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Three Laurier professors earn provincial teaching awards

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Sep 10/07| For Immediate Release

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Sandy Hughes, Director
Teaching Support Services, (519) 884-0710 ext. 4104

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Kevin Crowley, Associate Director
News and Editorial Services, (519) 884-0710 ext. 3070

WATERLOO — The Ontario government has recognized three Wilfrid Laurier University faculty members with 2007 Leadership in Faculty Teaching (LIFT) awards.

Catherine Black, Thomas Fleming and Shirley Lichti were among 100 Ontario university and college faculty members selected by the province for their ability to inspire students and for their leadership in teaching methods.

The awards program, which provides winners with $20,000 over two years, is a new initiative developed by the provincial government to recognize and encourage teaching excellence.

“I am delighted that three of our colleagues have received this honour,” said Dr. Sue Horton, Laurier’s vice-president: academic. “Excellence in teaching and learning is one of our key strategic priorities.”

Winners were selected by a ministry-appointed committee comprised of students, faculty members and senior administrators from Ontario colleges and universities, based on nomination letters from students or fellow teachers. Criteria ranged from the ability to stimulate students to think creatively and critically, to the instructor’s enthusiasm and innovation in teaching.

 “Laurier is home to many award-winning faculty who bring teaching excellence to the classroom,” said Sandy Hughes, director of teaching support services at Laurier. “We are delighted that these faculty have been recognized and provided with a financial award that will continue to foster ongoing scholarship in teaching and learning at Laurier.”

Catherine Black, associate professor of French and Medieval Studies, received a Distinguished Teacher Award from the University of Waterloo (where she is an adjunct professor) in 1994, and an Award of Teaching Excellence from Laurier in 2006. Her LIFT award nomination letter reads: “Black’s leadership of student discussion provides a model of effective student-oriented learning that leads to empowerment and self-confidence.”

Thomas Fleming is an associate professor of Criminology and Contemporary Studies at Laurier’s Brantford campus, and director of Laurier’s Centre of Criminology, Law and Media, and the Centre for Investigative Criminology. In his nomination letter, Fleming is described as a “continuous learner” who “dedicates countless hours to ancillary projects designed to advance the field of criminology and create a much more dynamic and interesting learning opportunity for his students.”

Shirley Lichti, a marketing instructor in Laurier’s School of Business and Economics (SBE), is described in her nomination letter as “a superb instructor who embraces innovative teaching methods that bring a practical, real-world marketing experience to her students.” In 2002, Lichti received an SBE Outstanding Teacher Award, and has been named one of Laurier’s most popular professors in the Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities for the past four consecutive years.

Laurier will hold a special reception in November to recognize the award winners.

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