Faculty of Environmental Studies Dean Barbara Rahder announced today that Mark Winfield and Robin Cavanagh have been chosen as the recipients of the third annual Dean's Teaching Award. This award recognizes excellent contributions to teaching and pedagogy in the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES).
Mark Winfield was commended for his commitment to teaching excellence through his passion and innovation within the classroom, in his role as an adviser, and in his contributions to curriculum in FES. His nominators described his courses as extremely challenging, but also extremely rewarding and inspiring. Students were eager to describe his innovations in the classroom, such as participation in mock Parliamentary Committees and projects that allow them to apply critical theoretical concepts to real world cases. They were unanimous in their opinion of him as an accessible and engaging adviser whose primary goal is to help them excel.
Robin Cavanagh was commended for his exceptional promotion of Indigenous pedagogy in FES and at York, more broadly. Robin's nominators described gathering around the sacred council fire in his newly created outdoor classroom and experiencing a sense of community that extends far beyond the norms of Western academic practice. Students were unanimous in their praise for his teaching as a uniquely transformative experience that fed their bodies and spirits, as well as their minds. Several also commented on the importance of his involvement with Aboriginal student organizations at York—providing time and space to welcome and actively listen to students.
Reviewers noted that ranking the candidates for this award was almost impossible given the remarkable differences in style and subject matter. While all five nominees were deserving, the reviewers ultimately recommended that two faculty members share the award this year.
Congratulations to Mark and Robin!
For additional coverage, see YFile» Two faculty members chosen for this year’s FES Dean’s Teaching Award