Two inspirational professors from the Okanagan campus were honoured by UBC Thursday with Teaching Excellence and Innovation Awards.
The award recipients are Susan Crichton, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, in the senior faculty category (10 years or more teaching experience), and Mina Hoorfar, associate professor in the School of Engineering, in the junior faculty category (less than 10 years teaching experience).
“Students from across Canada and around the world choose the University of British Columbia because they want a remarkable education enabled by skilled, thoughtful and engaging teachers,” said Cynthia Mathieson, Provost and Vice-Principal Academic. “I am proud to say that we deliver on this promise every day through our extraordinary educators.
“Teaching and research are the foundations for all our achievements. They build our reputation for excellence, and they are essential in preparing students to be extraordinary — to lead in their fields, and achieve remarkable things with their lives.”
Crichton has made substantial contributions to teaching excellence within the Faculty of Education, across campus, and around the world. Her area of expertise focuses on technology enhanced learning and research approaches, for which she has won international recognition. She shares this knowledge both at UBC, and through her role as visiting scholar at the Institute of Educational Development at Aga Kahn University in Tanzania and in Pakistan. Crichton is an online mentor for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) project in Afghanistan.
Crichton is a leader in designing the Innovative Learning Centre, a leading facility on innovative uses of technology not only in the Faculty of Education, but also with business and education partners in the Okanagan.
Hoorfar is currently head of the Advanced Thermo-Fluidic Laboratory (ATFL). She has been instrumental in the School of Engineering’s success, developing multiple new courses, arranging student internships with industry, and working to secure awards to support students and their learning. Since 2006, she has supervised 18 undergraduates, seven master’s students and nine PhD candidates, consistently providing students with the tools to achieve excellence in their engineering careers.
Hoorfar has earned plaudits on the Teaching Honour Roll for the past four years. First- and second-year engineering students recognized her excellence with the Pioneer Award for Teaching in 2007, and senior students recognized her with the Mechanical Engineering Teacher of the Year Award in both 2012 and 2013.
The Teaching Excellence and Innovation Awards consist of a $3,000 cash prize and the recipients will be honoured at Convocation. Crichton and Hoorfar join the UBC Okanagan Academy of Teaching Excellence and participate in the selection process for future teaching award nominees.
In addition to the teaching awards, a number of other faculty members were recognized with Honour Roll distinctions, as were outstanding teaching assistants and tutors.