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Honouring the instructors who help students adapt to remote learning

Posted by Daniel Race on May 20, 2021 in Awards

Photo: Recipients and school directors at a virtual ceremony. Clockwise from top left: recipient Alana Westwood, recipient Paola Gonzalez, SRES Director Michelle Adams, recipient Jennifer Grek Martin, Rowe School Director Binod Sundararajan and SIM Acting Director Vivian Howard.

In early May the Faculty of Management presented Facilitating Excellence in Student Learning in Exceptional Times awards to instructors who have supported student learning over the past year. Recipients were nominated by students and peers within the Faculty.

Recipient: Jennifer Grek Martin, School of Information Management

Jennifer’s outstanding empathy and adaptability has allowed her to continue establishing friendly and meaningful connections with students during these uncertain times. She has maintained a high level of quality across a range of courses by making necessary changes to consistently improve the student experience.  

“Jennifer made the course accessible to all students with multiple synchronous meeting times offered per week, prompt email responses, a fantastic teaching assistant, and open office hour availability,” says MREM student Hannah Dvorski, who nominated her. “It was clear from the very first class that her intention was to see her students succeed and thrive in the geographic information world.”

Recipient: Alana Westwood, School for Resource and Environmental Studies

Alana’s passion for environmental stewardship and inclusive learning is evident in each course she teaches. The level of detail and care incorporated in course instruction and demonstrated by student feedback creates a learning environment that encourages students to strive to succeed while being exceptionally accommodating and constructive.  

MREM student Samantha Ceci says: “I have never had a professor in my six years of university education who makes course curriculum as applicable as Alana does. I am beyond grateful for the hard work she has put into designing her courses. In a time where networking is confined to the virtual world, Alana has been a guiding light and advocate for us.”

Recipient: Paola Gonzalez, Rowe School of Business

Paola teaches Leveraging Technology (BUSI 5512) for first-year students in the Corporate Residency MBA program—an especially pertinent course as students and faculty alike have had to find and adapt to new ways of leveraging technology to create effective learning environments. Her enthusiasm for and dedication to her students led Paola to completely restructure her course to ensure that the material was just as engaging and collaborative as in previous years.

“Despite the challenges of remote learning, Paola made a point to connect with each student in the class and ensured that we felt engaged and included in the learning process,” wrote MBA students Jillian Hill and Julia Arsanious. “Paola went above and beyond in supporting and mentoring students. She cares and listens to us and does everything she can to make sure we feel engaged and driven to do our best in class.”

See previous Facilitating Excellence in Student Learning in Exceptional Times recipients