September 21, 2022

Celebrating teaching impact: SFU’s newly expanded Awards for Excellence in Teaching

SFU instructors, students, staff and alumni are invited to submit nominations to the 2022 Awards for Excellence in Teaching via the program’s new, more streamlined process by Monday, October 17.

For the last forty years, the SFU Excellence in Teaching Award has been celebrating teachers and teaching at SFU—and this year that celebration is going to be even bigger. 

In addition to the longstanding Award for Excellence in Teaching, specialized awards will be given out this year for early career faculty, as well as blended/online and experiential/community-engaged teaching.  

Not only does this increase the total number of awards, but the monies associated with the Award for Excellence in Teaching have been increased to $5000 and can now be accepted as research grants. 

The changes aim to expand the reach of what past winners describe as an already impactful program.  

For Sarah Walshaw, a senior lecturer in history, being selected as one of 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award winners was a powerful confidence booster. 

“To be counted among the amazing instructors at SFU inspired me to take my career to the next level and has just generally expanded my sense of what is possible.” 

Her enthusiasm was echoed by 2020 winner and urban studies/gender, sexuality and women’s studies lecturer Tiffany Muller Myrdahl, who describes the recognition as a validation of her teaching. 

“I take a lot of risks in my teaching and sometimes this means failed experiments or assignments that are pretty time consuming to assess … Finding out that students nominated me for the award was confirmation that my teaching is making the impact I want.” 

Senior lecturer in biology and 2018 winner Kevin Lam emphasizes the emotional impact. 

“Getting nominated by my colleagues and students was simply overwhelming in the best way, like a bowl being over-filled with warm soup from 30 pots at once.” 

SFU instructors, students, staff and alumni are invited to submit nominations to the 2022 Awards for Excellence in Teaching via the program’s new, more streamlined process until Monday, October 17. 

“I know that sometimes it can feel like you are just screaming into the void with these applications. But receiving this award can make such a difference, so I encourage faculty, students and staff to take the time to submit a nomination,” says Walshaw. 

For more information on the awards and the nomination process visit the Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award page

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