“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― William Arthur Ward
Has one of your Applied Health Sciences (AHS) instructors inspired you? Why not nominate them for the Applied Health Sciences Teaching Award?
How can I nominate someone?
Fill out the brief nomination form to tell us why they are such a terrific instructor. Please provide specific examples that illustrate the candidate's exceptional teaching quality.
What should I write?
- Did/do they inspire you to consider a certain career path, graduate school, community activity?
- Do students talk about how good they are outside of class, and what do they say? Do they seem particularly committed to student success, and how do they do that?
- Do they teach you in ways that make it exciting for you to come to class and easier for you to learn and understand the course material?
- What do they do that supports students and their learning above and beyond their work in the classroom? (e.g., engaging with AHSUM or department/faculty/university student associations; offering meaningful, innovative, and engaging events/experiences for their students; providing mentorship)
- Have they transformed the way you think, learn, read, act, or live your life?
If you have any questions before nominating a candidate you can contact an AHS Teaching Fellow.
When is the deadline for nominations?
Nominations are accepted throughout the year, with specific calls for nominations going out via email and social media in November, March and July.
Nominations for the 2020 award will be accepted beginning in July 2019 and ending in June 2020.
What are the criteria?
When evaluating the nomination materials, the selection committee will focus on the following types of evidence:
- Evidence of consistently high quality teaching and student learning
- Evidence of relevant and appropriate best practice teaching techniques
- Course material conveyed with intellectual rigor and integrity
- Contribution to a climate of teaching excellence within the Department/School, Faculty, and University
- Evidence of a favourable and lasting influence on students
- Is sensitive to the needs of students and a sincere concern for their overall learning, and academic and personal growth
Nominees needn’t demonstrate all, but will show evidence of several of these criteria.
Who can be nominated?
Instructors eligible for nomination will include full-time faculty or instructional staff, lecturers, clinical teachers, and demonstrators in AHS. Typically, eligible instructors must have been employed at University of Waterloo for at least 3 years and teach at least two terms during the regular year at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.
If you would like to recognize an outstanding graduate supervisor, please consider nominating them for the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision, as the AHS Teaching Award is focused on teaching.
Who selects the winners?
The current AHS Teaching Fellows team shall select the winner. Once nominations close in June, they will submit any nominees with outstanding nominations and/or multiple nominations to the nominees’ respective unit chair/director for consideration. The unit head will be asked to write one letter of support for the nominee of their choice (if more than one is submitted to them).
The AHS Teaching Fellows will consider the nomination(s) along with the unit chair/director letters of support to select the winner. In unusual cases, two winners may be selected, however, the intent is to recognize one teacher per year. See past recipients.
The aim of this award is to honour teaching excellence in AHS, irrespective of department/school. All nominees will be informed of their nomination after a winner is selected, and the chairs/director will be provided with a full list of nominees. We encourage all nominees to list this recognition on their annual/bi-annual performance evaluation.
2020 - Chris Vigna
Chris Vigna has received many Teaching Award nominations over the past several years, and is consistently cited as an enthusiastic, engaging instructor. Chris goes the extra mile to make his courses energizing and meaningful, bringing passion and a great sense of humour to every lecture. According to one student, "if the man can make statistics interesting, he without a doubt deserves this award."
In their nomination letters, many students said how thankful they were to have an instructor who genuinely cares about their well-being and success both inside and outside of the classroom. As one student said, "he very clearly cares about each and every student he teaches, responding thoughtfully to student concerns and offering extra support outside of class." Chris makes himself available to students to provide additional mentorship, and remembers to ask about important life events and milestones, such as job interviews and graduate studies applications.
Beyond the classroom, Chris served as a Faculty Teaching Fellow for three years, and currently champions teaching on the administrative side as Kinesiology's Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. He continues to contribute actively to teaching excellence by leading teaching workshops and attending teaching conferences, and Chris's impact is felt throughout the Faculty.
2019 - Tamara Maciel
In their nomination letters, students described Tamara Maciel as an "amazing instructor" who is "passionate about teaching." Multiple students noted that they even looked forward to attending her 8:30 a.m. class (no small feat!). Tamara's students praised her enthusiasm, cheerful and positive attitude, and for the mentorship she provides to students. Tamara's high-impact practices are highly motivating to students: “She teaches in such a way that every day I am excited to come to class and learn anatomy."
