Sepideh Fotovatian and Matheus Bandeira receive SFU Economics teaching awards

June 01, 2022

Every year, the Department of Economics recognizes some of its most outstanding instructors and teaching assistants for the hard work they put forward for their students. This year's Lawrence Boland Outstanding Instructor Award goes to limited term faculty Sepideh Fotovatian while the Terry Heap's Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award goes to doctoral student Matheus Thompson Bandeira. Congratulations! 

Lawrence Boland Outstanding Instructor Award

Named in honour of award-winning instructor and retired economics professor Lawrence Boland, FRSC, the Lawrence Boland Outstanding Instructor Award recognizes the teaching achievements of continuing economics faculty over the last three years.

Sepideh Fotovatian

After receiving her PhD in education from Monash University in 2012, Sepideh Fotovatian moved from Melbourne, Australia to Alberta for her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary. Her doctoral thesis focused on the integration of international students in higher education and the role of language and interaction. In that same year, Sepideh was offered a limited term lecturer position at SFU’s Faculty of Education where she taught an array of courses related to language education, identity and sociocultural theory, and teacher education.

In 2012, she also joined the Department of Economics to conduct a self-study of ECON 220W, a new pilot elective course with a focus on communication skills in the context of economics. Sepideh redesigned and redeveloped the course while advocating co-teaching as an effective delivery method for this interdisciplinary course. Since then, Sepideh has been co-teaching the course with fellow economics instructor Thomas Vigie. In her pedagogy, Sepideh applies her knowledge of sociocultural theory and identity negotiation in teaching academic literacy. When the Department launched an initiative to integrate communication skills into the undergraduate curriculum by increasing the number of writing-intensive courses, Sepideh served as a resource for faculty, teaching assistants, and students in this transition by developing educational goals, assessments and assignments, materials, and student resources.

Terry Heaps Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

The Terry Heaps Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA) Award recognizes those who go above and beyond when it comes to supporting students and faculty. 

Matheus Thompson Bandeira

Matheus Thompson Bandeira is a PhD candidate in economics at SFU, joining the department in the fall of 2018 after receiving his MA degree also from SFU. Since 2017, he has worked as a teaching assistant on several undergraduate courses such as ECON 103, ECON 201, ECON 302 and ECON 325. In his work as a teaching assistant at SFU, Matheus always tries to deemphasize memorization by encouraging creative and analytical problem solving in his students. To him, engaging and motivating students is the greatest reward he gets from teaching. Working on his research in the area of political economy, Matheus has been studying the potential drivers of state failure by analyzing applied theory models and historical evidence