An aspiration outlined in USask’s University Plan 2025 is to set the standard in learning, research, scholarship, creativity, and community engagement. (Photo: David Stobbe)
An aspiration outlined in USask’s University Plan 2025 is to set the standard in learning, research, scholarship, creativity, and community engagement. (Photo: David Stobbe)

USask honours 2023 teaching award winners

Teaching excellence at the University of Saskatchewan will be celebrated on June 14 as part of the USask Staff and Faculty Awards event

Nineteen University of Saskatchewan (USask) faculty and staff members from colleges, schools, and units across campus will be honoured with USask teaching awards this week.

This includes recipients in the following categories: Provost’s College Award for Outstanding Teaching, Provost’s Outstanding Teacher Award, Provost’s New Teacher Award, Provost’s Graduate Student Teacher Award, Provost’s Support of Teaching and Learning Award, Sylvia Wallace Sessional Lecturer Award, and Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award.

Dr. Airini (PhD), USask’s provost and vice-president academic.
Dr. Airini (PhD), USask’s provost and vice-president academic.

“Congratulations to colleagues, from across the USask community, who are being recognized with 2023 teaching awards,” said Dr. Airini (PhD), USask’s provost and vice-president academic.

“Thank you for the vitally important work you do to support USask’s teaching and learning mission. Our University Plan 2025 includes the bold ambition to be a university that sets the standard for learning. You inspire us all through your innovation in teaching and learning, and through everything you do to foster USask learners who have the passion, respect, and creativity to be leaders today and into the future.”

On June 14, the USask community will celebrate this year’s teaching award winners during the USask Staff and Faculty Awards event, alongside USask’s research award winners, the President’s Staff Excellence Award recipients, and other award winners. A full list of recipients of USask Staff and Faculty Awards is available online.

The celebration event will be held at Marquis Hall Events Centre from 5-8 pm on June 14. Members of the USask community can also watch the event livestream online.

Provost’s College Award for Outstanding Teaching

Dr. Brent Bobick (PhD), lecturer and director, Anatomy Lab, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine

“My first source of inspiration is the subject matter. It’s been almost 25 years since I began my undergraduate studies in anatomy, and I’m still fascinated by vertebrate structure. My second source of inspiration is the students. They are hard-working, inquisitive, and exceptionally diverse in educational background. These attributes motivate me to stay up to date on current advancements in the field and incorporate student interests into my courses as I strive to create the best possible learning experiences.”

Dr. Kelsey Brose (MD), assistant professor, Hematological Oncology, Division of Oncology, College of Medicine 

“Give teaching a try. It comes in many forms and doesn’t have to be a lecture or presentation. It can be a conversation, a game, an interesting story, or whatever grabs the minds of your learners. Tailor it to the unique perspectives that you bring from your past experiences and see where it takes you.”

Courtney Charles, lecturer, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition 

“I will never run out of things to learn or directions to go in this environment. While that can seem overwhelming to some, I find comfort and motivation in knowing that a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

Dr. Roslyn Compton (PhD), associate professor, College of Nursing 

“People live storied lives in community. By being present and listening and attending with their stories we can learn and grow separately, yet together. It is important to remember learning is life-long and happens in many moments across time. We need to pause in these moments to think, explore, play, and reflect to uncover new opportunities and understandings.”

Dr. Simonne Horwitz (DPhil), associate professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Science  

“I think the piece of advice I would give would be: Never let other people define who you are or tell you what you can (or can’t) do or achieve. Keep going, surround yourself with people who believe in you, and ask for help when you need it. Also, be present—be present in your classes, conversations, and all aspects of your life.”

Dr. Lorelei Nickel (DSocSci), lecturer, Edwards School of Business

“I live for the lightbulb moments—those moments when you see students truly experience learning and begin to view themselves, others, and the world with new eyes. I love teaching ethics and strategic decision-making because I want my students to learn to believe in themselves and their ability to compassionately, thoughtfully, and authentically navigate whatever personal and professional challenges come their way.”

Dr. Francisco Otero-Cagide (DDS), associate professor, College of Dentistry 

“I truly believe students deserve a high quality of teaching, which requires complete dedication and continuous effort. Being recognized for this effort of good teaching is very rewarding.”

Jamesy Patrick, assistant professor, College of Law 

“I have had the benefit of a collegial college where all faculty support each other in teaching, learning, and research. One mentor and supporter for me has been Peggy Baker, who was a dance teacher and choreographer I worked with during my undergraduate degree. She continuously reflected on the importance of communication and listening. I have tried to carry this advice forward into law.”

