2017 Recipients of the University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award (ECTA) (PDAD&C #67)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Date: March 1, 2017
Re: 2017 Recipients of the University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award (ECTA) (PDAD&C #67)

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2016-17 University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award. This award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to student learning, pedagogical engagement, and teaching innovation. Up to four awards of $3,000 are offered annually.

2016-17 Recipients

Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga
Dawn Kilkenny, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
David Roberts, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Innis College Urban Studies Program, Faculty of Arts & Science
Ashley Stirling, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education

Sanja Hinic-Frlog
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga

Professor Sanja Hinic-Frlog received her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California Davis, and joined the Department of Biology at University of Toronto Mississauga in 2013. Professor Hinic-Frlog has demonstrated excellence and dedication to teaching in both large courses (500+ students) and one-on-one mentoring through the Research Opportunity Program, work-study positions, and fourth-year thesis projects. The committee was particularly impressed by her commitment to mentoring undergraduate students and junior colleagues, her ability to embed experiential learning opportunities in the curriculum, and her ongoing engagement with pedagogical experimentation and enhancement. Her nominators and supporters particularly noted her desire to create meaningful active learning experiences for her students, both inside and outside the classroom.

Dawn Kilkenny
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering

Professor Dawn Kilkenny has taught at the University of Toronto since 2008, and gained her current appointment in 2013. Professor Kilkenny built her excellent teaching reputation through spearheading improvements in the IBBME undergraduate curriculum, championing student-learning initiatives, and promoting student-faculty interactions. Her dedication and leadership on these issues led to her appointment as the Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs in IBBME, where her vision for the unit’s curriculum led to the creation of a new minor in 2014. Professor Kilkenny has also been instrumental in the launching of three IBBME initiatives that reflect her commitment to supporting student success beyond the classroom; the student mentorship program, the undergraduate student seminar series, and the undergraduate summer research program. Beyond the University, Professor Kilkenny was awarded the 2016 Wighton Fellowship by the Sandford Fleming Foundation, a national award that recognizes work in the development and teaching of laboratory-based courses in Canadian undergraduate engineering programs. The committee was impressed by her record and regard her as a model of teaching excellence for her Faculty and the University community.

David Roberts
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Innis College Urban Studies Program, Faculty of Arts & Science

Professor David Roberts holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Toronto, and was appointed to his current position in 2014. Though his appointment is relatively recent, Professor Roberts has quickly moved into a leadership role within the Faculty of Arts & Science Teaching and Learning community, becoming the Academic Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Community of Practice in 2016. Professor Roberts’ pedagogical ambition is exemplified by the service learning course he directs, which provides 80+ second year students with placement opportunities in community organizations working on a variety of social challenges around Toronto. This type of course-based community engagement, combined with the active role he plays in the University’s First in the Family Program, demonstrates Professor Roberts’ commitment to building real-world supports for students both inside and outside the classroom. The committee was impressed that Professor Roberts has delivered seven distinct courses since his appointment while simultaneously integrating and enhancing new teaching innovations.

Ashley Stirling
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education

Professor Ashley Stirling received her Ph.D. in Exercise Sciences from the University of Toronto in 2011, and joined the Faculty in her current appointment shortly thereafter in 2012. Professor Stirling has quickly taken on a significant leadership role in the Faculty, serving as the Director of Experiential Education, which supports placements and other experiential learning opportunities in Bachelor of Kinesiology (B.Kin) and Master of Professional Kinesiology (MPK) curriculum. Professor Stirling has taken on other leadership roles within the Faculty, chairing multiple committees focused on curriculum and pedagogy. Professor Stirling is widely recognized as a leader in the scholarship of teaching and learning in the area of experiential education and work-integrated learning, and this expertise has greatly benefited the learning experience of students within her courses and the broader Faculty.

In addition to congratulating this year’s recipients, we would like to thank the nominators for their work in preparing the submissions. We would also like to thank the members of the selection committee for their dedication to recognizing excellence in teaching at the University of Toronto.

Please visit the Office of the Vice-President & Provost’s website for more information on the University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award and the University of Toronto Teaching Fellowships.