Deadline to nominate York’s best lecturers for TVO is Monday

Think fast, think hard – think carefully: Who is the best lecturer at York? Know the answer? Then enter that person’s name in the next TVO Big Ideas competition for Ontario’s Best Lecturer — before Feb. 20. 

Remember: a strong student response is crucial in placing York lecturers in the winners’ circle. If a York professor wins, the University will receive a $10,000 TD Meloche Monnex Scholarship, not to mention the prestige associated with coming tops in the competition.

Andrew MoodieThose nominees who make the top 10 list, through an independent three-person jury, will be featured on TVOntario’s “Big Ideas” program and will be asked by TVO to deliver special lectures that will be aired in the fall. Viewers will get the chance to vote online or by telephone for their favourite following each broadcast. Then a final winner will be selected.

Right: Playwright and actor Andrew Moodie is the new host of TVO’s “Big Ideas” 

The deadline for sending in a letter of nomination is Feb. 20, and the deadline for short-listed nominees to submit a 30- to 60-minute videotape and official nomination form is March 31. To nominate a lecturer, think of a professor who has fascinated you, who has inspired you to learn more about a subject and who has excelled as a performer in the classroom. Then check out the TVO Best Lecturer Web site for details on how to enter them in the competiton.

It doesn’t matter what subject your favourite lecturer teaches – last year’s candidates taught everything from ethnomusicology and astronomy to business and Russian political history. It’s the professor’s style that’s the key.

In 2005, out of some 18,600 professors in the province, 258 individuals were nominated. A TVO panel of judges chose a short list and asked the nominees to submit a videotape of a lecture for evaluation by the producers of “Big Ideas”. One of the judges was York alumna Isabel Bassett (MA ’73, LLD ’01), Chair and CEO of TVO. York shone, with four professors making that list: Rob Bowman and Paul Delaney, who were in the top 10 (see story in the Sept. 8, 2005 issue of YFile); and Dalton Kehoe and John Dwyer, who made the top 30 (see story in the Aug. 2, 2005 issue of YFile). Michael Higgins (MA ’71, PhD ’79), a York alumnus who teaches at the University of Waterloo, also made the top 30.

Judges are looking for lecturers who explain things clearly, are passionate about their topics and present ideas with flair and finesse. Bear these criteria in mind when you submit a persuasive e-mail (150-250 words) to TVO about your preferred professor.

Here’s your chance to let the rest of Ontario see how your favourite lecturer makes a lesson fly.