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Eight Scarborough professors vying to be best lecturer in Ontario

They speak with passion and flair, they engage their listeners, and they deliver a message with clarity and conviction.

Eight professors from the University of Toronto Scarborough have been selected to compete in TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition 2007.

The Scarborough professors who were endorsed for their enthusiasm, knowledge, and eloquence of delivery are among 71 semi-finalists from around the province chosen from a TVO committee that observed 258 lecturers. The eight from this campus are as follows:

  • Maydianne Andrade, Biology
  • Robert Campbell, Religion
  • Gerald Cupchik, Psychology
  • Marc Fournier, Psychology
  • Raymond Grinnell, Mathematics
  • Jamie Gruman, Management
  • Steve Joordens, Psychology
  • Garry Leonard, English

“We are thrilled to have such a disproportionately high number of nominees for TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition,” said Ragnar-Olaf Buchweitz, Vice-Principal (Academic) & Dean. “The faculty members being honoured here come from the full range of areas, ranks, and age groups. Teaching is at the core of our mission and I’m delighted that the efforts of our outstanding faculty are being recognized in such a public, and literally, visible forum.”

“We’re also very pleased with the public engagement of our campus community, especially our students, who nominated and acknowledged these highly deserving teachers,” he added. “This level of support from our vibrant student community means a lot to each of the individuals."

A total of 30 professors from the University of Toronto, including eight from this campus and four from U of T Mississauga, are among the semi-finalists. The list will be shortened down to 30 lecturers at the end of September, and then shortened to 10 people before a winner is announced.

The competitors for this event, known fondly in university circles as “Academic Idol,” were asked to submit a video of one of their much-admired lectures for review.

A committee at TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition has selected the semi-finalists, who come from various universities and all areas of academe, from philosophy to food science, sports management to medicine, and astronomy to psychology. The competition is sponsored by TD Meloche Monnex, and the winner’s institution will receive $10,000 to be put towards a scholarship.

A panel of independent judges will decide on the 10 finalists. Lectures given by those individuals will be broadcast on TVO’s Big Ideas program, scheduled to run over five weeks in February and March.

The judges are Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente, novelist Camilla Gibb, and Maclean’s managing editor Tony Keller. The names of the 10 finalists are scheduled to be announced later this fall, and their lectures will be broadcast on TVO’s Big Ideas program in February and March 2007. Television viewers will choose the individual to be named Ontario’s Best Lecturer 2007.

Last year’s winner was Arne Kislenko, a professor of history at Ryerson University, who beat out finalists from six universities.

For more details or to hear clips from the nominees’ lectures, visit:


© University of Toronto Scarborough