Talha Rafiq lives by the golden rule of education — teach others the way you want to be taught.
As one of the top 2018 Teaching Assistants at Brock, the master’s student in Applied Health Sciences, combines his passion for challenging subjects such as Biostatistics with interactive teaching techniques to motivate and encourage students toward success.
Rafiq received the 2018 TA Award at the recent annual TA reception held by the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI), to celebrate the important contributions to the University by teaching assistants, seminar leaders and lab demonstrators.
“I make a conscious effort to get to know my students, understand their background, and discover their strengths and weaknesses,” says Rafiq. “This process allows me to grow their enthusiasm for the course and ensures that every student leaves the lab with a sense of accomplishment.”
Other top TAs recognized for teaching excellence were:
Evans Boadi, International TA Award: Evans has been a TA since the fall of 2016 when he came to Brock from Ghana to begin a master’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics. His teaching philosophy is focused on active learning methods to provide an interactive lab experience in his classes.
Malcolm Matthews, Graduate TA Award: Malcolm has been a TA since 2012 when he began his PhD studies in Interdisciplinary Humanities. He received his doctorate in October 2017. He helps students to negotiate their way through “that variable space between the simple and the impossible” that defines the challenges of a learning journey.
Hawa Conde, Novice TA Award: Hawa uses her past experiences as a Public Health student to contribute to the development of seminar activities as a TA in the Qualitative Research in Health Sciences course. She looks to core values to guide her as a teaching assistant — namely fairness and integrity, and support and openness.
CPI also honoured close to 60 TAs who completed TA certificate programs to further develop their teaching skills this year. Over CPI’s 21-year history, more than 1,550 TAs have received TA certification.
Profiles of the 2017-18 TA Awards recipients are available online at https://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation/awards-grants/awards-showcase-2018/
Information about the annual TA Award nomination process is also available on CPI’s website at https://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation/awards-grants/ta-awards/