Distinguished Teacher Award Recipients Announced

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Congratulations to this year's recipients of the Distinguished Teacher Awards!

Kashif Memon, Science and Business

Anindya Sen, Economics

Levent Tuncel, Combinatorics and Optimization

Christina Vester, Classical Studies

Kashif Memon

Science and Business

Recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award

Kashif MemonKashif Memon, an academic advisor, coordinator, and lecturer for Science and Business, has been teaching at the University of Waterloo since 2005. His students and colleagues give high praise to his dedication to excellence in teaching, his devotion to advising and mentoring, and his sincere concern for students. In addition, using group discussions in his classroom has made a valuable impact on student learning.  As one of his students notes, “I am extremely proud to be under the guidance of such an incredible educator. Kashif genuinely, and I cannot emphasize this enough, genuinely cares for his students”.  One student nomination summarizes Kashif’s teaching as “he captivates every class, fills us with information, teaches us how to apply concepts, provides support outside the classroom, and most importantly makes all those that he teaches strong, well-rounded individuals that are ready to take on any challenges that the world may throw their way”.  Kashif’s impact on student learning clearly extends far beyond the classroom.

Anindya Sen


Recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award

Anindya SenAnindya Sen, an associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Economics, received support from his students and colleagues pointing out that he was successful in providing extremely positive and lasting learning experiences. As an alumnus states, “Captured in three words, Professor Sen’s teaching is succinct, simple, yet powerful”.  Dr. Sen pushes his students to take their thoughts to the next level and use them in real life applications.  In addition, he creates a comfortable environment for students to ask questions, and he always ensures that students in the class understand concepts before moving on to new material.<--break-> A student reports that “I never gave much thought to economics before, but because Dr. Sen taught in such an easy to digest and approachable manner, my interest grew”.  Dr. Sen’s teaching style matches real life experiences with what is academically valuable to the students. Dr. Sen was able to lead many of his students to achieve both academic and professional success.

Levent Tuncel

Combinatorics and Optimization

Recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award

Levent TuncelSince joining the Faculty of Mathematics in 1992, Dr. Levent Tuncel has made an exceptional contribution to teaching undergraduate and graduate optimization courses. In addition, he played an integral role in developing and redesigning courses for the Combinatorics and Optimization Department. Students praise his teaching methods including the use of diagrams, geometric interpretations, and “carefully-crafted questions on assignments and exams.”<--break-> As an alumnus states, “When I teach my own courses, I am influenced by Levent’s interplay of algebra and geometry, by his illuminating questions on assignments and exams, and by his continually-improving course notes”.  Dr. Levent’s well-prepared and well-organized lectures reflect his effort to ensure a positive learning environment for his students. Furthermore, Dr. Levent’s teachings are made more effective by his empathy with students and, as one student describes, by his “infectious” enthusiasm.

Christina Vester

Classical Studies

Recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award

Christina VesterChristina Vester, an associate professor and undergraduate advisor in the Department of Classical Studies, joined the University of Waterloo in 2004. Dr. Vester impacts students directly through her classroom teaching style, mentorship, engaging and fair teaching practices, and supportive character and indirectly through her contributions to strategic re-design of the Classics programs. A student reflects that “When I leave this year, I know I will take her words of encouragement with me: to experience as much of our vast world that I can, and never be afraid to push your limits”.<--break-> Dr. Vester’s dedication manifested itself in the development of an online teaching tool called “Ketos” used for learning Ancient Greek.  The online tool is widely recognized as the most-user friendly of the Greek tutorial tools available online.  She has reshaped the Labyrinth site designed to “navigate the twists and turns of Classical and Medieval Studies” and initiated the undergraduate journal Tiresias.