posted on April 27: 2001 President’s Awards for Excellence in Instruction, Course or Resource Design announced


Professors from the fields of comparative literature and chemical engineering are the 2001 recipients of the President's Awards.

Jean Wilson, a professor of comparative literature in the Faculty of Humanities, has won the President's Award for Excellence in Instruction. She will accept her award at Spring Convocation.

Tom Marlin, a professor of chemical engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, will receive the President's Award for Excellence in Course or Resource Design. He will accept his award at Fall Convocation.

Both recipients will also receive a $5,000 honorarium and will have their photos mounted on the Wall of Recognition in Gilmour Hall.

In a congratulatory letter to the recipients, President Peter George said: “McMaster has been well served by your continuing efforts on behalf of teaching and learning and our University is very fortunate to number you among our most celebrated colleagues.”

Excellence in Instruction – Jean Wilson

Jean Wilson is recognized for her exceptional ability to connect with her students, conveying to them a love of teaching and learning that is infectious. She has been teaching comparative literature in the Faculty of Humanities and in the Arts & Science program for 10 years.
Her nomination was supported by a diverse set of students' letters in which she was described as a teacher who connected with each student, acted as a valued mentor and helped them connect and learn from each other. Students said they recommend her courses to others because she creates an ideal learning environment. Her course ratings are outstanding, always well above nine out of 10. She has been nominated for a McMaster Students' Union Teaching Award every year she has taught and won the award three times, including this year.

Wilson is also recognized by her colleagues for her work in building the comparative literature program from its base in the Department of Modern Languages to an independent program with 70 students. Colleagues in the Arts & Science program note that she enjoys an “unrivalled level of affection and admiration among students who have been exposed to her as a teacher.”

Excellence in Course or Resource Design – Tom Marlin

Tom Marlin, a professor of chemical engineering, is recognized for his 13-year development of a comprehensive set of resources — from textbook to Web site — into integrated teaching resources that meet the needs of his students and others around the world. This award specifically honours his textbook, Process Control, Designing Process and Control Systems for Dynamic Performance, educational software called The Software Laboratory and Complementary Manual and a Web site called Interactive Learning Modules and Instrumentation Notes.

During the development, Marlin has continually integrated feedback from his students and from instructors at other universities. As a result, technical content was strengthened, presentations were clarified, software interfaces were simplified and Web formats enriched. His nomination included several letters from colleagues noting the innovative nature and quality of the resources. The textbook is used in half of the chemical engineering departments in Canada, 23 universities in the U.S. and in six other countries including Australia and England. More than 200 professors have obtained a copy of The Software Laboratory to use with their students.