Instructor Awards

MISC
Instructor Awards 2021

Highlighting teaching excellence by students

2021 Winner


Grant Hurley

INF2403: Digital Archives Workflows

“Grant is such a great instructor. He has spent so much time making and perfecting this course. It was fun, insightful, practical and knowledgeable – everything a class at the iSchool should be. He is encouraging and understanding of students needs (ie when my laptop broke this semester he was super helpful and accommodating). He seriously is the best and deserves this!!”
Angela Maggiacomo
Student
“This was a new course, and Grant’s first time teaching a course the iSchool, and I so glad I got the chance to be part of this initial cohort. Grant adapted to online learning in a thoughtful and conscientious way, aware of technical limitations in a very technical course, and was always happy to help troubleshoot and help us through any issues. The course content was amazingly well prepared – slides and recorded lectures were available well in advance of our synchronous sessions, with lots of extra resources and interesting case studies. In addition to the course content and practical activities, Grant took an interest in all of our personal experiences to date, and created a friendly learning environment that I always looked forward to being part of. He even included memes and a class playlist for us! I hope many future MI students get to be part of this class, not just for the important digital skills it offers, but for Grant’s wonderful enthusiasm and knowledge of digital preservation.”
Anonymous
Student
“Grant has been a great instructor. This was the first time that this course has been offered and he has gone above and beyond in making sure it was informative, practical and interactive in a digital setting that it was not meant to be hosted in. He is super communicative and understanding with any problems or concerns. It has been a highlight of my MI degree to attend this class and the way he conducted this class played a significant portion in this.”
Anjani Singh
Student
“Grant goes above and beyond to help his students and has done a wonderful job designing the course ‘Digital Archives Workflows’.”
Anonymous
Student
“Grant was a constant source of encouragement to his students. He provided fun, but extremely education, lectures and group activities meant to really familiarize students with the technologies and processes used by digital archivists, as well as ethical considerations we may encounter. For his first time teaching a course, it was seamless. He took a topic that I thought would overwhelm me and turned it into something I actually enjoyed. His strong sense of community also meant that everyone in the class quickly became friends who worked through technical problems together — which is no small feat in an online environment. I had high hopes for this course, and Grant exceeded every single one of them.”
Kyle Pugh
Student

Honourable Mentions

Karen Suurtamm

INF1331, INF2184

“She does a fantastic job of teaching complex theory and encouraging student to engage with it in nuanced and interesting ways. She also skillfully integrates her professional experience to demonstrate the practical implications of what we’re learning about. She is compassionate and supportive of her students in a way that allows them to learn and thrive in her courses. Her incredible work ethic is an inspiration, and she creates an excellent learning environment for students to challenge themselves and accomplish their goals.”
Anonymous
Student

Velian Pandeliev

INF2169, INF2164, INF2191

“Velian has adapted to online learning extremely well by always ensuring classes were interesting, fun, engaging and informative. I’ve also appreciated that Velian would reference current, relevant and trending topics in class which were also related to the courses to make things more interesting. You could really tell when professors care about the content they’re teaching and all of the courses’ weekly slides reflected the time and dedication taken to create them, as well as the weekly activities.”
Anonymous
Student
Velian goes above and beyond to make online learning comfortable for students. He records his lectures, sets up his video screen to show relevant items including the current time, the name of the course, and subtitles. Velian is aware and sympathetic to the amount of work students have and has a wonderful deadline policy. Velian is approachable if someone is struggling with materials in the course or has extra questions and makes his course content very relatable and practical, often drawing anecdotes and examples from his industry experience.”
Anonymous
Student

Dr. Jean Dryden

INF2302H: Special Topics in Information Studies: Copyright Issues for Information Professionals

Dr. Dryden was a stand out instructor during my MI. She brought extraordinary experience to a complex topic and created an atmosphere that was a breath of fresh air in our online environment. Her use of breakout rooms and polls in Zoom allowed us to navigate these topics as a community, and she encouraged our ideas and questions in every lecture. Most importantly, Dr. Dryden brought passion and energy to every discussion. Every class was littered with a deep understanding of Copyright and personal anecdotes and stories that led to a greater understanding of course material. My classmates and I will undoubtedly be stronger information professionals due to her thoughtful syllabus and lectures and her commitment to our well being.”
Laura Viselli
Student

