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Students' Union honours 32 teachers for 'significant contributions' to student success

University of Calgary students choose recipients of the 2016-2017 SU Teaching Excellence Awards
April 21,2017

Yvonne Poitras Pratt from the Werklund School of Education was recognized with a SU Teaching Excellence Award. Photos by Gene Baines

On April 19, the Students’ Union (SU) honoured 32 faculty members, instructors, and teaching assistants for their commitment to student success at its annual Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony. The awards recognize individuals who make significant contributions in assisting undergraduate students in reaching their highest potential. The SU’s campus-wide recognition program is for instructors and teaching assistants who make a long-lasting impact on students — and most important, it is the students who determine the nominees and winners.

“What I love most about the SU Teaching Excellence Awards is that the instructors we are honouring were nominated by their own students,” says Alicia Lunz, SU vice-president, academic. “It demonstrates a higher quality of teaching when students want their instructors to be recognized for going above and beyond. The winners have all made such a positive impact on so many students and are very deserving of this prestigious award.”

First handed out in 1984, the awards provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on the quality of instruction within their course. They also ensure that excellence in teaching remains a key priority, which is in line with one of the three primary commitments made in the Eyes High vision to enrich the quality and breadth of learning at the University of Calgary.

Based on student nominations submitted over a six-week period in both the fall and winter semesters, and a wide range of criteria previously set out by the SU, the Teaching Excellence committee conducted more than 100 class visits throughout the year to collect written feedback about the short-listed instructors. The winners were then decided after the committee analyzed just over 2,000 evaluation forms.

Winners of the SU Teaching Excellence Award receive an Apple Award and a framed certificate. In addition, the Students’ Union will make a $5,000.00 donation in recognition of the winners to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

2017 Teaching Excellence Award Recipients

Teaching assistants

  • Benjamin Blyth (Arts)
  • Tom Sewel (Arts)
  • Neil Surkan (Arts)
  • David Ledo (Engineering)
  • A.J. Macaulay (Kinesiology)
  • Pier-Luc Champagne (Science)
  • Noor H. Jafri (Science)


  • Karen Bourrier (Arts)
  • Walter Glannon (Arts)
  • Annette Tézli (Arts)
  • Joelle Welling (Arts)
  • Leighton Wilks (Business)
  • Larry A. Wood (Business)
  • Yvonne Poitras Pratt (Education)
  • Markus Dann (Engineering)
  • Ahmad Ghasemloonia (Engineering)
  • William Bridel (Kinesiology)
  • Dr. Maureen T. Duffy (Law)
  • Zenaida Roxas Boerhave (Nursing)
  • Heather Addy (Science)
  • Kyla Flanagan (Science)
  • Rob Longair (Science)

Honourable mentions

  • Mark Migotti (Arts)
  • Catherine Burwell (Education)
  • Jeff Turner (Education)
  • George F. Jergeas (Engineering)
  • Yousry Elsabrouty (Engineering)
  • Brad Kilb (Kinesiology)
  • Dr. Cari Din (Kinesiology)
  • David W. Hobill (Science)
  • Melanie Lind-Kosten (Nursing)

Hall of Fame inductee

  • Robert L. Malach

For more information about the SU Teaching Excellence program and the award criteria, please visit