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Concordia marks another year of faculty excellence

Annual celebration recognizes 13 recipients for their exceptional teaching and leadership
June 10, 2024

Concordia shone the spotlight on 13 honourees at this year’s faculty awards celebration.

The event, held at the university on May 29, featured winners of the Provost’s Circle of Distinction, Academic Leadership Awards, President’s Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Concordia University Award for Graduate Mentoring.

The Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, hosted the occasion, which recognized faculty for their innovative teaching, academic and administrative leadership, student mentorship and more.

“These honourees go above and beyond to cultivate inspiring and engaging learning environments for our students,” Concordia President Graham Carr notes. “I am proud to be celebrating their leadership and teaching excellence and thank each of them for what they offer to our university community.”

Four people — three women and one man — standing in front of a large poster and smiling for the camera From left: Anne Whitelaw, provost and vice-president, academic, Mireille Paquet, Pedro Peres-Neto and Nadia Hardy, deputy provost and vice-provost, enrolment and student experience.

Provost’s Circle of Distinction

Concordia established the Provost’s Circle of Distinction in 2008 to internally recognize faculty and librarians for awards they receive from prestigious external bodies. Examples include the Royal Society of Canada, the Governor General’s Awards, 3M National Teaching Fellowship and many others.

Mireille Paquet, associate professor of political science, was inducted as a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. She conducts innovative research on the governance of immigration and integration policies within federal regimes.

Paquet also holds the Concordia University Research Chair on the Politics of Immigration and her work focuses on the development of inclusive immigration policies that strive for justice and equity.

Pedro Peres-Neto, professor of biology was inducted as a fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He was recognized for his research in aquatic science, spatial ecology and multivariate statistics.

Peres-Neto has also shown considerable leadership and editorial service in scientific societies as well as international collaboration and outreach.

Ayhan Ince is a professor of mechanical, industrial and aerospace engineering. He was inducted as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Ince has worked at Concordia since 2017, during which time he has made considerable contributions to mechanical engineering, notably to fatigue and fracture mechanics and computational damage modelling.

A group of people, several of which holding plaques, standing indoors and smiling for the camera From left: Anne Whitelaw, provost and vice-president, academic, Noah Drew, Alex De Visscher, Lisa Ostiguy, Elizabeth Bloodgood, Kristina Huneault, vice-provost, faculty development and inclusion.

Academic Leadership Awards

Academic Leadership Awards recognize faculty who demonstrate exceptional leadership and make significant contributions to the university through formal and informal roles. They honour the devotion of faculty to Concordia’s mission through administrative accomplishments within their department, the university and the broader academic community.

Elizabeth Bloodgood, associate professor of political science, received this award for her remarkable demonstration of leadership across several contexts. She has offered her time to Concordia Senate and its Steering Committee, the Faculty Tribunal Pool, the University Appeals Board, the Merit scholarship program for foreign students and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Committee and the Vanier and Trudeau Awards Committee.

Bloodgood also served as chair of the Department of Political Science and took on the role of associate dean of faculty affairs and inclusion on short notice.

Lisa Ostiguy is a professor of applied human sciences and the former special advisor on campus life and supports. Her lengthy list of accomplishments includes helping rejuvenate the Centre for Teaching and Learning and establish the Sexual Assault Resource Centre, the Student Success Centre and the Campus Wellness and Support Centre.

Ostiguy also played a leading role in paving the way for the establishment of the university’s Equity Office, implementing a 12-week term for Concordia students and spearheading the development of the new accessibility policy.

Alex De Visscher is professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. De Visscher founded this newest department at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science in 2017 and has since contributed to its remarkable success.

Its student population has grown considerably, as has the base of diverse faculty.

De Visscher’s work to develop the department’s programs and access external funding sources has positioned Concordia as a national leader in the field.

Noah Drew, associate professor of theatre was the final recipient of this year’s Academic Leadership Awards. As chair of the Department of Theatre, Drew put tremendous energy into the development, redesign and leadership of new undergraduate and graduate programs and courses, the audition and casting processes and hybrid co-teaching models.

