Professor Susan McCahan (MIE), Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, has received the 2019 Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) Angela Hildyard Recognition Award, in the Influential Leader category. This award recognizes an influential leader who has continually demonstrated innovative and impactful leadership in advancing the mission of, and achieving outstanding contributions to, their institution and higher education more broadly.
McCahan has dedicated herself to supporting student success and improving undergraduate education at the University of Toronto in multiple administrative leadership roles. In 2002 she led the team that implemented Engineering Strategies and Practice, a unique first-year design course which uses a service learning approach. Based on her leadership on this project, McCahan was appointed Chair, First Year for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering in 2006. In this role she developed new programs that support student success and retention. As Vice-Dean, Undergraduate for the Faculty from 2011-2014, McCahan continued to develop leading-edge educational programs, as well as creating an instructional technology office and spearheading the Faculty’s first Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).
In 2015, McCahan was appointed Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education for the University of Toronto, with the additional role of Vice-Provost, Academic Programs added to her portfolio in 2018. She has leveraged these roles to re-envision the undergraduate academic experience across the University, developing pedagogical innovation programs, educational technology, and academic data systems, as well as work-integrated learning and pathway programs. Beyond U of T, McCahan is a founding member of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA) and has held a number of leadership roles within that organization.
In 2006, McCahan was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of her contributions to engineering education. She has also garnered several major teaching awards, including the OCUFA Teaching Award, the Alan Blizzard Award, the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and the Engineers Canada Medal of Distinction in Engineering Education. In 2014 she received the Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education from the American Society for Engineering Education.
“Professor Susan McCahan has shown exceptional vision and leadership as an engineering educator and academic administrator, spearheading programs which have put the University of Toronto and U of T Engineering at the forefront of postsecondary education,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “On behalf of our Faculty, I congratulate her on this richly deserved honour.”