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34 University of Calgary teachers win Students' Union excellence awards

Students chose nominees and winners in the 2015-16 awards for their long-lasting impact
April 22, 2016

Jo-Anne Brown, Faculty of Science, was one of the winners from this year's Students' Union Teaching Excellence Awards. Photos by Gene Baines 

Dr. Lauren Zanussi, Cumming School of Medicine, also received an SU Teaching Excellence Award this year.  

Kara Sealock from the Faculty of Nursing was recognized with an SU Teaching Excellence Award.  

Mark Migotti, Faculty of Arts, received an honourable mention at the SU Teaching Excellence Awards. 

On April 20, the Students’ Union honoured 34 University of Calgary faculty members and instructors for their commitment to student success at its annual Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony. The awards recognize individuals who make significant contributions in assisting students in reaching their highest potential.

The SU’s campus-wide recognition program is for instructors who make a long-lasting impact on students and most importantly, it is the students that determine the nominees and winners.

“It is a great honour to grant awards on behalf of undergraduate students to show our gratitude and recognize these 34 very deserving recipients,” says Stephan Guscott, SU vice-president, academic. “I love these awards because they are a unique opportunity for students to appreciate the impact these fantastic professors, instructors, and TAs make in a truly meaningful way, because the entire award process is student-run.”

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 102 class visits throughout the year to collect written feedback about the short-listed instructors. The winners were then decided after the committee analyzed 2,040 evaluation forms.

Winners of the Teaching Excellence Awards receive an Apple Award and a framed certificate. In addition, the Students’ Union will make a $5,000 donation in recognition of the winners to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Teaching Excellence Awards: Winners

  • Michael Adorjan (Faculty of Arts)
  • Lourdes Arciniega (Faculty of Arts)
  • Candace Konnert (Faculty of Arts)
  • Nick Sousanis (Faculty of Arts)
  • Guido van Marle (Cumming School of Medicine)
  • Dr. Lauren Zanussi (Cumming School of Medicine)
  • Darrin Ambrose (Haskayne School of Business)
  • Leighton Wilks (Haskayne School of Business)
  • Dr. Cari Din (Faculty of Kinesiology)
  • Elizabeth Whitsitt (Faculty of Law)
  • Kara Sealock (Faculty of Nursing) 
  • Chris Morton (Schulich School of Engineering)
  • Uttandaraman Sundararaj (Schulich School of Engineering)
  • Jo-Anne Brown (Faculty of Science)
  • Jason M.K.C. Donev (Faculty of Science)
  • David R.M. Pattison (Faculty of Science)
  • Cameron Knight (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Marie-Claire Shanahan (Werklund School of Education)

Teaching Excellence Awards: Honourable Mention

  • Annette Tézli (Arts)
  • Mark Migotti (Arts)
  • Barbara Martin (Education)
  • Katherine Mueller (Education)
  • William Bridel (Kinesiology)
  • Evaristus Oshionebo (Law)
  • Alison Albright (Medicine)
  • Max Anikovskiy (Science)
  • Dr. Daniel Pang (Vet Med)
  • Lianne Vachon (TA)

Teaching Assistants: Winners

  • Jaclyn Lee Carter (TA, Arts)
  • Janice Parker (TA, Arts)
  • Tom Sewel (TA, Arts)
  • David Ledo (TA, Science)
  • Joshua Novak (TA, Science)
  • Sara Jayne Smith (TA, Science)

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