In addition to her teaching portfolio, Tamara serves as a Program Director for the School of Anatomy and as the Department of Kinesiology representative on the AHS Teaching Fellows team. She brings incredible energy to her service and always looks for ways to facilitate meaningful learning experiences. She frequently engages in training, workshops, and self-study to improve her teaching, and is a tech-savvy, forward-thinking instructor. Her tireless work serves as an inspiration to her colleagues and to her students: “Because of her, I found my passion for anatomy.”
2018 - Zara Rafferty
Engaging, passionate, welcoming, unique and accommodating are some of the words used to describe the exceptional classroom atmosphere and level of education that Professor Zara Rafferty delivers term-in and term-out. Zara's strong classroom teaching reflects a genuine effort to advance the learning experiences of and outcomes for Recreation and Leisure Studies students. The innovations she introduces to the classroom inspire others. In the words of one student, “Zara changed the course of my academic career.”
Her service in support of advancing effective teaching in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and in the Faculty make a big difference. Throughout the 2018 academic calendar, Zara lead the AHS Teaching Fellows and was the Recreation and Leisure Studies Teaching Mentor. Zara has had a real impact on efforts to strengthen the quality of instruction to the benefit of our students. “She is by far most deserving of the AHS Teaching Award.”
2017 - Elena Neiterman
Professor Neiterman has distinguished herself as a leader in classroom teaching and as a pedagogical innovator. "She uses innovative teaching techniques to enhance critical thinking and collaboration," one student said. "These teaching methods allow students to not only thoroughly understand course material, but also how to gain essential skills."
Throughout the year, Professor Neiterman attends workshops, webinars, and seminars to ensure that her teaching closely reflects evidence-based practices. Her dedication to course design and implementation has impacted her students deeply. "Dr. Neiterman was quite possibly one of the greatest professors in SPHHS. She made course content very relatable and alive," wrote one of her nominators.
In additional to applying innovative teaching methodologies in her classroom, Professor Neiterman maintains an active research portfolio. She recently secured LITE grant funding to investigate instructor and student perspectives on the use of technology in the classroom.
This year, Professor Neiterman was appointed to represent SPHHS on the faculty Teaching Fellows Committee. Her expertise and dedication make her an invaluable champion for the faculty. "Dr. Neiterman's passion about the healthcare system really inspired me and made me fall in love with public health."
2016 - Elham Satvat
Professor Satvat’s students appreciate how concerned she is about their success and how excited she is about her material.
“She cares about our wellbeing,” explains a former student. “She never turns a student away when they knock on her door.”
Professor Satvat teaches her students with patience and encourages them to not give up if they make mistakes in the research lab. She also facilitates interactive class discussions, which help to solidify concepts.
All say their undergraduate experience is the richer for having had Professor Satvat as their instructor.
2016 - Joe Quadrilatero
Professor Quadrilatero’s students note his commitment to ensuring that they are fully comprehending class material and they feel his class is always a welcoming space for learning.
“He excels when students are unable to grasp a difficult concept;” says one of his students. “He can sense confusion during lectures and always seems to know the perfect analogy or explanation that will allow students to understand the course content.”
Students all seem to agree that Professor Quadrilatero really cares about his students’ success and their learning experiences in his classes. As another student reflects, “Looking back, I do not think I have ever felt so comfortable asking questions of a professor.”
2015 - Chris Perlman
The fact that Chris Perlman, 2015 recipient of the annual AHS Teaching Award, was nominated by multiple members of his three-hour Friday afternoon class speaks volumes.
Students say his expertise and passion for health research and policy inspires them to "think beyond what we normally do and encourages us to question policy perspectives."
In his classes, Chris shows "excellent forethought and structure" in course design, and "stellar rapport with students." Students describe again and again how he engaged them in critical thinking through debates and guided them with his expertise and professional and personal experiences.
Professor Perlman's "open nature allowed us to form a connection to him," explains one of his students. "We were inspired by his passion. He appreciated us, and thanked us for contributing."
2014 - Luke Potwarka
Luke Potwarka, 2014 recipient of the annual AHS Teaching Award, facilitates meaningful and engaging classroom experiences that challenge students to think critically about their world.
Luke’s enthusiasm and passion for issues related to mega-sport events inspires many Recreation and Leisure Studies students.
Luke integrates research and real-world applications of theory, and provides knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to excel in sport and event leadership roles.
Here’s just some of what his students have to say:
- "Outstanding prof..."
- "Always puts the interests and needs of the students in front of his own..."
- "Adds valuable real life applications through discussion and lectures..."
- "His enthusiasm and sense of humour creates a motivation to learn."