Celebration of Distinguished Services 2021

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Service Awards. Due to our current circumstances, we were unable to host our annual in-person ceremony this past summer. We look forward to gathering as a community when we are able to do so safely.

To all honourees, on behalf of the entire UTSC community, please accept our best wishes, gratitude and appreciation for the excellence and leadership which you demonstrate every day.

We are excited to celebrate the 2021 recipients throughout the month of November. Each week we will be highlighting and celebrating a new category of honourees. Make sure to check back throughout the month, and please join us in celebrating our distinguished colleagues!

Celebration of Distinguished Services Virtual Campaign Kick Off 2021

Teaching Awards 2021

Hear a message of congratulations from Vice Principal Academic & Dean William A. Gough as well as remarks from the 2021 Teaching Award recipients.

Join us in congratulating this year's honourees! 

 

The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Teaching Award was established by UTSC Council, the UTSC Alumni Association, and the UTSC Scarborough College Students' Union (SCSU) to recognize excellence in teaching.

Alen Hadzovic

Alen Hadzovic
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Alen Hadzovic completed his undergraduate studies in Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences at the University of Sarajevo in 1997. Upon arrival to Canada, he joined the research group of Prof. Robert Morris (UTSG) under whose supervision he obtained his PhD in 2006. After two years of postdoctoral work with Prof. Datong Song, in 2009 he started as a sessional lecturer at the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. In 2011, Alen became a full-time teaching faculty member. Among his other relevant accomplishments he has received the UofT Early Career Teaching award (2016), inaugural UTSC Assistant Professor teaching award (2016) as well as Jackman Humanities institute Scholar-in-Residence (2018) and Kress Foundation Scholarships (2018). 

Douglas Kong

Douglas Kong
Department of Management

Douglas Kong is an Associate Professor of the Teaching Stream and he teaches courses on various topics in Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Governance and Strategies. Doug holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and also a CPA CMA designation. Doug is the Academic Co-Director of the Master of Accounting and Finance program. He works closely with the CPA to facilitate for their PREP and PEP programs. Doug also has a diverse industry experience ranging from the consumer-packaged goods, telecom, distribution and lumber. Over the years, Doug has sat on numerous boards in both private and public company settings.

Messages of Congratulations to the 2021 recipients from their Department Chairs:

This announcement is the “cherry on top” of an exceptional year for our department in the midst of the most difficult period to deliver our academic programs……I am thrilled to let you know that Alen Hadzovic is the recipient of the UTSC Associate and Full Professors Award. His nomination package provided overwhelming evidence that he is one of the most charismatic educators at the University of Toronto. Professor Hadzovic joined the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences in 2011 as a lecturer, and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Teaching stream in 2016. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to our teaching enterprise, he received the highly prestigious University of Toronto, Early Career Teaching Award. His portfolio amply shows that he is an all-around superlative educator with impeccable record in novel teaching practices; mastery, currency, and breadth of undergraduate teaching; educational scholarship; faculty and student mentorship; outreach; and enthusiastic student comments. In short, he has been an invaluable asset to our Department and this campus.  Congratulations Alen!! We are incredibly proud of your success and look forward to your future academic endeavours! - George Arhonditsis

Professor Kong has worked very hard to provide meaningful opportunities to help students to understand the importance of a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion in any organization, how that affects the accounting profession, and to understand what is being done from an organizational perspective to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.  In addition, he has created an environment where students can be engaged in rigorous learning with new content that is aligned to skills focused on the future of work without adding extra stress for the student as a result of his constant patience and encouragement as well as by using novel approaches in his teaching such as gamification. Professor Kong has also been active in promoting student-faculty and community interactions, including a tax clinic to help Scarborough restaurant owners with the paperwork for tax supports during the pandemic which have supported both our students and communities even during COVID.   Professor Kong’s work is not just important and timely, but shows how to truly inspire inclusive excellence among our students, and our broader community.  - April Franco

 

This award is intended for UTSC Assistant Professors (Teaching stream, Tenure stream and contractually limited term appointments) and part time Lecturers who already have taught at least two years at the time of their nomination for the award.

Kosha Bramesfeld

Kosha Bramesfeld
Department of Psychology

Kosha Bramesfeld, PhD (she/her) is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, with the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Kosha teaches courses in research methods and social psychology. She also runs the Authentic Learning Lab (ALL) where she works in partnership with students to create and evaluate experiential learning tools designed to engage students in authentic learning experiences. Her pedagogical and research interests focus on experiential and game-based learning, especially as it applies to teaching about the psychology of privilege and oppression from an intersectional lens. She is also interested in educational development and teaching with technology.

