Brock-Wide Teaching Awards

Presented annually, the Brock Teaching Awards are presented to instructors and faculty members who, in the opinion of the Brock community, have made significant contributions to the teaching and learning environment at Brock University.

Award Categories & Past Recipients

The Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching recognizes the contributions of its part-time/sessional teaching staff who contribute significantly to student learning at Brock University. Clarke Thomson is a professor emeritus who, throughout his university career, promoted the support, development, and recognition of university teaching and was Brock University’s first recipient of a national 3M teaching award (1989).

2023Teresa Hill, Child and Youth Studies
2022Natalie Spadafora, Child and Youth Studies
2021Kate Cassidy, Communications, Pop Culture, and Film
2020Neivin Shalabi, Education
2019 Kyle Rich, Recreation and Leisure Studies
2018Divya Joshi, Health Sciences
2017Nadine Brundrett, Classics
2016Andrea Bishop, Teacher Education
2015Amy Friend, Visual Arts
2014Danielle Molnar, Psychology
2013Mark Wickens, Teacher Education
2012Laura Prelipcean, MLLC
2011Giselle Whyte, Teacher Education
2010Tammy Whitaker-Campbell, Kinesiology
2009Roelof G. Makken, Economics

The Don Ursino Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Large Classes is awarded to an outstanding instructor who demonstrates commitment to the improvement of student learning in a large class. A focus on student learning might include evidence of instructional strategies that engage and motivate; innovative instruction; inquiry or problem-based learning activities; formative assessment strategies; authentic assessment practices; and a concern for student progress.

In 1991, Dr. Don Ursino was named a national 3M Teaching Award Fellow, only the second in Brock University history. The award was established to honour his legacy of engaged teaching.

2022Kate Cassidy, Communications, Pop Culture, and Film
2022David Hutchison, Education and Digital Humanities
2021Martin Dragan, Health Sciences
2020Po Ling Bork, Computer Science
2019Tim Murphy, Psychology
2018Nancy Cook, Sociology
2017Simon Black, Labour Studies
2016Nicholas Vesprini, Biological Sciences
2014Lydia Chen, Chemistry
2011Brent Faught, Madelyn Law, Health Sciences
2010John Mitterer, Psychology
2009Marilyn Cottrell, Economics
2008Hans Skott-Myhre, Child and Youth Studies

The Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty recognizes the contributions to teaching undertaken by a new faculty member who is in the first five years of a tenure-track position.

2023Chelsea Temple Jones, Child and Youth Studies
2022Priscilla Burnham Riosa, Applied Disability Studies
2022Alisa Grigorovich, Recreation and Leisure Studies
2021Valerie Michaelson, Health Sciences
2020Liz Clarke, Communications, Popular Culture and Film
2019Alex Christie, Department of Digital Humanities
2018Rebecca MacPherson, Health Sciences
2018Aleksandar Necakov, Biological Sciences
2017Jessica Clark, History
2016Robert McGray, Graduate/Undergraduate Education
2015Adam MacNeil, Health Sciences
2014Paula Gardner, Health Sciences
2013Wesley S. Helms, Marketing, International Business and Strategy
2012Hilary Brown, Teacher Education
2011Fanny Dolansky, Classics
2010Tim Murphy, Psychology
2009Mary Breunig, Recreation & Leisure Studies

Application Guidelines


Application packages should be submitted to the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) by the first Friday in November.

UPDATE: Don Ursino Award for Excellence in Teaching of Large Classes deadline has been extended to January 31, 2024. Please review the criteria and submit your application package online.


Eligibility criteria is specific to each award. For all awards, previous recipients of other teaching awards (Brock-wide or Faculty-specific) are eligible to apply, but must be nominated for the specific award in order to be considered.  Additionally, previous candidates must be re-nominated to be reconsidered for an award, provided that they still meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching. All instructors on contracts or limited-term appointments who teach undergraduate classes and who have been teaching at Brock University for two or more years are eligible.
  • Don Ursino Award for Excellence in Teaching of Large Classes. Any instructor (full-time faculty, sessional instructor, graduate student) who has taught a large class (enrollment of 100+ students) within the last academic year at Brock University is eligible. For the purposes of the award, a ‘large class’ consists of 100 or more students. However, given the diversity of enrollment in programs across the University, there may be smaller class sizes that still constitute a ‘large’ class in nature. In such cases, candidates should include a statement signed by the Department Chair, Program Director or Dean/Associate Dean as to why the classes of the nominee should be considered large by standards applicable to that Department or Program.
  • Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty. Any tenure-track faculty member at Brock University in his/her first 5 years of service is eligible. Previous recipients of other teaching awards are eligible.


Each candidate must submit an application package in the form of a dossier to the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation to be considered for an award. The dossier should not exceed 40 pages and should ideally be submitted digitally. Each page should be clearly numbered. Dossiers that are well-organized, and especially those that help the selection committee quickly find key pieces of evidence, are especially appreciated. It also means that a dossier prepared for some other purpose (teaching position, tenure, another teaching award, etc.) should be revised to fit the criteria and documentation required for the award. The same can be said of supporting letters – these should be recent and address the criteria for the award. Additionally, nominators and candidates need to bear in mind that the selection committee may not be familiar with all disciplinary or institutional norms of teaching. This means that context and a clear explanation of the significance of the achievements of the candidate should be provided, rather than simply listing the achievements. The nomination should contain pertinent evidence of achievement for each of the criteria for the award.

Candidates should include the following items in their dossier:

  • Letter of nomination from any member of the Brock University community (i.e. student, teaching assistant/seminar leader/lab demonstrate/course coordinator, colleague, administrator, staff) outlining the reason for the nomination and why the candidate meets the criteria of the award.
  • Letters of support from colleagues, students, administrators, staff, and/or others who have perspective on their teaching within the context of the award criteria.
  • Statement of teaching philosophy written by the candidate.
  • List of courses taught and enrollment figures. Provide course titles, including the level of instruction (for example, undergraduate/graduate, first year/second year, etc.); semester/date; class size; and other pertinent information. This list should be provided in a tabular format.
  • Summary of student course experience surveys including explanation or context of how ratings are collected and/or trends emerging from the ratings.
  • Brief CV (no more than 8 pages double-spaced)
  • Additional documentation pertaining to excellence in teaching. Examples of evidence may include, but is not limited to:
    • evidence of professional development in post-secondary teaching (e.g. participation in Instructional Skills Workshop, CPI-hosted teaching and learning events, Faculty/Department-specific communities of practice, professional development completed through other institutions)
    • course development/innovation efforts
    • list of teaching awards or commendations
    • examples of course material

Selection Committee and Award Presentation

All application packages will be adjudicated by a selection committee consisting of cross-Faculty representation including students, faculty/instructors, and administrators.

CPI makes all possible efforts to ensure that the selection committee for each award consists of representation from all Faculties. A nominator of a candidate for is not eligible to serve on the selection committee for the award for that year.

The selected award recipients will be recognized at CPI’s annual Tribute to Teaching event at the end of the Fall term. Each recipient will receive a framed certificate and grant. Additionally, a plaque recognizing these achievements will be displayed in CPI.

Please note that the selection committee reserves the right not to select an award recipient in any given year or to select multiple recipients.


For more information about the Brock-wide Teaching Awards or if you wish to discuss your application package, please contact a member of the Educational Development team at