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Five make the cut in TVO search for Ontario's BrainCandy

UTSC has five professors in the running for TVOntario’s first-ever BrainCandy Award – the hunt for Ontario’s best lecturer.

Last Fall, TVO’s program Big Ideas initiated the search by advertising in student newspapers across our Ontario’s Universities and Community Colleges and promoting the search on the network. They wanted to know which lecturers are able to open and engage students because they inspire and because they are memorable as great performers.

The show’s producers received 258 unique nominations, which they narrowed down to 169. Of the 63 professors who have agreed to vie for the title of BrainCandy, Ontario's Best Lecturer, five are from UTSC:

  • Robert Campbell, Department of Humanities
  • Gerald Cupchik, Department of Psychology
  • Sherri Helwig, Arts Management, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Steve Joordens, Department of Psychology
  • Garry Leonard, Department of English

Other finalists from the University of Toronto include:

  • Parham Aarabi, The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Christopher Barnes, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto
  • Megan Boler, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
  • Robert J. Brym, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
  • Claudio Colaguori, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
  • Michael Collins, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Jane Freeman, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto
  • Megumi Harada, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto
  • Arnold Itwaru, Caribbean Studies Program, University of Toronto
  • Nancy Kokaz, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
  • Ikuko Komuro-Lee, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto
  • Robert Logan, Department of Physics, University of Toronto
  • Nick Mount, Department of English, University of Toronto
  • Martin Wall, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Once the professors’ video submissions are in the hands of Big Ideas, producers will watch all the submissions and select the best according to three criteria: clarity and coherence, energy and performance and confidence and authority. The best will then be passed on to a three-person jury for evaluation.

The 10 best contestants will be selected by the jury and will be asked to give special lectures, which will be taped by TVO and air on BIG IDEAS in Fall, 2005.

For more information about the contest, visit:

*UPDATE* July 14, 2005

We are proud to announce that UTSC's Robert Campbell and Steve Joordens along with 8 other U of T professors have been shortlisted to Ontario's Best Lecturers: The Top 30.  Judges are now narrowing the list to the top 10.  For five weeks beginning Sat. October 15 at 1:00 pm, two of the top 10 lectures will be aired each week on Big Ideas.  Following each braodcast, viewers have the opportunity to vote online or via telephone to determine who will be number one.

© University of Toronto Scarborough