Dr. Carly Priebe (PhD), sessional lecturer, College of Kinesiology

“I am most inspired when students get excited about learning. Before exams we’ll often play review games (e.g., baseball with ‘single,’ ‘double,’ ‘triple,’ and ‘home run’ questions). I will pause and ask students if they want more questions and it’s great to see their enthusiasm for more review. I feel the same inspiration when a student responds to feedback on an assignment and shows improvement throughout the term. I have a heart and passion for mentorship. Seeing a student put their learning throughout the term together with a well-executed final presentation or exam is the most encouraging experience.”

Dr. Tristan Skolrud (PhD), associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Agriculture and Bioresources

“When I was in graduate school, one of my professors, Ron Mittelhammer, left me absolutely spellbound with his lectures. He had this unique ability to teach from the student’s perspective; it was as if he could anticipate every possible question in advance, and the answer was always the next step in the lecture. I’ve tried hard to emulate his style in my courses.” 

Dr. Lifeng Zhang (PhD), associate professor and graduate chair of chemical engineering, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering  

“I often chat with students during breaks in class and try to understand their challenges encountered in courses/program. Showing care and sharing personal experience often removes the barriers in communication. As instructors, I feel that empathy is the key to effective teaching. My open-door policy is largely welcomed by our students.”

Provost’s Outstanding Teacher Award

Dr. Regina Taylor-Gjevre (MD), professor and division head, Adult Rheumatology, College of Medicine

“It is a privilege and a joy to have the opportunity to teach medical students and to work in our MD program curriculum with so many dedicated faculty and staff members. Our students are strongly motivated in their learning with a goal to becoming skilled physicians. As an educator supporting this goal, I feel it is critical to ensure that curricular content and delivery approaches encourage active learning, skill development, opportunities for feedback/deliberate practice, and translation to applicability or clinical relevance.”

Provost’s New Teacher Award

Dr. Al Chicoine (DVM), Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine

“As an instructor, knowing that you must ‘bring it’ to every class, lab, or discussion keeps you on your toes. You can’t just keep doing the same old thing—but, rather, you have to continually push yourself.”

Provost’s Graduate Student Teacher Award

Barbara da Silva, PhD student, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

“My supervisors, Prof. David Sumner (PhD) and Prof. Don Bergstrom (PhD), have been a great inspiration. Prof. Sumner taught me the importance of empathy in my teaching; his organization, professionalism, and enthusiasm are factors that greatly support and inspire me and his other students. Prof. Bergstrom has always seen the best in me and encouraged me to be ambitious in my career. I look up to them and I hope to support, inspire, and encourage students, too.”

Provost’s Support of Teaching and Learning Award

Carolyn Cartwright, manager, B.J. Hughes Centre for Clinical Learning, Western College of Veterinary Medicine

“Be yourself and always remember why you came into this profession—to make a difference and to do your best. Always foster learning and embrace your professional pride.”

Liv Marken, learning specialist and Writing Help co-ordinator, University Library

“If we start with the assumption that students belong here, rather than thinking about how they need to prove they belong here, the conversation is elevated to one of mutual respect, and that’s where the real two-way learning begins. Often, shifting student demographics teach us that we need to change, not students. If my Writing Centre or USask Undergraduate Research Journal student colleagues and I are doing our jobs right, we provide space for students to feel vulnerable enough to grow as researchers and writers. My suggestion to fellow educators is to advocate for and learn from students, avoiding assumptions that their economic, political, or personal situations mirror our own experiences as students.”

Sylvia Wallace Sessional Lecturer Award

Dr. Steven Langdon (PhD), sessional lecturer, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Science

“My current peers were the ones who initially instilled passion for my studies and helped inspire my career path. Their ideas and perspectives have stimulated, encouraged, and supported me for over a decade. Working with them and being able to comfortably discuss—and debate—my own thoughts with theirs is not just an excellent support, it is also part of what makes lecturing fun.”

Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award

Dr. Julia Boughner (PhD), professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Medicine 

“Each of my mentors has taught me something invaluable, including generosity, integrity, courage, ambition, compassion, and boundaries. No matter the career stage, a good mentor can help you level up. And even if you can’t find one, be one: mentoring itself is very rewarding.”

Dr. Daniel X. B. Chen (PhD), professor and graduate chair for biomedical engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Division of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering 

“What motivates me, as a supervisor, is to train and guide graduate students to become independent researchers through their graduate programs, while supporting them with expertise and resources to create/advance knowledge in their chosen fields.”

Together we will support and inspire students to succeed. We invite you to join by supporting current and future students' needs at USask.

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