'It's really empowering'

Students give credit to amazing teachers

- March 15, 2007

Award-winning teachers: front row (L-R): Robert Gilbert (Health Professions), Kevin Stanley (Engineering), Elaine Craig (Law), Frank Palermo (Architecture and Planning); back row (L-R): Ray Carroll (Management), Chris McMaster (Graduate Studies), Christopher Bell (Arts and Social Sciences), Jean Burnell (Science), H. Wayne Garland (Dentistry), Ernst Grundke (Computer Science). (Pearce photo)

"Starlets" and seasoned pros shared the spotlight at Tuesday nightÕs ceremony for the DSU Teaching Awards.

Calling himself one of the young starlets, Kevin Stanley of the Faculty of Engineering said heÕs reassured by the award because this year marks his first attempt at teaching. Prof. Stanley instructs an early-morning dynamics class filled with sleepy engineering students.

ÒIÕm deeply honoured by this award,” he said while holding his glass trophy. ÒIt really tells me IÕm in the right place. I love what IÕm doing and IÕm looking forward to a long career doing it.”

Another first-time teacher, Elaine Craig with the Faculty of Law, was also given one of the sparkling awards. She teaches the required course Constitutional Law, a rather heavy and dry subject that she makes engaging and understandable, according to second-year law student David Mollica. 

ÒYou should be home reading,” she admonished with a smile as he handed her the award.

Teachers who inspire:

The envelope, please. HereÕs the list of winners of the DSU Teaching Awards:

  • Faculty of Law: Elaine Craig
  • Faculty of Engineering: Kevin Stanley
  • Faculty of Architecture and Planning: Frank Palermo
  • Faculty of Health Professions: Robert Gilbert
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies: Chris McMaster
  • Faculty of Computer Science: Ernst Grundke
  • Faculty of Dentistry: H. Wayne Garland
  • Faculty of Management: Ray Carroll
  • Faculty of Medicine: Dr. Richard Langley
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Christopher Bell
  • Faculty of Science: Jean Burnell
ItÕs the third year for the DSU Teaching Awards, unique in that students nominate their teachers and those nominations are in turn reviewed by other students. Criteria for the awards include the ability to stimulate and challenge students; mastery and enthusiasm for the subject matter; approachability; and influence over studentsÕ lives.

But it wasnÕt only the newbies who climbed the stage of the McInnes Room. Several students spoke passionately about the inspiration they've drawn from experienced teachers.

ÒI was taken aback by his enthusiasm,” remarked Josyl Simmons of Frank Palermo, a professor with the Faculty of Architecture and Planning. ÒItÕs really empowering.”

Psychology student Daniel Clark nominated Jean Burnell with the Faculty of Science, for making organic chemistry bearable. He credited Dr. BurnellÕs teaching, which he called Òclear, sardonic, funny and insightful.”

ÒOrganic chemistry can be truly painful if you donÕt have the right teacher,” he said. ÒI felt for once that I understood what was being said as it was being said.”

And student Eric Snow complimented his professor, Dr. Ernest Grundke of the Faculty of Computer Science, for being Òa professor you can count on, no matter what.” He said Dr. Grundke goes the extra mile to help students to understand their assignments, even when theyÕre for classes he doesnÕt teach.

Putting himself in the Òold goat” category, Dr. Grundke said he was running out to buy a helmet Òto keep his head from swelling.”


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