Distinguished teachers

The Distinguished Teacher Award, UWaterloo’s most prestigious teaching accolade, is awarded by the University Senate each year “in recognition of a continued record of excellence in teaching at the University of Waterloo.” The recipients are chosen by a committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni based on nominations from the university community. Many Faculty of Arts teachers have been recognized with a Distinguished Teacher Award over the years. 

Prof Greta Kroeker in library stacks

Distinguished Teacher Award holders in Arts

The Faculty of Arts congratulates our many recipients of the University of Waterloo's Distinguished Teacher Awards

Upkar Arora, Accounting and Finance, DTA 2022

Upkar Arora

Upkar Arora, an Adjunct at the School of Accounting and Finance, embraces a student centric mindset to create the conditions for active participation, reflection, curiosity and continuous learning by students, in and out of the classroom. His students admire his willingness to challenge them in the inclusive, interactive and innovative seminar series: Success Beyond the Classroom. Students are able to glean insights about diverse career paths beyond the typical accounting and finance roles, make more informed career choices relevant to them and navigate these with increased confidence. Faculty colleagues describe Upkar as “someone who has a vast amount of industry experience, who would take time to mentor countless students on a one-to-one basis.  He continually helped students through critical inflection points and continues to guide them throughout many challenges that they face in their careers.”  Upkar’s commitment to social and environmental justice, demonstrated by the work he is currently doing through Rally Assets, inspires students to explore the world beyond numbers and apply their knowledge, skills and energy to create meaningful positive impact.

Lowell Ewert, Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel, DTA 2020

Lowell Ewert

Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Lowell Ewert, is well known at the University of Waterloo for teaching others about the importance of Peace and Conflict studies. By Lowell bringing real-life scenarios, guest lecturers, and his own experience into the classroom he equips his students with the tools they need. As a former student wrote, “He has had endless enthusiasm for his work, and the work of his colleagues in other departments, sectors, and countries.” Ewert is said to help guide his students into new directions and inspire them to incorporate their interests into their studies and careers. Seen as a mentor for some, he challenges his students to become more involved in the field and step outside their comfort zone. Ewert has served as a constant support in the lives on many of his students, ranging from working with undergraduate projects and clubs, or sitting on PhD committees. His teaching style is also notable: one student noted that he “uses visualizations in the classroom to overcome the burden of conventional teaching methods.” His unique way of teaching changes the way his students think about things. It is clear that Ewert has a strong commitment to those he teaches and is highly appreciated for his kindness.

2019 Distinguished Teachers

Steve Balaban, Accounting and Finance

Andrew Houston, Communication Arts

2016 and 2017 Distinguished Teachers

Shannon Dea, Philosophy (2017)

Jee-Hae Lim, Accounting and Finance (2016)

2014 and 2015 Distinguished Teachers

Greta Kroeker, History (2015)

Michael MacDonald, English (2015)

Anindya Sen, Economics (2014)

Christina Vester, Classical Studies (2014)

2012 and 2013 Distinguished Teachers

Richard Ennis, Psychology (2013)

Tracy Penny-Light, History, St. Jerome's University (2012)

Tim Kenyon, Philosophy (2012)

2010 and 2011 Distinguished Teachers

Steven Bednarski, History, St. Jerome's University (2011)

Ted McGee, English, St. Jerome's University (2011)

Tristanne Connolly, English, St. Jerome's University (2010)

Doug Kirton, Fine Arts (2010)

Nancy Vanden Bosch, Accounting & Finance (2010)

2008 and 2009 Distinguished Teachers

François Paré, French Studies (2009)

Kerry Lappin-Fortin, Italian & French Studies, St. Jerome's University (2009)

Monica Leoni, Spanish & Latin American Studies (2008)

2006 and 2007 Distinguished Teachers

Gary Bruce, History (2007)

Erik Woody, Psychology (2006)

James Barnett, Accountancy (2006)

2004 and 2005 Distinguished Teachers

Dan Andreae, Social Work, Renison College (2005)

Andrew Hunt, History (2005)

Vera Gorlini, Italian, St. Jerome's (2004)

Harriet Lyons, Anthropology (2004)

2002 and 2003 Distinguished Teachers

Anne-Marie Donovan, Drama & Speech Communication (2003)

John North, English (2003)

Robert Ryan, French (2003)

Richard Nutbrown, Political Science (2002)

Tom Yoder Neufeld, Religious Studies, Conrad Grebel (2002)

2000 and 2001 Distinguished Teachers

Will Gorlitz, Fine Arts (2001)

Pierre Dube, French Studies (2001)

Geoff Hayes, History (2001)

Al Evans, Religious Studies, St. Paul's (2000)

Grant Russell, Accountancy (2000)

Emanuel Carvalho, Economics (2000)