Graduating future innovators is an ambitious task, but one that U of T Engineering’s educators wholly understand. Three shining examples of that commitment were honoured with teaching awards on April 18 at the Celebrating Engineering Excellence reception.
Drew Cheung (EngSci 1T0, CivE MASc candidate) was presented with the Teaching Assistant Award, while Professor Jonathan Rose (ECE) was honoured with the Faculty Teaching Award, and lecturer Micah Stickel (ECE) received the Early Career Teaching Award.
Cheung, a teaching assistant for three Civil Engineering courses, is known to his students as a mentor who goes “above and beyond” the commitment to student success. Not only does he implement a mid-term evaluation of his teaching abilities to ensure he’s doing the best job possible, he sets up office hours and special pre-exam review sessions on his own time.
The teaching awards were presented by Acting Dean Yu-Ling Cheng, who introduced Cheung by sharing that he had stayed late into the night helping his students before their exam, even though he had one of his own the next day. “Teaching Assistant evaluations go up to seven, but some of his students write an eight,” she added.
And for almost 25 years, Professor Rose has been one of the Faculty’s most dedicated and effective teachers. He’s particularly known for his emphasis on the teaching of design and his long record of innovation in labs and design courses. He is extremely popular with students and is highly-sought after as a supervisor and mentor. Professor Rose has received the departmental teaching award four times and continually receives some of the highest student evaluation scores in the Faculty.
One student had written in their nomination letter about Professor Rose, “[He] is a mentor and an inspirational figure for what Engineering can achieve. Best professor ever.”
“I was moved and gratified,” said Professor Rose. “Education of the next generation is one of the missions our university is entrusted with by the public. While research is important, and connecting education with research is crucial, our most important long-term effect is in educating our students.”
Stickel is also the recipient of three departmental teaching awards – an especially impressive feat as he began teaching in the The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering in only 2007. He is known as an innovator in the classroom, incorporating tablets into his lectures and creating online assignments and quizzes. In addition, he is also engaged in scholarly work to quantify the impact of new technologies in teaching, publishing three papers on the subject. In 2008, he was named a New Faculty Fellow at the Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, one of the most significant engineering education conferences in the world.
“To know that my efforts have resonated with many of my students over these initial years of my career is extremely satisfying,” said Stickel. “I am also grateful for this award given the strong record of teaching excellence within the Faculty and specifically the ECE department.”
“Educating future engineers is a key priority for us,” said Acting Dean Cheng. “On behalf of the Faculty, I would like to congratulate this year’s recipients. They are a testament to the quality and dedication of our educators. No matter what stage in their teaching careers, they share the same goal of inspiring our students to be great engineers and leaders.”
This month saw the Faculty’s teaching excellence not only celebrated at the reception, but university-wide. Last year’s Faculty Teaching Award honouree, Professor Jim Wallace (MIE), was recognized with the 2012 President’s Teaching Award, U of T’s highest honour for teaching.