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Celebrating a Distinguished Teacher and an Exceptional Student-teacher

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Arts shines a little more this week with the announcement of two special awards for members of our Faculty. Among four UWaterloo faculty members recognized with a 2018 Distinguished Teacher Award is Shannon Dea of the Department of Philosophy. And among three student-teachers to receive the award for exceptional student teaching is Quinlan Lee, a senior undergraduate in Economics. 

The Distinguished Teacher Award recipients are chosen by a committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni based on nominations from the university community. The award consists of a citation along with a $1,500 award to be used by the recipients in support of any teaching activities. The awards will be presented by Mario Coniglio, associate vice-president, academic, at Convocation in June.

Shannon Dea, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Shannon DeaAssociate Professor of Philosophy Shannon Dea has been called a “champion of the Women Studies program.” One of her graduate students noted, “I definitely feel like I’ve learned and still learn a lot from Prof Dea. Nearly every day I’ve left a class of hers, my head feels like it’s just buzzing and brimming with new information and ways of thinking about aspects of the world I hadn’t considered before.” Colleagues commented that, “in a nutshell, Shannon does the unexpected in her teaching. She uses the unexpected and untraditional for several reasons, including: it keeps the learning atmosphere interesting, and it allows her to personally model risk and innovation to her students.” Another colleague acknowledged that “risk-taking, of course, is only valuable if the risks are worthwhile, and all of Professor Dea’s risks both aim at improving student learning and the student experience, and are studiously informed by evidence and research.” Shannon Dea has previously been the proud recipient of the 2016 Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2012 Province of Ontario's Leading Women Building Communities Award.

The Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student for 2018 will be presented to three student teachers at Convocation. The award's selection committee considers intellectual vigour and communication skills in the interpretation and presentation of subject matter. Concern for and sensitivity to the academic need of the students is an important criterion. 

Quinlan Lee, undergraduate and TA in Economics

Quinlan LeeQuinlan Lee is an undergraduate student in the Department of Economics. Known by his students for his patience, Lee is recognized as “articulate, adept at breaking down difficult concepts and always adopt[ing] a genuine approach to guiding students toward a firm understanding of lecture material.” One student explained that “Quinlan provided a clear perspective on the material that goes beyond what was expected of a TA.” One faculty member noted that “the way he teaches the problems we agree that he will present and the way he explains how to tackle some problems are truly a complement to what I teach in class.” Lee has been a Teaching Assistant in Econ 323 for three terms over the course of his university career.  

Story adapted from Waterloo Stories, with additional information from the Centre for Teaching Excellence.

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