The MSU Teaching Awards — Past and Present

Background on the Teaching Awards:

If you’re interested in knowing more about past winners, look no further! Here is a list of all the MSU Teaching Award recipients from 2017–2020!

  • During my first year, one of my TA’s was very understanding and engaging with the students, and always put their learning first. She assured me that there are “no stupid questions”, which was a source of a lot of anxiety for me. I felt more confident in my knowledge, and I was able to participate and enjoy my labs without fear of judgement.
  • My professor discussed the importance of mental health instead of holding a regular lecture, and for the first time, I felt like my professor actually cared for me rather than saw me as a number and grade. It made me want to focus more on myself and my happiness, rather than working non-stop without caring about anything. It encouraged me to find balance during my academic life.
  • Starting second year with online classes was definitely an overwhelming and anxious experience. Even though I had never met this professor in person, they really tried their best to make myself and everyone in the class feel comfortable and supported. Months later, they continue to emphasize the importance of mental health and try their best to check in with students, which has really helped with the transition to online classes.
  • I was an incredibly nervous first year student who was too intimidated to participate in class or speak with my classmates, let alone approach my professors. However, a professor for one of my smaller and more interactive classes always came in with the biggest smile and an infectious enthusiasm. They made an intentional effort to chat outside of class and support each of us personally. As the year went on, I felt more comfortable with fully engaging with my learning knowing that even if I feel judged by my peers or begin to harbour self-doubt, there will always be at least one person in this classroom who wants to see me succeed.
  • First year was not the greatest because I unfortunately got the earliest slot for Chemistry labs and since the residences were literally on the other side of campus, it was not fun making that trek early in the morning. What made those mornings bearable was my wonderful TA. She was kind, thoughtful, and always started the mornings with a smile on her face. Whenever I had questions about the lab, she was able to walk me through it in a way that was easy to understand. Plus, my lab reports were always given back with really pretty stickers so what more could I ask for?
  • I struggled in first year calculus; it wasn’t a subject I liked and I found it really difficult. The best part of that class was my professor. He took the time to get to know every single one of us and our interests outside of academics. Before midterms and finals, he held countless extra help sessions, even coming into school on the weekends to help us prepare! He knew I was nervous for the exam, and helped me calm down beforehand, and then checked in with me after I was done writing to see how it went. I’ve had many good professors, but I can truly say that this one went above and beyond, by both preparing me to succeed academically, and helping me navigate the transition from high school to university.

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MSU Macademics

MSU Macademics

MSU Macademics is a service that advocates to improve the quality of education and celebrate teaching excellence at McMaster.