TVO announces 20 semifinalists in the 2009 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition

Two York University lecturers are among the 20 semifinalists for TVO’s 2009 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition. Karolyn Smardz Frost, a lecturer in the School of Arts & Letters in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and Merv Mosher, a senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, made the cut to the semifinalist list.

Left: Karolyn Smardz Frost

Smardz Frost teaches African-Canadian history at York. She is also the former executive director of the Ontario Historical Society and has been closely involved with York’s Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples. In 2007, she received the Governor General’s Literary Award in the non-fiction category for her book I’ve Got a Home in Glory land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad. Click here to view a video of Smardz Frost talking about her work.

Mosher is a senior lecturer and former women’s volleyball coach in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science. In 2005, he was recognized by the government of Ontario and the Sport Alliance of Ontario with a Syl Apps Special Achievement Award for volunteer work on behalf of the Ontario Volleyball Association. He teaches three courses in kinesiology that focus on research methods, data analysis and skilled performance & motor learning. He was inducted into the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame in 2007.

Left: Merv Mosher

More than 285 professors were nominated for this year’s competition. From the list of nominated professors, the TVO "Big Ideas" production team viewed the many video submissions and narrowed the list down to 20 outstanding lecturers, who will move on to the next phase of the competition.

In the next stage, a three-member jury will evaluate the top 20 lecturers and determine the 10 finalists, whose names will be announced on the TVO Web site in February 2009.

The lectures of the top 10 finalists will air on TVO beginning Saturday, Feb. 28.

About the TVO Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition

Sponsored by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, the Best Lecturer Competition was created to recognize the best and brightest lecturers at Ontario’s colleges and universities. The competition invites Ontarians to nominate professors whose love of learning has helped to stimulate imaginations, open eyes and push boundaries in institutions of higher learning across the province. "Big Ideas" is TVO’s popular televised lecture series, offering lectures on a variety of thought-provoking topics that range across politics, culture, economics, art history and science.

To spur on friendly competition between university and college campuses, the winner not only receives much deserved recognition and bragging rights, but also a $10,000 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex scholarship for their school.

For more information, visit the TVO Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition Web site.