April 15, 2019
For Immediate Release
Wilfrid Laurier University is recognizing five instructors for enriching the educational experience of students through notable approaches to teaching and learning.
“Our 2019 award recipients set a high bar for excellence in purposeful, innovative teaching and learning, whether through their work in the classroom, with colleagues, alongside community members, online or abroad,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy. “Laurier’s instructors inspire a drive for success in students that continues into their working lives long after they finish university.”
In 2018, Laurier’s most prestigious teaching awards program was renamed the Donald F. Morgenson Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence to honour the legacy of Laurier Professor Emeritus Donald Morgenson, a long-time, beloved faculty member who passed away in 2017.
Recipients of the 2019 Donald F. Morgenson Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence include:
Dana Sawchuk’s time at Laurier since 2001 has revealed her strong commitment to teaching leadership in her discipline, a drive for continuous professional development and deep reflection about her teaching practice. The collaborative classroom environments she creates have inspired students and colleagues to be more engaged in their own learning development and teaching.
“I have always felt very supported as a teacher by my colleagues at Laurier and year after year have been inspired and encouraged by my students,” said Sawchuk. “This award is especially meaningful in a community in which teaching and learning are taken so seriously.”
Assistant professor Karin Schnarr serves as a mentor to her colleagues focusing on case-based teaching approaches and team teaching. She has been a leader in ICE, an experiential learning component of Laurier’s BBA program where students apply in-class knowledge to solve current business problems for Canadian companies.
“I have been fortunate to have generous teaching mentors and a collaborative, team-based environment at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics,” said Schnarr, who has been at Laurier since 2014. “It is wonderful to be part of a culture that so strongly supports excellence in the classroom, giving me the opportunity to teach the next generation of knowledgeable, compassionate and ethical business leaders.”
Lab instructor Sherilyn Van De Wynckel uses a blended learning approach to maximize students’ time in the lab and create innovative learning experiences. Van De Wynckel implements emerging technologies into her courses, allowing students to collect and engage with research data in new ways.
“My students are the inspiration for my innovation and fuel my passion for teaching,” said Van De Wynckel, who has worked at Laurier for 16 years and served as a lab instructor since 2010. “This honour will spur on future novel ideas for learning in the chemistry lab as I continue my work with the wonderful faculty, staff and students at Laurier.”
Associate Professor Steve Sider has built an international reputation in his field during his eight years at Laurier.
“The significance of this award for me – as a teacher of teachers – is that it recognizes the multiplication effect that teachers can have in fostering global competencies in their students,” said Sider. “Awards are never won in isolation and I am deeply appreciative of all those who took the time and made the effort to nominate me.”
Sider’s work developing the Bachelor of International Education Studies program, as well as his work abroad and particularly in Haiti, has enhanced experiential learning opportunities for students and elementary and secondary school educators from across Canada.
Josephine McMurray’s contribution to experiential programming – both in the classroom and within the campus community – demonstrates her commitment to mentoring and nurturing students.
“I’m honoured to have been recognized by my undergrad and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, with the Faculty Mentoring award,” said McMurray. “As a faculty supervisor I am committed to the growth and wellbeing – academic, professional and personal – of those who choose to work with me, and I delight in their successes.”
Nominated by a former student, McMurray has taught in the Business Technology Management program at Laurier since 2012 and serves as director of the university’s case@BTM competition.
Laurier also recognizes the 2019 recipient of the OUSA Award for Teaching Excellence, selected by students.
Undergraduate students at Laurier chose Assistant Professor Deanna Yerichuk for the award, which recognizes educators who excel at unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people. Yerichuk started at Laurier in 2017, providing leadership and teaching in Canada’s first and only Bachelor of Music: Community Music program.
“It’s such an honour to receive this award,” said Yerichuk. “The Community Music program is only in its third year and the students have had a significant hand in shaping our curriculum. They are really what makes this program so outstanding, so I’m humbled that they nominated me.”
Recipients of the 2019 Donald F. Morgenson Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence will be honoured during a reception taking place May 31 at 11:45 a.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
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Joseph Beer, Director: Teaching, Learning and Development
Teaching and Learning, Wilfrid Laurier University
Lori Chalmers Morrison, Associate Director
Communications, Wilfrid Laurier University
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