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Biologist wins prestigious provincial teaching award

Clare Hasenkampf, (far right) pictured with students in class, has won an OCUFA teaching award. (Photo by Ken Jones.)

by Mary Ann Gratton

Biology professor Clare Hasenkampf, director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at U of T Scarborough, has been recognized for outstanding teaching by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) for 2009.

Hasenkampf is one of six educators from across Ontario to receive a Teaching and Academic Librarianship Award from OCUFA this year, and one of two from the University of Toronto, including Lorne Sossin, Professor of Law at the St. George campus. The other recipients are: Nick Bontis and Sheila Sammon (McMaster); Gordon Stubley (Waterloo); and Cameron Tsujita (UWO).

These awards, which have been given out by OCUFA since 1973, are designed to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to teaching or library activities within the Ontario university system. Recipients are nominated by a peer or administrator, but each nomination requires letters of support from both colleagues and students. A selection committee comprised of Ontario university teachers who are also previous OCUFA teaching award winners makes the final decision.

The OCUFA organization represents about 15,000 faculty and academic librarians from 24 post-secondary institutions across Ontario. The outstanding achievement awards will be presented at a luncheon ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Oct. 3.

“I was delighted,” said Hasenkampf, when asked of her reaction. “It is a privilege and pleasure to teach here at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and I had tears I my eyes when I read the students’ comments. Students are so kind and forgiving of my mistakes, and so enthused about the learning.”

Hasenkampf is no stranger to teaching awards. Earlier this year, she made it to the Top 10 in TVO's Best Lecturer competition. In 2008, she was named the recipient of a University of Toronto President's Teaching Award. She also received a Leadership in Faculty Teaching (LIFT) award from the province in 2007 and the UTSC Teaching Award in 2003. These are just a few of the achievements and accolades she has received in recognition of her commitment and encouragement to enhancing teaching.

OCUFA president Mark Langer praised Hasenkampf’s teaching abilities, and was quoted in The Scarborough Mirror as saying, "The awards committee was impressed with Dr. Hasenkampf's dedication to teaching," Langer said. "She is a provincial leader in improving and promoting high quality teaching at Ontario's universities."

For more details, visit the OCUFA web site at

© University of Toronto Scarborough