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Psychology professors Gerald Cupchik (top) and Marc Fournier are the only U of T professors in the finals of the Best Lecturer competition. (Fournier photo: Ken Jones - Cupchik photo: G Cupchik)

Watch and Vote!

The lectures by Profs Fournier (March 15&16) and Cupchik (March 29&30) will be shown on the televisions in the Student Centre and the Residence Centre at U of T Scarborough.

NOTE: Voting is held after each broadcast and ends at noon the following Monday for each professor. So be sure to cast your vote on time.

U of T Scarborough psychology professors Gerald Cupchik and Marc Fournier are finalists in the third annual TVOntario Best Lecturer Competition.

But don’t worry. You’re not being graded – they are.

Lectures by the 10 finalists will air on TVO’s Big Ideas program throughout March. Every Saturday from 4 to 6 pm features two finalists (The lectures will be rebroadcast the next day on Sunday from 4 to 6 pm). Viewers then grade the professors on a scale of 1 to 100 in three categories.

1. Clarity and Coherence: Did viewers follow the theme of the lecture and understand its main points?

2. Energy and Performance: Was the viewer engaged by the manner and style of the lecturer?

3. Confidence and Authority: Does the lecturer convey confidence and mastery of the subject?

Voting will be open to viewers online at or by phone at 1.866.281.3536 following the broadcast each weekend from 5:45 pm Saturday to noon the following Monday.

Fournier and Cupchik are the only U of T faculty among the top 10 finalists.

Cupchik says his goal as a teacher is always “to help the students to find what is unique to themselves. That is different from the grade they get in class – it’s caring about the person. I want them to be motivated, and to see the relationship between the course and themselves. I always invite my students to find what it is that is unique inside of them and to develop that.” Aesthetic experience and emotional processes are the focus of Cupchik’s research.

Fournier said he was delighted to learn he had been named to the top ten list. His research focuses on the psychology of personality, dominance hierarchies, and vulnerability to depression. He said the lessons he has learned from his mentors and role models have given him three goals in creating his lectures: organizational clarity, intrinsic interest, and awe.

Fournier’s lecture “Dominance and Depression,” airs Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16at 4 p.m. Cupchik’s lecture “Two Faces of Emotion,” airs Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30also at 4 p.m.

Contestants were initially nominated by students across the province, and the names of 38 semi-finalists were announced in December. They included 16 faculty members from the University of Toronto in total, including six from U of T Scarborough, four from U of T Mississauga, and six from St. George campus.

Besides Cupchik and Fournier, the semi-finalists from U of T Scarborough were: Daniel Bender, humanities; Joan Forder, biology; Raymond Grinnell, mathematics, and Mark Schmuckler, psychology.

The top ten finalists were chosen for their ability to present complex ideas with clarity, energy and authority by a distinguished panel of independent judges. They are: former teacher, school principal and politician Zanana Akande; poet and award-winning journalist Barry Callaghan; and actor/writer/producer Tony Nardi. The judges reviewed video submissions of lectures.

The professor with the highest average grade will take the title of Ontario’s Best Lecturer 2008, receive a $10,000 TD Meloche Monnex scholarship on behalf of his institution.

Viewers can also enter to win a 50” widescreen TV and home theatre system. For bios, lecture video clips and full contest details visit

© University of Toronto Scarborough