Four York University faculty members who have significantly enhanced the quality of learning and have demonstrated innovation in teaching will be recognized during the 2019 Spring Convocation ceremonies with a President’s University-Wide Teaching Award.
This year, the recipients of the awards are: Professor Russ Patrick Alcedo of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) in the category of “full-time tenured faculty with 10 or more years’ full-time teaching experience”; Professor Nicolette Richardson of the Faculty of Health in the category of “full-time faculty (tenured/tenure stream/CLA) with less than 10 years’ teaching experience”; Professor Alistair Mapp of the Faculty of Health in the category of “contract and adjunct faculty”; and Mohamed Abdelhamid of the Lassonde School of Engineering in the category of “teaching assistants.”
“The University-Wide Teaching Award recipients make an incredible impact on our community through both teaching excellence and an inspiring level of care for York students,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. “We are grateful to have such dynamic educators and mentors as part of the York community, and we are delighted to be able to recognize their ongoing efforts to motivate and support the success of our students through pedagogical innovation.”
The awards are adjudicated by the Senate Committee on Awards with the goal of providing recognition for excellence in teaching, encouraging its pursuit, publicizing such excellence and promoting informed discussion of teaching and its improvement. The awards demonstrate the value York University attaches to teaching.
Recipients of the awards receive $3,000, have their names engraved on the University-Wide Teaching Award plaques in Vari Hall and are recognized at convocation ceremonies.
President’s University-Wide Teaching Award recipients
Professor Russ Patrick Alcedo of AMPD is the recipient in the full-time tenured faculty with 10 or more years’ full-time teaching experience category. A tenured associate professor in the Department of Dance, Alcedo is a dance enthographer, a specialist on Philippine traditional dance and culture, and a filmmaker. He joined York University as a faculty member in 2008, and has earned overwhelming respect for both his expertise and teaching style.
Alcedo’s nominators speak to his expertise in the area of Filipino dance and culture, his passion that inspires and empowers his students, and his care for students’ scholarship and well-being. Alcedo exemplifies pedagogical excellence, but also plays an active role in curricular change, including through his leadership, as associate Chair of the department, in shifting the focus from Western ballet and modern/contemporary dance to choreography, performance and dance education, thereby enhancing inclusivity.
“His impact on student learning is profound because it is in his nature to go above and beyond the call of his position, not only through the structural and pedagogical transformations that he tirelessly undertakes and will be felt by students for years to come, but also through enriching individual student experiences through his mentorship over time,” said nominator and student Mila Volpe.
Alcedo was recognized at convocation on Monday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.
Professor Nicolette Richardson of the Faculty of Health is the recipient in the full-time faculty category with less than 10 years’ experience. She began her faculty position in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in 2012, and teaches courses in kinesiology, health science and global health. Richardson is noted for developing and improving courses by using a variety of innovative teaching approaches.
In the letters of support for her nomination, Richardson is lauded for incorporating the use of tools like virtual dissection and a simulation of physiology lab in the classroom, and leadership in teaching development. Over the past seven years, she has taught 29 undergraduate courses and is commended for a pedagogical approach that promotes learning among students with a wide range of needs and learning approaches. Richardson is an active contributor to curricular improvement and research on teaching, and has presented her findings in published form and at conferences, including at York’s Teaching in Focus Conference.
“Dr. Richardson’s commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching undoubtedly exemplifies the educational leadership and dedication to student learning that this award strives to recognize,” said student Denis Sokolov in his letter of support.
Richardson was recognized at convocation on Monday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m.
Professor Alistair Mapp of the Faculty of Health is the recipient in the contract and adjunct faculty category. Mapp is a research associate at the Centre for Vision Research and has been a contract faculty member at York University since 1998. For more than 20 years, Mapp has been an integral contributor to the undergraduate psychology program, where he has taught a wide range of courses. He is applauded for his expertise, for prioritizing the cultivation of transferable and critical thinking skills, and for teaching with equality, inclusivity and positivity in the classroom.
His letters of support highlight his remarkable level of commitment, dedication and enthusiasm for teaching. He distinguishes himself as an instructor through his sense of humour, approachability, organization, and use of examples to explain complex material and ensure students are engaged. Mapp also embraces new technologies in his pedagogical practice and has received funding from various sources to develop a multilingual web-based teaching package for use in one of his courses.
“At the heart of his success as an educator lies his unique ability to make his students feel both safe and excited while they are being scaffolded and challenged to stretch their learning,” said nominator and York faculty member Karen Fergus.
Mapp will be recognized at convocation on Friday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Mohamed Abdelhamid of the Lassonde School of Engineering was selected as the recipient in the teaching assistant category. Abdelhamid joined York University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2015, and since then has worked as a teaching assistant in five courses. He is praised for his leadership, and for taking a thorough and conscientious approach to teaching.
Abdelhamid’s competence and professionalism as a teaching assistant is highlighted by both students and the instructors with whom he works. The support letters from students highlight Abdelhamid’s proficiency at imparting challenging material, specifically a simulation software, in a patient and thorough manner, ensuring students acquired a sound understanding of the software. He is noted as a valuable participant in the NSERC Chair in Design Engineering program, which is dedicated to supporting students with in- and out-of-class opportunities.
“Mr. Abdelhamid sets a superior example of what a highly competent and professional teaching assistant should be in the Mechanical Engineering program at York University,” said nominator and faculty member Aleksander Czekanski. “He is honest, with a high level of integrity, and offers considerable support to his students and his colleagues.”
Abdelhamid will be recognized at convocation on Friday, June 14 at 3:30 p.m.