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Three U of T Scarborough professors named best lecturer semi-finalists


by Mary Ann Gratton (with files from Ailsa Ferguson)

Three professors from the University of Toronto Scarborough have been named among the 20 semi-finalists from across the province for TVO’s Best Lecturer.

Professors Marc Fournier and Steve Joordens (psychology) and Clare Hasenkampf (biological sciences) are among eight professors from the University of Toronto who made the list of semi-finalists.

"For the third year running, we are absolutely delighted to learn that U of T Scarborough maintains such a disproportionately high number of nominations," said Professor Ragnar-Olaf Buchweitz, vice-principal (academic) and dean. "Three of our outstanding faculty members have yet again been honoured as semi-finalists, and this continued success in TVO's Best Lecturer competition is a testament to the high calibre of teaching that enhances research and student life on our campus. Congratulations to our semi-finalists and all of our nominees, and thank you to all the students who submitted a nomination, thereby showing such great appreciation for their teachers and their campus.”

The University of Toronto has the most semi-finalists of any post-secondary institution in the province, including the three from U of T Scarborough. Four professors from St. George campus were named: Shawn Lehman (anthropology); Nick Mount (English); Doug Richards (physical education and health); and Paul Stevens (English). Professor Dax Urbszat of psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga is also a semi-finalist.

The remaining 12 semi-finalists from across Ontario are: Anton Lawrence Allahar, Tom Haffie and Robert Solomon (UWO); James Allard (Brock); Matthew Bellamy, Darryl Davies and John Stead (Carleton); Francis Broun (OCAD); Rod Carley (Canadore); Merv Mosher and Karolyn Smardz Frost (York); and Patrick Parnaby (Guelph).

The race is now on in earnest, with the semi-finalists' names announced. In the previous round, U of T also had the most nominations, with 31 faculty nominated by students from all three campuses.

This year's competition opened with a six-week nomination period beginning in September, during which students nominated a record 160 professors from across Ontario. TVO's Big Ideas production team whittled that number down to 20 outstanding lecturers after viewing the many video submissions.

From here, a three-member jury will evaluate the top 20 and come up with 10 finalists, to be announced in early 2009. Finalists will be selected for the ability to present complex ideas with clarity energy and authority.

Last but not least, the finalists will deliver televised lectures on TVO's Big Ideas program, beginning Saturday, Feb. 28, and the voting begins. Along with bragging rights, the winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship for his or her school from TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, the competition's sponsor.

To view the list of 20 outstanding lecturers and find the links to their video submissions, click here.


© University of Toronto Scarborough