The selection committee also noted the substantial increase in equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility-related activities and training within the department. Drew made intentional efforts to break the silos of theatre-specific programs, enhancing collaboration with other Faculty of Fine Arts departments.

A group of people in formal dress, standing in a line and smiling for the camera From left: Concordia President Graham Carr, Matthäus Tekathen, Steven Henle, Sandra Gabriele, vice-provost, innovation in teaching and learning, Aiman Hanna and Navneet Vidyarthi.

President’s Excellence in Teaching Awards

Concordia recognizes sustained excellence in teaching by those who engage students, stimulate intellectual growth and encourage their highest achievements, inspire independent and original thinking and support a diversity of student learning needs. Five faculty were selected for this year’s President’s Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Aiman Hanna is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Hanna’s main areas of research are software security, networking and data communications and internet and e-commerce.

The selection committee highlighted his creative approach to teaching complex subjects and dedication to fostering an engaging, thought-provoking and inspiring learning environment.

His students shared that Hanna’s approach to teaching instilled confidence in their own abilities. The committee also emphasized that the academic, professional and personal impact he has had on students generated a strong sense of belonging within the engineering community and beyond.

Steven Henle is assistant professor and internship coordinator for the Department of Applied Human Sciences. He was recognized for the implementation and impact of experiential learning within his courses.

The committee was especially impressed with his ability to integrate experiential learning into eConcordia courses, which typically adhere to an asynchronous, independent learning format.

Henle has worked hard to build key partnerships with numerous internship sites to provide his students with genuine, real-world experience beyond the walls of the university.

As a lecturer for the School of Community and Public Affairs, Emily Charmaine Coon centres Indigenous pedagogy and ethics. Coon was selected for this award for her ability to navigate complex subject matter with delicacy, sensitivity and care.

The committee felt this demonstrated a deep commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

Coon brings a sophisticated level of analysis in her lessons, bridging theoretical practices with real-life events. This allows students to grasp the applicability of their studies while simultaneously encouraging them to enact change in the world around them.

Her teaching interests include interrupting settler colonialism and radically rethinking how Indigenous knowledges, stories and desire are presented in the classroom.

Matthäus Tekathen is associate professor and chair of the Department of Accountancy. His award was presented for excellence in innovative teaching. Tekathen integrated significant experiential learning components into the required introductory undergraduate course Managerial Accounting (COMM 305), which sees an annual enrollment of more than 1,500 students.

Tekathen uses evidence-based decision-making, video and Excel-supported case methods and simulation games, which is a notable shift in the program’s pedagogy. The selection committee noted how his approach facilitates the practical application of course content to real-world scenarios and equips students with essential skills for success in their future careers.

Navneet Vidyarthi is a professor of supply chain and business technology management and a respected mentor to students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He skillfully integrates experiential learning methods into his pedagogy, including the use of business cases, business simulation games and industry visits.

Vidyarthi teaches with clarity and makes sure to customize his content and make it interactive. His approach enriches students’ understanding of production and operations management theory and fosters practical skills and insights essential for future career success.

Graduate Mentoring Award

Concordia’s School of Graduate Studies selects one faculty member each year for the Concordia University Graduate Mentoring Award. The honouree is recognized for their outstanding support of one or more graduate students from course completion through research and placement.

Zeynep Arsel, professor of marketing, is the latest winner. Students praise Arsel for her extraordinary supervision, which goes well beyond expectation.

She is also an advocate for her students and ensures that they have and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. One example was getting them involved in the organization of the Consumer Culture Theory Conference at Concordia a few years ago.

Arsel supervises students at the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels, taking on a heavy workload to meet the high demand for her support. Her own publishing and knowledge dissemination record is also a model and motivation to her students — from major marketing journals to non-specialist platforms like The Conversation.

Learn more about Concordia’s Provost’s Circle of Distinction, Academic Leadership Awards and President’s Excellence in Teaching Awards.



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