Greg Nightingale

INF2155: The Public Library in the Community: Developing a Critical Practice

“Greg’s scholarhip is impeccable and enlightened. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of public libraries. His enthusiasm for the subject matter shone through in his excellent lectures, assignments, and intellectually stimulating breakout sessions. This instructor truly cares about the fate of libraries; he cares about people and equality; and he cares about the fate of our world. His feedback and mentorship throughout the course helped me determine that I made the right decision to gain my MLIS creds to work in public libraries. Greg is a natural teacher who inspires confidence, critical thinking, and excellence in his students. He is an asset to the iSchool and deserves a permanent placement teaching the LIS curriculum. I learned SO MUCH from his course.”
Anonymous
Student

Rohan Alexander

INF2178: Experimental Design for Data Science

“My learning experience has not been what I expected. When I accepted my offer of admission, I envisioned myself wandering the halls of Bissell, spending long hours in Robarts, and most important, sitting in office hours with Professors and engaging in lively debate with peers in the classrooms. Although this has not been the case, I have thoroughly enjoyed the first year of the program. The value of the experience is hard to put into words. While some professors have been distant, pre-recording lectures and rarely engaging with students, others have gone above and beyond to ensure our learning experience is not negatively affected by our current circumstances. One such professor is Rohan Alexander, with whom I have had the great joy of learning in INF2178: Experimental Design for Data Science. Professor Alexander has implemented several tools and techniques to make the most of the online learning environment. Aside from his duties as professor, he continues to enhance the academic community with his contributions to the Toronto Data Workshop and several other initiatives, including the Conference of Reproducibility hosted this winter. Professor Alexander’s contributions have had an undeniable impact in my learning and the community at large.”
Anonymous
Student

Olivier St-Cyr

INF2192: Representing UX

“I would like to take a chance to nominate Professor St-Cyr for this award. Professor St-Cyr is an enthusiastic and motivating instructor who links theory to practice. I appreciated how INF2192 challenged me to think critically about the project experience and the course material. He established a positive online learning environment for us. In fact, he supports us anytime when we need him. Although online learning makes everyone upset and we are not able to meet in person, he always there (in his virtual office) to answer all our questions. I really appreciated his encouragement. He always encourages us to believe in ourselves and tells us we are good UX and UI designers.”
Wing Lam Tse
Student

May Chan & Elisa Sze

INF2145: Creation & Organization of Bibliographic Records

“May and Elisa’s class has felt the most beneficial to me in my time at the iSchool. Their intention is clearly to make us employable at the end of the course and imbue us with the confidence and preliminary skills to move into the profession. They are both incredibly knowledgeable and have hands-on experience in the thing they are teaching about, and it shows. They proactively made the course content accessible to students with a variety of learning styles and needs, and have advocated for students to be a part of that by collaboratively note-taking. They organically weave diverse perspectives and the ethical implications of their area of study throughout the course, so it never felt like an “add-on,” but something very real that is/ should be addressed in day-to-day practice. They both went out of their way to make themselves available for additional help, gave thorough feedback and constructive criticism on assignments, took time to do walk-throughs so we could fully understand what we were being tasked to do, and happily provided additional resources when students showed an interest in learning more on a particular thing. The work they put into this course really showed, and I could tell they very much care about helping their students feel supported and prepared to enter librarianship.”
Anonymous
Student

Misha Teramura

BKS1001: Introduction to Book History

“Misha was an excellent professor, and his class was easily the best Zoom class of the year for me. He did such a good job of incorporating interesting and thought-provoking content throughout class. Each class ended up being chock-full of interesting and insightful discussion from everyone, and this was aided by Misha’s proficiency with Zoom. For instance, he would often incorporate our ideas by annotating the books or pictures that he screen-shared in our Zoom meeting, which I found so effective in allowing us to reflect on those books/pictures. He also did a great job of managing class discussion so that everyone got to contribute, and so that everyone felt like their contributions were acknowledged. Overall, this was an excellent class, and I didn’t feel like it suffered at all because it was on Zoom.”
Anonymous
Student