2015 Award for Distinction in Teaching
In 2015, the Faculty of Mathematics awarded two individuals with distinctions in teaching. One of those awards went to Lecturer David Harmsworth. The other award was given to Professor Steve Drekic.
Drekic had always known he wanted to be a professor and a special line up of circumstances brought him to Waterloo after completing his PhD at Western University in 1999.
With a knack for being able to help people understand and find solutions to problems, Drekic explains that it’s fun to teach here at Waterloo. He has had both good and bad experiences teaching but says that regardless it’s worth seeing students grasp the information.
“Probability courses are more theoretical so I find it exciting when students start processing and the information starts connecting,” explained Drekic. “It’s all about baby steps with students. Teach them to take small steps and then once they start understanding, push them to keep going. It’s important to help them find their own way.”
When asked what advice he has for other teachers, Drekic explained that online resources are valuable tools and can add to the way you teach your material. In addition, he said, “don’t get bogged down with how much there is to do and don’t be afraid to ask your peers for help. It’s important to take the extra time to help the students. When you treat them the way you want to be treated they open up.”
Drekic thinks it’s important to have fun in the classroom. Dressing up for Halloween and giving yourself a chance to be charismatic and approachable can go a long way.
Harmsworth and Drekic join 16 past recipients of the Faculty of Mathematics Award for Distinction in Teaching since its inception:
- 2014 - Penny Haxell and Javid Ali
- 2013 - Dan Wolczuk and Yu-Ru Liu
- 2012 – Stephen New and Levent Tuncel
- 2011 – J.P. Pretti and Jeffrey Shallit
- 2010 – Serge D’Alessio and Alfred Menezes
- 2009 – Ian Goulden and Troy Vasiga
- 2008 – Robin Cohen and David McKinnon
- 2007 – Beverly Marshman and Ian VanderBurgh
Nominate your outstanding Faculty of Mathematics teacher for this award!