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U of T tops best lecturer semifinals


Scarborough campus ties for most nominations

 The race for TVO’s Best Lecturer is down to 38 semi-finalists in Ontario.

The University of Toronto has earned 16 nominations, with U of T Scarborough garnering six nominations and tying with St. George campus for the most nominations in the province.

Semi-finalists who have been chosen from U of T Scarborough are: Daniel Bender, humanities; Gerald Cupchik, psychology; Joan Forder, biology; Marc Fournier, psychology; Raymond Grinnell, mathematics; and Mark Schmuckler, psychology.

"We are absolutely thrilled to learn that the University of Toronto Scarborough has once again received such a disproportionately high number of nominations," said Prof. Ragnar-Olaf Buchweitz, Vice-Principal (Academic) & Dean. "Six faculty members from our campus have been honoured as semi-finalists, which makes us one of the two most nominated campuses in Ontario this year. Furthermore, our nominees come from a wide range of disciplines, which is evidence of the superb range and quality of teaching to be found here."

Nominations came in from colleges and universities across the province and 16 professors nominated by U of T students and alumni were selected. Six faculty members each from U of T Scarborough and St. George campus were nominated, and four were nominated from U of T Mississauga.

The six faculty members named as semi-finalists from the St. George campus are: Professors Robert Brym, sociology; Claudio Colaguori, sociology; Andrew Lesk, English; Karen Mundy, OISE/UT; Jordan Peterson, psychology; and Doug Richards, Faculty of Physical Education and Health.

Four semi-finalists were chosen from from U of T Mississauga. They are: James Appleyard, management; Alexandra Gillespie, English and drama; Tracy Rogers, anthropology; and Shafique Virani, history and classics.

This year’s list had the most undergraduate professors from U of T beating out other top leading Ontario research universities, including University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, Waterloo University and Queen’s University by more than double the nominees.

“There was a greater understanding of the contest this year by students and alumni, especially on how to nominate a lecturer and they knew what we were looking for,” said Angela Garde, communications specialist at TVO. “I think because we had an increase in the quality of nominations, it really is picking the best from the best.”

Students and alumni nominate their favourites by sending a persuasive 150- to 250-word e-mail. Last year’s competition attracted more than 250 nominations from students and alumni across Ontario. A panel of judges will choose 10 finalists from the nominee list to deliver complete televised lectures on TVO’s Big Ideas program in March 2008. Finalists are chosen for their ability to present complex ideas with clarity, energy and authority.

 The winner’s institution receives a $10,000 TD Meloche Monnex Scholarship. The lecture series, now in its third year, is sponsored by TD Meloche Monnex and has played a key role in increasing the profile of Ontario’s great educators.

 University of Toronto professors dominated last year’s list of finalists earning six of the 10 coveted spots, with three finalists from the Scarborough campus.  They were: Maydianne Andrade (biological sciences); Marc Fournier (psychology); and Steve Joordens (psychology).

by Anjum Nayyar (with files from Mary Ann Gratton)


© University of Toronto Scarborough