Health Sciences members earn four Western Teaching Awards

Western's University Awards for Excellence in Teaching are the institution's highest honours for inspiring active and deep learning in students and members of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) were presented with four of the eight awards handed out in 2018. FHS members earned the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Angela Armitt Award for Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty, and the Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning. See the complete list of FHS award winners below.

Aleksandra ZecevicAleksandra Zecevic - School of Health Studies

Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching

Aleksandra Zecevic defines teaching as “the business of changing lives,” something she has done at Western for more than a decade. Teaching young undergraduate students about aging carries its own challenges, and Zecevic focuses on innovations that make gerontology courses personal and relevant. One creative example is the Empathy Lab that simulates aging challenges among young participants.

Zecevic is an educational leader and is often first to incorporate and share innovative teaching techniques. Zecevic was in the first cohort to receive Western’s Community Service Learning (CSL) Award and is mentor to colleagues designing their own CSL courses.

Students and colleagues describe her teaching as “transformative” and “inspiring.” As a formal and informal mentor to scores of students, Zecevic often goes the extra mile to make sure they are supported and encouraged.

Dave HumphreysDave Humphreys - School of Kinesiology

Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching

Professor Dave Humphreys joined the School of Kinesiology in 2011 as a limited-duties lecturer in sports injuries. Since then, he has made outstanding contributions to student learning and is admired by students, peers and community partners for his outstanding teaching. He excels at integrating class concepts with ideas and methods students have learned in other courses.

He uses innovative assessment techniques, integrates theory and practice and connects with students by offering advice beyond the classroom. Testimonials include this, from a recent graduate: “When I reflect back on my experiences at Western, I credit much of my development as a kinesiologist and clinician to the instruction of Professor Humphreys. He is a talented physiotherapist and lecturer, but his greatest asset lies in his concern to help students excel in his courses, believe in themselves and have the confidence to apply their knowledge.”

Julie TheurerJulie Theurer - School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Angela Armitt Award for Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty

Julie Theurer has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past 10 years. She has already received several accolades for teaching excellence, including as recipient of the Faculty of Health Sciences Part-Time Teaching Award of Excellence in 2006 and 2013. Her teaching philosophy bridges the gap between accumulating factual knowledge and developing clinical competence. Her students appreciate hands-on activities she incorporates into courses and the emphasis given to evidence-based practice.

Theurer uses multiple tools to enhance student engagement and learning. In addition to consistently scoring near-perfect student ratings, she also cares deeply for her students. One student wrote, “in all of my encounters with Dr. Theurer, she has always displayed a genuine care in my long-term professional growth.”

Preceptor Education Program Team MembersPreceptor Education Program

The Vice-Provost (Academic Program) Award for Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning

Anne Kinsella, Ann Bossers, Karen Ferguson, Julie Whitehead, Taslim Moosa, Susan Schurr, Ann MacPhail, Karen Jenkins, Mary Beth Bezzina, and Mike Ravenek

More than 1,000 students in the Faculty of Health Sciences enter clinics, hospitals, schools, treatment centres and private practices to take part in clinical learning experiences each year. Leaving the classroom, health care students apply skills they have learned under the close guidance of a preceptor—a practicing professional who provides experience, training and feedback to students under their supervision.

Introducing preceptors and students to learning experience of their clinical placements is a cross-disciplinary team of faculty members and staff from across the Faculty of Health Sciences who developed the fully-online Preceptor Education Program (PEP). The PEP is a vital open-access educational program that enables Western to offer a high-quality online learning experience. It allows for professional and clinical development regardless of location or time of day.