Brock prof honoured with prestigious national teaching award

A Brock professor known for his influential work on bullying and civility in teaching and learning has received one of Canada’s most prestigious national teaching awards.


Zopito Marini

Zopito Marini, a developmental and educational psychologist in the department of Child and Youth Studies, is a recipient of a 2010 3M National Teaching Fellowship from 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

“Professor Marini is both an outstanding teacher and an exceptional mentor to our students. He has that rare ability to connect with students in large first-year classes as well as smaller upper-level seminars,” said Murray Knuttila, Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “He is a valued senior member of our faculty, a passionate teacher and a recognized and respected educational leader in our community.”

Marini is the ninth Brock professor to be named a 3M National Teaching Fellow. He has been at Brock for more than 25 years and was founding Chair of the department of Child and Youth Studies.

“I am extremely grateful for this award. It is not only a significant achievement for me personally, but also for the quality and scholarship of teaching at Brock,” Marini said. “For a university of our size, this is definitely a big deal. And I am honoured to share this success with other 3M Fellows and faculty at Brock who do so much to advance the quality of teaching at our University.”

Marini is a popular instructor with students and consistently receives one of the top rankings for teaching evaluations in his department. He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his students, involving them as co-presenters on scholarly presentations and co-authors on many publications.

His distinguished contributions to teaching and learning at Brock are characterized by one of the main tenets of his teaching philosophy, that “the teaching should remain long after the teacher has gone.”

One of his past student notes: “I have absolutely no doubt that the opportunities Dr. Marini provided me with as an undergraduate student have been instrumental to my career successes. I’m still extremely grateful for the fact that whenever I need a helping hand all I have to do is call or email Dr. Marini and he’s always willing to offer me guidance and assistance.”

Marini also holds a Brock Chancellor’s Chair for Teaching Excellence to support his ongoing work on the linkages between civility in the classroom and learning outcomes. In 2006 he was presented with the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award.

He is also well-known in Niagara and beyond for his expertise. He has taught educators, child-care workers and parents, and is often called upon to provide comments about social issues such as bullying, school violence and conflict prevention and resolution strategies.

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship is the only national teaching award for post-secondary education in Canada. It is given to individuals who not only excel in the teaching of their own courses but also demonstrate an exceptionally high degree of leadership and commitment to the improvement of university teaching across disciplines. A maximum of 10 awards are presented nationally each year among the 35,000 professional academics across Canada who are eligible.

Previous Brock University 3M award winners include:

  • David DiBattista (2007)
  • Lorne Adams (2004)
  • John Mitterer (2004)
  • Maureen Connolly (2003)
  • Anna Lathrop (2001)
  • Barry W. K. Joe (2000)
  • Donald Ursino (1991)
  • Clarke Thomson (1989)

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