Glendon faculty members Audrey Pyée and Jennifer Sipos-Smith are the recipients of this year’s Principal’s Teaching Excellence Awards. Pyée was selected in the full-time faculty category, while Sipos-Smith received the award in the contract faculty category.
The Principal’s Teaching Excellence Awards honour those who, through innovation and commitment, enhance the quality of teaching and learning at Glendon.
“My warmest congratulations to Audrey and Jennifer,” said Donald Ipperciel, principal of Glendon. “As recipients of the Principal’s Teaching Excellence Award, they exemplify the kind of innovative faculty we have at Glendon, dedicated to engaging and inspiring students through an enriching learning experience.”
Pyée is a professor in the Department of History at Glendon, and also teaches courses for the Canadian Studies program. She has been praised by her colleagues and students for the variety of her teaching approaches that include online lectures, student-driven group work and experiential education.
Pyée has engaged workshops and pedagogical seminars, led workshops on effective teaching for teaching assistants, and is currently collaborating with historians from the Keele campus to elaborate a certificate program in public history. She recently created the course “Histoire vivante: Créer l’histoire du grand Toronto,” in which students developed a documentary focusing on the founding and first decade of the Glendon campus. This past November, she hosted a citizenship ceremony to provide an experiential learning opportunity for her students in her course on Canadian citizenship.
Pyée has been lauded for her dynamic and creative teaching practice, as well as her dedication to her students and generosity with her time.
“I would especially like to thank my students for this teaching award,” said Pyée. “They have been significant contributors to the success of my courses, in large part due to their enthusiasm and their willingness to be fully involved in the projects that were proposed to them.”
Since joining Glendon in 2008, Sipos-Smith has become recognized as a leadership and communications strategist, who researches millennials and intergenerational communication. She has served as course director in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at Glendon, as well as head of the Glendon Career & Skills Development Centre (formerly the Glendon Writing Centre).
Sipos-Smith developed Glendon’s first communication and leadership courses and was instrumental in establishing the momentum for the new Communications program. Her teaching and research emphasize preparing students for the workplace of the future, and her courses feature theoretical, blended and experiential learning. She created several successful partnerships with the business community to establish Glendon’s first bilingual internship placements. Recently, Jennifer received AIF funding for blended learning. She presents regularly on her instructional strategies and students’ experiences, including in her recent TED Talk, “Why workplaces need 20-something leadership.”
Sipos-Smith uses a variety of teaching strategies and curricular resources to engage her students, to facilitate a collaborative community, and to help her students develop and apply critical thinking skills in multiple and multidisciplinary contexts. She is dynamic and innovative, and a strong mentor for her students.
“To receive the honour of the Principal’s Teaching Excellence Award is a true joy,” said Sipos-Smith. “My students and I challenge each other to be open to learning that’s not necessarily part of the plan, and have discovered that in these unscripted moments of collaboration, real innovation and impact can begin. I thank them, and I share this award with them. Their hard work and leadership mean so much.”