Faculty members receive Dean of Graduate Studies Awards for Excellence

October 31, 2011

Dr. Kieran Egan and Dr. Rina Zazkis, both professors in the Faculty of Education at SFU, received the 2011 Dean of Graduate Studies Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision. This award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to leadership in graduate student development and the graduate student enterprise at SFU.

Dr. Kieran Egan, a professor at SFU for the past 32 years, is inspiring the next generation of learners. He was named one of the “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World” by the Utne Reader, and his latest book, The Future of Education: Reimagining Our Schools from the Ground Up, was recognized with a 2011 Outstanding Book Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teachers Education (AACTE)

While Dr. Rina Zazkis, a professor at SFU for the past 20 years, has plenty of experience supporting and guiding graduate students. She has supervised 11 PhD and 9 Masters students, and three of those have been awarded the Dean’s Medal and one the Governor General’s Gold Medal for excellence in graduate work. Over the years, Dr. Zazkis has also co-authored numerous publications, including refereed journal articles and a book, with her graduate students.

Award criteria states that nominees must demonstrate a commitment to the graduate student learning experience, stimulate graduate students to think creatively and critically and provide exceptional guidance to students.

Dr. Egan’s students emerged from their programs with work that exceeded their expectations due to his sustained and thoughtful contributions. One of his students remarked that Dr. Egan prioritized his students and “there has never been a time when he couldn’t make the time to provide support or when he didn’t look carefully at my writing.” While the graduate student who nominated Dr. Egan for the award claims his supervisor “knew [his] capabilities better than [he] knew [himself].”

This sense of dedication and encouragement by the graduate studies supervisor also resonates with Dr. Zazkis' students. “Rina is an incredible supervisor," says one of her students. "I completed my PhD … graduated as a recipient of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal for Academic Excellence, and [I] attribute these accomplishments in no small part to her guidance, support and unmatched ability to push and challenge my thinking in new directions.”

To read more about Dr. Egan and his nomination, click here, and for more about Dr. Zazkis and her nomination, click here.

To see a full list of the 2011 Dean of Graduate Studies award recipients, click here.