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U of T honours outstanding teachers across university

Sanja Hinić-Frlog, David Roberts and Dawn Kilkenny, an assistant professor, teaching stream in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, won Early Career Teaching Awards this year (photo by Geoffrey Vendeville)

Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr congratulated winners of teaching awards at reception

An evolutionary biologist and paleontologist fascinated by birds – including an aquatic, carnivorous bird that lived 80 million years ago. An expert on intracellular signalling trying to improve our understanding of diabetes. And a professor of electrical and computer engineering who teaches students to design the next life-changing mobile apps.

The three University of Toronto professors were among dozens celebrated at a reception for exemplary teachers at Massey College on Monday. Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr recognized the winners of teaching awards across the university's three campuses, saying their efforts have helped U of T cement its reputation as the top university in Canada and one of the top 10 public universities in the world.

Kathy McGilton, an associate professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, was nominated for an award by her students. “I think it's the pinnacle of your career if you can have students think you did such a wonderful job,” she said.

U of T News caught up with McGilton and other winners and asked them how their most influential teachers affected their own teaching style. 

Sanja Hinic-Frlog

Sanja Hinić-Frlog

The evolutionary biologist and paleontologist is an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the department of biology at U of T Mississauga

“My biology and high school teacher did a lot of active learning. We had to read up on materials, prepare on our own and then do an activity or do problem-solving in class. It's the first time I experienced that learning can be not just reading a textbook. It taught me that people learn in different ways, and that you have to think about all the different ways students learn to reach a wider audience.”


Kathy McGiltonKathy McGilton

Associate professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

“My supervisor was a fabulous teacher because she actually made us think critically. She provided us with information we would not be exposed to, she listened to us and she also had a passion for care of the older adult – and that rubs off on you.”




David RobertsDavid Roberts

Assistant professor of urban studies, teaching stream

“I had a professor in undergrad – I was a political science and business major and he was in African-American studies. It was an area of interst of mine, but he really pushed me to think about why it should be a broader interest. He inspired me in terms of the comparative work he was doing, but also political work. He also made it clear that he had politics and a set of ideas that were important to him, and that was going to shape how he was going to teach the class. It caused me to do research on South Africa, where his research is based. And also to be clear about my own ideas, me as a person and how that translates into my teaching.”


Here are some others from U of T who won external, university and divisional awards.

Greg Evans was awarded the 3M Teaching Fellowship, while his colleague in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Jonathan Rose, won an Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations' teaching award. (Rose teaches students to design the next life-changing mobile apps.)

Elizabeth Edwards of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Jay Pratt of the Faculty of Arts & Science won awards of excellence for faculty.

Craig Simmons of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering received the Award of Excellence: Northrop Frye Award (Individual). Michelle French of the Faculty of Medicine and Njoki Wane of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education both won President's Teaching Awards. 

The Early Career Teaching Award Winners were: Hinic-Frlog, Roberts, Dawn Kilkenny of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering (and the expert on intracellular signalling), and Ashley Stirling of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education.

Judith Wiener of OISE received the J.J. Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award.