President’s University-Wide Teaching Award recipients honoured

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Five York University faculty members will be recognized during the 2023 Spring Convocation ceremonies with a President’s University-Wide Teaching Award for enhancing the quality of learning and demonstrating innovation in teaching.

The President’s University-Wide Teaching Awards are chosen from four categories: full-time faculty with 10 or more years of teaching experience, full-time faculty with less than 10 years of experience, contract and adjunct faculty, and teaching assistants. They are selected by the Senate Committee on Awards. The goal of the awards is to provide significant recognition for excellence in teaching, to encourage its pursuit, to publicize such excellence when achieved across the University and in the wider community, and to promote informed discussion of teaching and its improvement.

This year, the recipients of the awards are: Professor Kathy Bischoping of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS); Professor Steve Gennaro of LA&PS; Professor Andrea Kalmin of LA&PS; Daphene Solis of the Lassonde School of Engineering; and Farwa Sajadi of the Faculty of Science. The recipients were chosen from numerous nominations, and each winner will have their name engraved on the University-Wide Teaching Awards plaques displayed in Vari Hall. They will each be recognized during a convocation ceremony this spring.

This year’s recipients are:

Full-time tenured faculty with 10 or more years full-time teaching experience
Katherine Bischoping
Kathy Bischoping

Professor Kathy Bischoping is the recipient of this award for her impact on student learning in the Department of Sociology as well as the graduate program in sociology. Bischoping is known for her dedication to mentoring and scholarship of teaching and learning, in addition to curriculum and program development. Nominator Professor Lesley Wood, former Chair of the department, credits Bischoping with inspiring passion and relevance in her teaching and the design of her courses, and her critical analysis of pedagogy.

“One such notable project has been her research into how vicarious traumatization affects instructors, specifically in genocide studies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Bischoping played a leading role in mentoring faculty in her department in the transition to online teaching,” reads the notice from the Senate Committee on Awards.

Bischoping has earned a number of honours and awards, including the Parents’ Association University-Wide Teaching Award and the John O’Neill Award for Teaching Excellence.

Contract and adjunct faculty

This award will recognize two faculty members for 2023: Professor Steve Gennaro, Department of Communication Studies/Humanities (LA&PS) and Professor Andrea Kalmin, Department of Social Science (LA&PS).

Steve Gennaro
Steve Gennaro

Gennaro received two separate nominations for this award in recognition of his contributions to teaching, and for his demonstration of a consistent drive to improve his teaching practice throughout his long-term employment at York. He is noted for regularly speaking and writing about pedagogical innovation, with a specific focus on the areas of online and digital learning. Both nominators – Professor Alison Halsall and Professor Rob Heynen – speak to the “immeasurable and long-lasting impact Professor Gennaro had on the University’s transition to remote teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the announcement from the Senate Committee on Awards. Gennaro has been nominated for multiple teaching awards in the past, including the Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Awards of Excellence and the LA&PS Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Andrea Kalmin
Andrea Kalmin

Kalmin will receive the award for her role as a core member of the C4 (Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom) leadership team, where she was involved in all decision-making processes and led initiatives to support the success of C4. She is a classroom coordinator, and the “primary architect of the structures that undergird C4, including standardizing collective lesson planning processes and syllabi and assignment templates,” reads the announcement from the Senate Committee on Awards. She was nominated by Professor Danielle Robinson, who noted Kalmin’s involvement in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research team for C4, which sets the research agenda, oversees the interpretation of data and steers publication. Her contributions have been recognized previously with awards including the 2021 LA&PS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the John O’Neill Award for Teaching Excellence.

Teaching assistants

Two teaching assistants have been selected to receive this award for 2023: Daphene Solis in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering and Farwa Sajadi in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science.

Daphene Solis

Nominated by Professor Aleksander Czekanski, Solis has earned this award for her passion for teaching both in and out of the classroom. She is noted to have a remarkable grasp of technical subjects, as well as being resourceful, and seeks out leadership roles as a TA. “She takes the initiative while being recognized for her empathy and ability to deal with conflict,” reads the announcement from the Senate Committee on Awards. She has participated as a graduate student representation at the Technology-Enhanced, Experiential and Active Learning (TEAL) Committee, and has completed numerous training programs in teaching. In 2022, Solis was the recipient of the Best TA Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Farwa Sajadi
Farwa Sajadi

Sajadi will be recognized for being a TA who fosters an academically enriched environment for learning, advancing student critical thinking and implementing creative approaches to promote student scholarship and engagement. According to her nominator, Professor Jean-Paul Paluzzi, she has excelled in her roles as lab demonstrator, lab coordinator and course director in biology for undergraduate students. “She is also highly innovative and collaborative in her teaching practices, as is demonstrated by her work during the COVID-19 pandemic to plan for labs being delivered in a hybrid format with limited in-person occupancy and students spread across three different rooms,” the Senate Committee on Awards says in the announcement. She is further known to take initiative to help students and is a leader in volunteerism. In 2022, she earned the Richard Jarrell Excellence in Teaching Award.