Barbara Moffatt, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 2007


Barbara Moffatt, an associate professor in the biology department at the University of Waterloo, has been teaching various biology courses for nearly 20 years. These courses include: Molecular Biology, and Analytical Methods in Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics of Plant Development, Plant Molecular Biology, and Information Retrieval and Management. Dr. Moffatt’s topical research in molecular biology seamlessly finds its way into her courses, where students are routinely encouraged to learn the use of the latest technology in pursuing biological problems. A student noted that professor Moffatt’s “intimate grace in delivering lectures charmed the students through the dry and sometimes difficult material that she had to cover. As a prominent researcher of plant molecular biology, she conveyed her thoughts thoroughly and accurately, emphasizing the importance of scientific concepts rather than detailed memorization.” A colleague commented that professor Moffatt is “committed to improving the quality of undergraduate teaching on campus and to increasing the opportunities for students to learn at the forefront of a complex and rapidly changing field such as molecular biology.” Professor Moffatt has several years of experience using Waterloo’s ACE course management system, and has often found fruitful ways to engage her students in a positive interactive dialogue regarding how to address and solve problems via the computer. Her students appreciate her boundless energy both inside and outside of the classroom, including her undergraduate advising. Professor Moffatt is also recognized as an effective mentor for graduate students and new faculty who are eager to improve their teaching techniques.