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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 9, 2016
Canadian Excellence


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Faculty of Science

Laurier names inaugural Teaching Fellows

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Dec 5/13

Laurier honours its first two Teaching Fellows: Stephen MacNeil, associate professor of Chemistry and undergraduate advisor, and Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, associate professor of Spanish and associate dean: student affairs and special projects, Faculty of Arts.

“Laurier has tremendous strengths in teaching and learning, and we are very pleased to honour these two outstanding faculty members,” said Pat Rogers, associate vice-president: Teaching and Learning.

The new program, announced in August, provides faculty members and librarians with opportunities to pursue teaching and learning initiatives through one-year, $10,000 fellowships in support of their proposed program of activities. Recipients are individuals who have demonstrated exceptional contributions to teaching and learning and have established an exemplary record of achievement in educational leadership.

During the fellowship, MacNeil will disseminate the results of his experiments with innovative teaching methods, such as the flipped classroom (where lectures are delivered online in advance and students come to class to discuss concepts and problem solve), and using immediate feedback and learning task inventories to develop students’ metacognitive skills. He also plans to refine and extend his collaborative learning and testing techniques to a third-year course and promote the adoption of research-based teaching practices across the university.     

Throughout the year, Rowinsky-Geurts will explore current practices of active learning at Laurier, and the potential of extending the methodologies across disciplines. She plans to build a community of instructors already involved in active learning, to develop valuable resources for the university. This group will initially focus on first- and second-year courses, and provide an opportunity for instructors to share their experiences and challenges implementing active learning practices in all disciplines.

The Teaching Fellowship Program selection committee consisted of Bruce Arai (dean, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences), Ivy Dam (graduate student, Geography), Gail Forsyth (director, Learning Services), Sandy Hughes (director, Teaching Support Services), Penelope Ironstone (associate professor, Communication Studies), Kevin Swinden (associate professor, Music Theory), Chris Walker (undergraduate student, Political Science) and Eileen Woods (professor, Psychology).

For more information on the program, visit The deadline for applications for the 2014-15 Fellowship program is Feb. 24, 2014.


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