Faculty of Graduate Studies bestows teaching awards

Two professors were honoured on March 6, with the 2002-2003 Faculty of Graduate Studies” Teaching Award. The awards were bestowed at the meeting of council of York”s Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Excerpts of citations made to the recipients follow.

Prof. M. Barrie Coukell, Graduate Program in Biology

To a large degree, the measure of a supervisor’s success is the success of his students. In the case of Coukell, essentially all of his doctoral and master’s students have realized the unprecedented achievement of publication as first authors in the primary refereed literature in the discipline. In addition, they have all developed and sustained prestigious leadership careers emanating from their training – an exceptional accomplishment which they attribute directly to the quality of their supervision under the guidance of Coukell. This is an outstanding record, unmatched by many.

Coukell has a unique ability to convey to each of his students what is needed to become an independent researcher: critical & creative thinking, problem-solving skills, perseverance, communication skills, the need to read widely, and the ability to stay focused on the central problem without losing sight of the global question. He is a great mentor, never leaving a student to flounder without direction, nor allowing a student to rest on one’s laurels. His standards and expectations are high, yet realistic and attainable under his clear direction and inspiring leadership.

Common to all the accolades from Professor Coukell’s former students was their mention of his extraordinary communication skills. He has been described as approachable, meticulously organized, compassionate and perceptive. To many former students, he became a lifelong friend.

There are few who so richly deserve this award for outstanding graduate teaching and supervision as Barrie Coukell – a prime example of the excellence in graduate teaching and supervision that this award was designed to recognize.

David Reid, Graduate Program in Psychology

David Reid was the architect of the clinical psychology area’s seeking its first accreditation from the American Psychological Association…. This particular achievement has enhanced the training and internship options of our graduate students, boosted their employment prospects, and strengthened the international stature and recognition of York’s clinical psychology program.

Reid’s dedication and commitment to graduate teaching are multifaceted and manifested through aspects of professionalism, innovation, supervision and mentoring. He demonstrates a unique ability to integrate theory with applications, having created in his graduate course a symbiotic twinning of what one is doing with what one is learning.

Reid’s supervision has had a lasting impact on his students who are able to recall his advice many years after they have left York. Never authoritarian or didactic, he provides detailed, extensive feedback, posing provocative questions that lead students through a process of self-discovery and critical thinking…. Always generous with his time, Reid instituted a process whereby, as director of clinical training, he met with every graduate student in the area to review his or her progress.

Common throughout his student testimonials is the characterization of his supervision as one of a respectful partnership, where his guidance and skill facilitated the ultimate goal of graduate education and developed his students’ ability to think independently, critically and creatively.

David Reid is an outstanding role model for both faculty and graduate students; he personifies the qualities of a graduate educator which the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Teaching Award acknowledges and celebrates.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies” Teaching Award is bestowed annually on a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who has displayed substantial, significant and sustained excellence, commitment and enthusiasm to the multifaceted aspects of teaching at the graduate level at York. The award recognizes teaching and supervisory excellence. Other elements which are taken into consideration include scholarly, professional and teaching development and initiatives in graduate program and curriculum development.