifying opportunities to explore their interests or share their experiences through the lens of course content.”

Whether participating in professional development activities, conducting teaching and learning development grants or fostering relationships with educators that contribute to her growth as an instructor, Murdoch is always looking for ways to improve her practice. And her efforts do not go unnoticed.

“Danielle is an instructor you cannot miss at SFU. She has the ability to change one's entire undergraduate experience with her approach to teaching and leadership,” Says one of Murdoch’s former students, Tyler Mierzwa. “I am no outlier, many of my peers have had the same experience with Danielle and I have no doubt she will continue having this impact until she retires.”

Over the years, Murdoch has built a strong reputation among students and colleagues as a passionate, supportive, and kind educator who places her students’ well-being at the heart of her work, and whose excellence and supportive spirit also manifest in the many one-on-one relationships she has built with her students and colleagues.

“In academia, finding people who support and encourage you while also being open to share their knowledge and experiences is rare,” says PhD student and Vanier scholar Michaela McGuire. “Dr. Murdoch has transitioned from my instructor to my boss and supervisor, and I now consider her a mentor and a friend. I would not be where I am as an academic without her support, advice, and encouragement. She has had a tremendous impact on my life.”

Murdoch is committed to exploring and understanding how changes she makes in her classroom contribute to student learning and well-being, and she takes advantage of all the resources available on campus.

“I am incredibly grateful for both the Transforming Inquiry into Learning & Teaching team and the Centre for Educational Excellence for the opportunities they provide faculty,” says Murdoch. “Participating in their professional development seminars and workshops, and having opportunities to receive funding to engage in teaching and learning research, has contributed greatly to my growth as an educator and person.”

Congratulations again to Danielle Murdoch on a well-deserved recognition!