Ms. Akiko Maruoka named recipient of inaugural Teaching Excellence Award

Akiko and Wendy FletcherThe Board of Governors of Renison University College is pleased to announce that Ms. Akiko Maruoka is the winner of the first Teaching Excellence Award at Renison. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in teaching and was announced at Renison’s Spring Convocation on June 10th, 2015 at Hagey Hall, University of Waterloo.

Ms. Maruoka has been teaching Japanese language courses at Renison since 1989. She is the founding Coordinator Emeritus of the Japanese Language Program at Renison and also the founder of the Ontario Japanese Speech Contest which is held annually in Toronto. Renison awarded the prize recognizing her long-term service and commitment to nurturing a generation of students with very strong Japanese language skills.

In the nominations put forward for this award, Ms. Maruoka was described as having an admirable ability to engage her students in a positive and encouraging manner, using patience, compassion, and kindness. She is further described as an excellent and dedicated educator, whose interactive classes kept students interested and engaged. Ms. Maruoka’s teaching is lauded by her students as foundational and determinative in their preparation for life in the larger global community.

Recently retired, Ms. Maruoka continues to be involved in the sharing of Japanese language and culture and is an active committee member of the Ontario Japanese Speech Contest.

A small celebration for Ms. Maruoka was held on Wednesday, June 24 to honour her receiving this award. Susan Swann (the wife of Peter Swann, the first director of East Asian Studies) and Edward Chrzanowski, one of the eighteen students in the very first class of JAPAN 101R (which now has more than 400 students a year), were able to join the celebration. It was an occasion to reconfirm her contribution to the growth of Japanese programs. 

Tenure & Sabbaticals

A message from Principal Wendy Fletcher: 

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Sharon Roberts, who was promoted to the position of Associate Professor with tenure. This is a milestone in the academic career of any scholar and we are delighted that Sharon reaches this milestone with us. Her energy, creativity and insight both in scholarship and in teaching together inspire great confidence in the career she will have here with us at Renison. Well done!

The following faculty were granted six month sabbaticals: Dr. Doug Cowan (July 2015 – December 2015), Dr. Rob Case (January 2016 – June 2016), and Dr. Trish Van Katwyk (January 2016 – June 2016). I know you join me in wishing them a productive sabbatical term!

Best Regards
Dr. Wendy L. Fletcher
Principal and Vice Chancellor

Professor Esfahani showcases art at Markham gallery

Art by Professor EsfahaniStudies in Islam Professor Soheila Esfahani will be showcasing a new installation as part of Traversive Territories at The Varley Art Gallery in Markham until September 7th. "Traversive Territories is about dislocation, migration and belonging. It presents territory as something that we create by making place rather than by staking claims...Esfahani imagines the ceaseless movement of cultures where borders become insignificant markers through which exchange takes place. Urban has fused with both land and animal in order to dream herself into being." (Excerpt from The Varley Art Gallery exhibition writeup.)

Renison in the news:

  • Residential School survivor Lila Bruyere was featured on CBC radio's "The Morning Edition" after she spoke at Renison for the #22days campaign.
  • BSW student Elizabeth Pang wrote an article for Good Work News, a quarterly publication shared by The Working House with over 12,000 subscribers (p.6-7).

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