Larry Smith, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1993

Economics, Non-regular award category 

Larry Smith has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Waterloo since 1981. Larry has carried a heavy teaching load, usually seven sections per year, and most of his teaching has been in the first-year courses with classes ranging as high as 200 students. In spite of the large classes, Larry has consistently placed at the top of the department with average teaching scores of 4.45 out of a possible 5.00. Larry's enthusiasm and energy, and perhaps in particular his confidence and optimism, have inspired thousands of students over the past twelve years. He has been instrumental in encouraging students to continue in economics, but perhaps more importantly, has provided important insights on how the outside world works. As a testimonial to his teaching ability we have the following excerpts from letters sent in his support, “he is a phenomenal teacher,” “he is enthusiastic, he motivates and he maintains interest,” “there is a mix of outrage, fun, and intellectual provocation in his explanations,” “students not even enrolled in his course will fill the back row,” “he makes economics pertinent to everyday life,” “there is a remarkable degree of involvement by students in class - a triumph in classes of 100-200 students.” And note that these are just a sample of the testimonials received from students past and present.