Faculty and staff honoured in Mathematics and Science celebration

The Faculty of Mathematics and Science held its second annual Celebration of Excellence recently, handing out 11 awards in six categories covering research, teaching and student experience.

“There’s no shortage of people to win these awards,” said Ejaz Ahmed, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science in opening the Jan. 21 event. “We had a hard time in selecting these people this time, like last year.

“We’re not only celebrating those amongst us, we’re not only sharing in their joy at being recognized, we are performing a service for Brock by pointing to the excellence that is here that is on par or better than what would be found at any other institution across Canada or beyond,” Brock University President Jack Lightstone told the crowd.

Sharing the Distinguished Research Award was Professor of Physics David Crandles and Professor of Mathematics Stephen Anco.

With his equipment grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Crandles was able to obtain a new X-ray machine that several departments use in their research.

Anco holds the largest NSERC grant in the Department of Mathematics. He has published 66 refereed papers – seven being published in 2015 – with an additional seven papers under review. He also co-authored two research monographs, which have received almost 900 citations to date.

The Dean’s Distinguished Scholar Award was granted to Professor of Chemistry Tomas Hudlicky, who is also Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Organic Synthesis and Biocatalysis.

His many accomplishments include: Hanus Medal Recipient; 2014 R.U. Lemieux Award Recipient by the Canadian Society for Chemistry; 2013 Ontario Partnership for Innovation and Commercialization’s Innovator of the Year award; and “The Way of Synthesis” he co-authored with Josephine Reed.

Three faculty won the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Associate Professor of Physics Thad Harroun was noted for “exemplary teaching” in PHYS 1P23/1P93, transforming the Y1 programs in physics, developing online grading tools for paperless submissions, and designing and delivering two new courses: PHYS 2P02 (Introduction to Medical Physics) and PHYS 3P02 (Cellular Physics).

Instrumental in developing the Help Centre for Brock’s mathematics program is Dorothy Levay, Instructor of Mathematics. Other accomplishments include: developing and administering the skills test to first-year students; mentoring service course instructors and ensuring quality control in courses; and being part of the team working to create an online version of MATH 1P97.

Earl Foxwell, Professor of Computer Science, is noted for his “passion for teaching” in 16 unique courses, causing students to refer to “Earl’s Degree” because of the number of courses he teaches. Students reported that Foxwell enabled them to win the SC Game Software Engineering contest against students from across North America.

Winning the Student Experience, Recruitment & Outreach Awards were:

  • Thomas Wolf, Professor of Mathematics, for starting a self-funding mathematics camp in 2014, judging and supervising projects in the Niagara Regional Science Fair, organizing the Brock Weiqi (Go) Club, helping to initiate the Accelerate Mathematics Study Stream, and creating and running the Caribou Mathematics Competition in which more than 50,000 children and young people participated in.
  • Poling Bork, Senior Laboratory Demonstrator, Computer Science, for helping to create the Scientifically Yours Scholarship that attracts high school students to Brock, mentoring students and TAs and volunteering with the Selective Mutism group

Other awards presented at the Celebration of Excellence were:

Excellence in Teaching & Student Engagement Award:

  • Lori MacNeil, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Brock University’s Math and Science Council (BUMSC)

Distinguished Staff Award:

  • Cale Fairchild, Network Systems Administrator, Computer Science

The Faculty of Mathematics and Science consists of six departments, two interdisciplinary centres, 21 undergraduate programs, 16 co-op programs, 1,722 undergraduate and 167 graduate students and 129 faculty and staff, with research funding of $4,151,877 in 2014-15.

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