Faculty Profile: Dr. Rina Zazkis, Education

November 04, 2011

We're delighted to profile the winners of the inaugural Dean's Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Dr. Rina Zazkis received a 2011 award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision.

The 2012 awards are now open for nominations. Nomination deadline is November 15.

Dr. Rina Zazkis' graduate students in the Faculty of Education say that she's supportive, enthusiastic and innovative, and their multiple achievements are the products of her labours.

In her 20 years at SFU, she has supervised 11 PhD and 9 master's students. Of those, three have been awarded the Dean's Medal and one the Governor General's Gold Medal for excellence in graduate work. Three were awarded SSHRC doctoral fellowships and five have gone onto tenure track university positions. Among her numerous publications, over 20 refereed journal articles, 14 refereed conference papers, a book and several book chapters are co-authored with her graduate students.

It's not a complicated word problem — in other words, her active and involved supervisory style benefits her students, and they know it.

One of her students says, "Rina is an incredible supervisor and mentor. I completed my PhD in just over three years, graduated as a recipient of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal for Academic Excellence, and attribute these accomplishments in no small part to her guidance, support, and unmatched ability to push and challenge my thinking in new directions."

Another adds, "Rina's commitment to graduate student learning beyond the requirements is evidenced by her involvement in and organization of program initiatives such as the Mathematics Education Doctoral Student Conference (MEDS-C), an annual conference where we proposed, peer-reviewed, and presented our on-going research in a supportive yet constructively critical environment."

The addition of a supervisor to a graduate student often ends up with partnerships that are greater than the sum of their parts, and Rina Zazkis' graduate students are delighted to be the proof of that rule.

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