Five faculty recognized as outstanding teachers

August 23, 2017

Five McMaster faculty have been recognized for their commitment to teaching with a President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning.

Anna Danielova, Chad Harvey, Felicia Vulcu, Konstantinos Apostolou and Sandeep Raha were honoured with the award, which recognizes their contributions to education through innovation, continued excellence in teaching, and enhanced student learning.

Outstanding contributions to teaching and learning may be demonstrated by evidence of the intellectual growth of students and enhanced student learning that results from innovative teaching in the classroom, the mentorship of students through involvement in research or practical experience, the development of novel and effective educational materials, or leadership that promotes teaching and learning at McMaster.

As a finance instructor, Danielova has consistently achieved high student evaluations for her approachable and effective teaching practices, finding ways to make complex financial material accessible for students who have historically found the program extremely difficult.

Students have consistently identified Danielova as one of the most important instructors they encountered in the course of their studies, stating her influence and support as key contributing factors to their decisions to pursue careers in finance.

Harvey is a core member of the teaching team for the University’s award-winning Integrated Science Program, where students learn science through a hands-on, research-based model with self-directed learning opportunities.  

Whether on a local trip to Cootes Paradise or a cross-border excursion deep into the Kentucky caves, his ability to intertwine classroom learning into field trips and labs has helped students make meaningful connections between theory and the natural world.

Through her work in the Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences Program, Vulcu’s passion, student-focus, and innovative teaching has spanned laboratory, lecture, and online course formats.

Committed to making learning environments and materials more accessible, inclusive, and inquiry-based for students, Vulcu developed a series of “bootcamps” and “need-a-boost” tutorials to ensure that equivalent learning experiences and resources were available for the academically diverse student population that comprises the BDC Program.

Apostolou leads the Process Automation Technology Program in the W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology. He has been recognized six times on the Dean of Engineering’s Teaching Honour Roll, recognizing faculty who achieve the top 20 overall teaching evaluations each term.

His teaching is motivated by a deep commitment to help students excel by building capacities that are responsive both to the demands of professionalization and civic engagement.

Raha is the Co-Founder and current Director of the first Children’s University program in Canada, the McMaster Children and Youth University (MCYU) in the City, which has enhanced community partnerships and learning forums, and is currently deployed in public libraries, community centres and public schools throughout Hamilton.

Raha’s passion for multidisciplinary teaching is also reflected in the innovative training program he helped to design and implement, which provides McMaster students with opportunities to gain a working knowledge of curriculum design, community engagement and project management while refining their skills through practical experience in the community.

Recipients of the award were recognized at Spring Convocation and receive a financial honorarium as well as membership in McMaster’s community of award-winning educators, known as the McMaster Teaching Academy.