2018 Recipients of the Early Career Teaching Award and Teaching Fellowship (PDAD&C #64)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Date: March 12, 2019
Re: 2018 Recipients of the Early Career Teaching Award and Teaching Fellowship (PDAD&C #64)

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2018-19 University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award and the 2019 University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship. In addition to congratulating this year’s recipients, we would like to thank the nominators for their work in preparing 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.

University of Toronto Early Career Teaching Award

Anne McGuire
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Equity Studies, New College

Professor McGuire joined the Equity Studies Program at New College in 2011. Her research and teaching interests include disability studies, accessibility, queer/crip theory, child studies, politics of health, social justice education, feminist science and technology studies and theories of anti-racism, colonialism and governmentality. Her current research traces the emergence of broad spectrum approaches to health and illness and reads these against the backdrop of neoliberal social and economic policies. In 2016, her manuscript, War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence was awarded the University of Michigan Press’ inaugural Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities and was the first book to conform to U-M Press’ new accessible publication guidelines.

Professor McGuire’s approach to disability in the classroom as a valuable difference that can inform and enhance teaching learning practices is a direct extension and application of her research. In 2016, she won the June Larkin Award for Pedagogical Development for her work developing pedagogies of access, implementing strategies for inclusive learning, creating an accessible course syllabi and challenging academic ableism. She has received several New College grants to support cross-campus student learning through initiatives such as, Unsettling Normalcy: A Disability Studies Working Group and the Disability Studies Speakers Series. Professor McGuire is also co-founder and co-ordinator of the NEW Pedagogy Series, a forum for instructors, TAs and other community members to network on pedagogical practices.

Daniel Zingaro
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences
University of Toronto Mississauga

Professor Zingaro joined the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2013 and has been an Assistant Professor since 2014. His current research involves the design of Concept Inventories for measuring and improving students’ conceptual understanding of core Computer Science topics. Professor Zingaro is internationally recognized for his expertise in the application of Peer Instruction (PI) – an active-learning approach using clickers – to Computer Science courses which has transformed the undergraduate academic experience at both UTM and beyond the University of Toronto. He has won numerous awards for his work in PI, including the Best Paper award at the Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education Technical Symposium (SIGCSE) for a large-scale analysis of PI data across multiple universities in 2016. Most recently, he was recognized by a panel of computing education researchers as having one of the top twenty papers in the 50-year history of the SIGCSE symposium.

Professor Zingaro has supervised over 70 research students on projects spanning video game design, Computer Science education research and algorithms, and is well known for his unique and interactive approach to teaching in the classroom. At UTM, he has lead a community of practice for the Teaching-Learning Collaboration for faculty members and earned a Best Poster award for his collaborative work in evaluating the use of the new Active Learning classrooms. Professor Zingaro has also been recognized multiple times by the Office of Student Transition and Student Life for his contributions to new student engagement.

Matthew Sergi
Assistant Professor, Tenure Stream
Department of English

Professor Matthew Sergi, who joined the Department of English in 2013, specializes in late medieval drama and performance, contemporary dramatic literature and performance, the history of the English language and Middle English poetry and prose. His research in recent years has turned increasingly to practice-based research and experiments in live performance. With a background in Applied Theatre, Professor Sergi’s scholarship bridges technical expertise in Middle English language and literature with the embodied practices of theatre both within the classroom, through U of T dramatic productions and in the larger arts community. As the Scholar-in-Residence at Toronto Harbourfront’s World Stage from 2014-2017 (a program he co-founded), Professor Sergi has provided innovative community-building educational programming alongside theatrical performances. 

Professor Sergi’s pedagogical approach utilizes a variety of student-specific tools to turn the classroom into a performative space and engage students in challenging the established discourse of the English language. This has earned him the prize essay for the University of California Berkley’s Teaching Effectiveness Award during his PhD studies. At U of T, Professor Sergi actively works to empower marginalized or underrepresented voices. He has developed and published on new History of the English Language curricula, which draws on the diversity of university students’ varied experiences with English.  He is also currently creating a workshop in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Dean’s office and the English department on the integration of inclusive policies and practices for humanities instructors.

Toula Kourgiantakis
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

Professor Kourgiantakis joined the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work in 2015. Her research focuses on social work education and simulation-based learning in teaching and assessment with an interest in family-centered practices in addictions and mental health. As a Certified Couple and Family Therapist and a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Professor Kourgiantakis brings over 25 years of clinical experience to her role as Simulation Coordinator within the Faculty. Since 2016, she has provided leadership and coordination in embedding teaching with simulation in the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. As a result, the program has expanded dramatically and the use of simulation in both courses and fields of study has nearly tripled. The success of the entire simulation program was recognized in 2017 as the recipient winner of the Northrop Frye Award, Departmental/Divisional Category. Professor Kourgiantakis also received a Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Teaching Award in 2017-18.

Professor Kourgiantakis’ commitment to a learner-centred pedagogical approach is exemplified in her development of the voluntary educational initiative, Practice Fridays. Since 2015, Practice Fridays has provided over 400 MSW students and 50 field instructors with simulation-based learning activities to enhance interviewing and assessment skills.  She is active in the re-design of a number of a program courses within the Faculty and in 2018, with the University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship, Professor Kourgiantakis created topical educational modules and videos in mental health and addiction for practicum courses.

University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship

Image of Professor William Ju

William Ju
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Program in Human Biology

Professor Ju is an Associate Professor in the Human Biology Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science. He has received numerous teaching awards since joining the Human Biology Program in 2011, including the inaugural June A. Larkin Teaching Fellowship in Pedagogy in 2015. He also currently serves as member of the Academic Board of the Governing Council of the University.

Professor Ju’s doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on the examination of the cellular and molecular pathways underlying motivation, learning and memory, neurodegeneration and stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. At present, he is working on the translation of his research in neuroscience in motivational learning and the use of augmented assessment tools to gauge the effectiveness of online lecture delivery and learning. Professor Ju’s recent pedagogical projects center on his interests in mental health in the classroom, social justice topics in STEM and educational equity and developing open educational resources. He is also an Open Education (OE) Fellow through eCampus Ontario and works with students to develop resources around these teaching interests and themes.

Professor Ju’s Fellowship will focus on the redesign of a 3rd year undergraduate biology course and the use and assessment of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). He has already been piloting this project by partnering with the Career Learning Network to offer an opt-in WIL experience for students in HMB 322 Topics in Health and Disease. By incorporating WIL in the form of job shadowing, the goal is to directly connect course learning with possible post-graduate career choices, increasing student engagement in the course material and improving their learning experience. Professor Ju also plans to develop best practices to incorporate WIL opportunities, assess scalability to larger class sizes and to create a YouTube channel recording and sharing his learning throughout the two-year project. Additionally, in collaboration with the other Teaching Fellows and members of the teaching community Professor Ju will develop new methods of reflective assessments/assignments for students who take part in WIL opportunities.