Arts professors recognized with Distinguished Teaching Awards

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

This week, the 2019 Distinguished Teacher Awards were announced at Senate and we're proud to see Arts professors are two of the four recipients! The awards will be officially presented at Convocation this June.

Since the awards started in 1976, 70 Arts professors have been recognized for their achievements - more than any other faculty.

Congratulations to this year's recipients!

Steve Balaban, School of Accounting and Finance

Professor Steve Balaban.Steve Balaban, a lecturer in the School of Accounting and Finance, has received many praises from not only his students and his fellow colleagues in the Faculty of Arts, but also from his colleagues in other faculties. Balaban influenced the careers of several of his students, and continues to be a mentor to them long after their graduation.

His peers admire the efforts he has made to incorporate new and interactive learning techniques into his lesson plans, such as problem-based learning and experiential learning. His students also really appreciate his efforts, as one student noted: “His lectures never felt like lectures, but rather interactive discussions.” 

Balaban shows genuine interest in seeing his students succeed, and many have commented on the integral role he has played in their professional and academic success. His lessons are known to emphasize “the importance of personal development, teamwork, communication, and relationship building.” Balaban has been described as “passionate,” “engaging” and “humble.”

Additionally, it is noted that his most admirable quality is “his constant desire to improve his teaching abilities and the learning environment."

Andrew Houston, Communication Arts

Andrew HoustonProfessor Andrew Houston is widely known in the Department of Communication Arts as an “inspiring mentor,” a “gifted teacher” and a “generous collaborator.” Students have described Professor Houston as “warm, welcoming and eccentric.” They also appreciate the “consistent care, compassion and support” that he provides them with; which follows them well beyond graduation. His dedication and passion for theatre arts has had lasting impacts on several of his former students; including those who have since moved on to pursue occupations in different fields.

Additionally, he uses his strong network of contacts to provide them with opportunities to further their careers. It is noted by many students that his most outstanding quality is his ability to engage diverse learners in his lessons. As one student commented: “He makes sure to teach each concept by explaining it in multiple different ways, so that everyone understands.” One of his peers noted that his dedication to collaborative pedagogies “enriches and strengthens the department, the work of his colleagues, and the university as a whole.”

Houston is highly regarded by students, alumni, colleagues and local artists in the community.

See the Daily Bulletin for the full list of recipients

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