Truzaar's teaching philosophy is to train learners to see the world as a series of interconnected and interdependent systems, rather than individual problems that need solving. He asserts that conventional, solution-oriented lectures are ineffective in capturing the complexities of the real world and in developing the professional capacities to succeed in a rapidly changing society. He incorporates an active learning style built around real-world examples and case studies as a cornerstone to his teaching. Truzaar brings experience as a guest lecturer, teaching assistant, case and course developer, and is formally trained in University teaching.
Truzaar has worked as a teaching assistant for four undergraduate courses (years 2-4) on sustainability accounting and reporting, ecological economics, resilient small business, and public participation, negotiation, and mediation. As a teaching assistant, Truzaar led lectures on environmental policy, facilitated in-class workshops, assisted students with designing policy briefs and entrepreneurial business plans, and graded reports and exams.
He is currently designing a new course, "Pipelines or pipe dreams - fossil fuels and the climate crisis", which he will teach as a first-year course in January 2022. The course is designed to expose learners to the political ecology of the climate crisis through the lens of power, extractivism, inertia, and resistance to Canadian pipeline development. The course can be flexibly taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as long as it is in a small classroom setting that encourages engagement, interactivity, and problem-based learning.
Guest Lectures and Invited Talks
Truzaar has been invited to present guest lectures about sustainable finance, energy policy, and research methods for six undergraduate and graduate-level courses at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. He has presented on 'Decarbonization Paradigms in Social and Financial Spheres' in courses ranging from energy and sustainability, global governance, and economics. He has also presented on 'Quantitative Analysis of Qualitative Data' for two (masters and doctoral) research methods courses.
Truzaar has also been invited to speak as a keynote or panellist, at (among others) the Smith Leadership in Business Conference at Queen's University, Global Youth Forum at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Global Solutions conference at the University of Waterloo, and on 'Difficult conversations in a digital world' at the University of Bath. Truzaar also bridges research and practice, having been invited to speak with business leaders at the Global Advantage Consulting Group.
Truzaar takes a deep-seated interest in course and curriculum development and the advancement of pedagogy. In partnership with the Waterloo Institute for Complexity Innovation, Truzaar led the development of the new 'Collaborative Complexity Program', designed as a certificate offered to practitioners interested in systems thinking and complexity science, through the University of Waterloo. He is also an author on a SAGE business case on Canadian pipeline developments, which was commended as one of the best submissions to their Sustainability Series. The joint interactive in-class simulation has been tested and run in graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Victoria, with over 400 students.
Truzaar is formally trained in university teaching through the Fundamentals of University Teaching Program offered through the University of Waterloo's Center for Teaching Excellence. The ~25-hour program included hands-on professional development courses on effective lesson plans, classroom delivery, assessing and improving teaching, supporting student mental health, sharing classroom dynamics, and interactive lectures. Truzaar is now completing the Certificate in University Teaching, through the University of Waterloo's Center for Teaching Excellence.
In partnership with Trails Youth Initiatives, Truzaar has provided direct and active student mentorship for five high school students through their transition to post-secondary institutions. His responsibilities included arranging individual meetings with each mentee, reporting on their developments, revising post-secondary applications, and making referrals where appropriate. Truzaar is immensely proud that his mentees have gone to successful careers in healthcare, law enforcement, and environmentalism - and feels fortunate to continue to celebrate their successes.
Truzaar is also a trusted business mentor with The Hult Prize international business case competition focused on solving global problems via social entrepreneurship. As a mentor with the Hult Prize, Truzaar mentored nine entrepreneurs across three startups on how to position and pitch a sustainable business opportunity. Using the business model canvas framework, he provided expertise on concept and pitch development, from business model design to financialization and implementation.
Finally, Truzaar provides informal supervision to seven undergraduate and Masters students on two publications on the fossil fuel divestment movement. The two publications, on divestment in higher education and the future of divestment, will be submitted to an open-access journal, Challenges in Sustainability, and will be the first peer-reviewed academic publication for all mentees. Truzaar emphasizes that his students increase the impact of their research, by co-developing a publicly accessible knowledge transfer piece such as a policy brief, op-ed, or related output, that complements their academic work.
Truzaar prides himself on the partnerships he has nurtured both within the academic and local community and finds immense fulfillment in fostering collaborations within his networks. Today, he seeks to impart a sense of optimism, integrity, and resilience, as his mentors inspired in him.