Obidimma Ezezika

Obidimma Ezezika
Department of Health & Society

Obidimma Ezezika is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream at the University of Toronto in the Department of Health & Society (Scarborough Campus) and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (St. George Campus). He is the Founding Director and Principal Investigator of the Global Health & Innovation Lab: an Implementation Science research and education initiative on the systematic uptake of evidence-based interventions into routine practice in global health. The lab has trained scores of graduate and undergraduate students and led to several award-winning pedagogical interventions. He is the inaugural recipient of the University of Toronto Global Educator Award, recognizing faculty members who embody its global mission and profile, and the recipient of several international awards, including the Next Einstein Award and the D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning.

Bettina von Lieres

Bettina von Lieres
Department of Global Development Studies

I am an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Global Development at UTSC. I teach mainly undergraduate courses in the field of critical citizenship studies. My teaching is inspired by my experiences as a democracy educator in South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle. My classrooms are sites for inclusive and democratic citizenship. I am deeply committed to building ethical globally networked learning environments (GNLEs) in my classrooms so that students across contexts can learn from each other during these critical times. I am now working on a multi-year program that I call the Global Classroom for Democracy Innovation, offering semester-long learning, professional skills development, and activation opportunities within curricula and co-curricula, to students in Canada and Southern Africa. I am currently the co-chair of Teaching, Training and Mentoring Committee in the SSHRC-funded global Participedia research network (participedia.net).

Messages of Congratulations to the 2021 recipients from their Department Chairs: I am delighted to congratulate Professor Bramesfeld on this highly deserved recognition of her stellar contributions to teaching and learning at UTSC.  Professor Bramesfeld is an outstanding educator, whose passion for teaching is reflected in her pedagogical innovations (both inside and outside the classroom), and the resulting quality of student experience she provides.  With a focused lens on inclusive and evidence-based best practices, Professor Bramesfeld is helping to evolve undergraduate education both within Psychology and beyond. - Suzanne Erb

Dr. Ezezika is a treasured colleague who consistently demonstrates all the best traits of a work-class teacher, scholar, and leader. Students and colleagues consistently share their respect and admiration for the pedagogical scholar and professionalism Dr. Ezezika brings to every aspect of his work. Dr. Ezezika’s outstanding work in global health and implementation science is not only commendable, it is innovative and inspiring. A very warm congratulations to you Obidi! - Michelle Silver

I am so pleased and excited that Bettina’s pedagogical efforts are being recognized with this teaching award. Throughout her time with CCDS. Bettina has been a model citizen, a wonderfully effective and caring university teacher, and a pedagogical leader within both our centre and within UTSC, especially with respect to her own academic and pedagogical expertise in the areas of democratic, participatory, and local/global community-engagement pedagogy and she parallels this with a remarkable drive and skill for initiating and facilitating collaborative work. Her classrooms are wonderfully conducive and uplifting learning spaces for students, and she creates lots of space for student to voice their own ideas and experiences so as to make them ‘feel part of something’. Bettina has also made groundbreaking and dynamic progress in the enormously time-consuming area of community engagement pedagogy and she has also become a pioneering leader within the university with respect to the use of global classroom technologies and the careful crafting of global collaborations to facilitate their use. Congratulations. This award is so richly deserved! - Paul Kingston

This award has been established for CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Course Instructors and Unit 3 Sessional Lecturers with experience at UTSC.

Kathy Wallace

Kathy Wallace
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Kathy Wallace is a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) with over 20 years experience in consulting and the management of contaminated sites. A passion for teaching and mentoring young professionals led her to leave consulting to complete a PhD in Environmental Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her field research took her to interesting places along the Niagara Escarpment, northern Ontario and internationally to the Dead Sea rift, Iceland, and Alaska. Dr. Wallace is currently a Sessional lecturer at UTSC in the graduate department of the department of Physical and Environmental Sciences teaching courses such as Brownfields Redevelopment and Environmental Regulations. Kathy’s other passion is hiking the Bruce Trail and speaking to local citizen’s groups about the Niagara Escarpment.

Message of Congratulations to the 2021 recipient from her Department Chair:

I am thrilled to let you know that Kathy Wallace is the recipient of the UTSC Unit 3 Sessional Lecturers Award. Kathy’s record is impressive with respect to the high volume of courses she has been responsible for (Brownfields Redevelopment-EES1129, Environmental Project Management-EES1124, Environmental Regulations- EES1123, Environmental Science Field Camps I and II- EESC16/D07, Environmental Impact Assessment and Auditing- EESC13, and Professional Development Seminars in Geoscience- EESD19), the creativity in course design and assessment methods, and her strong commitment to student learning. In particular, she has been receiving rave reviews for her high quality work with the course “Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science” EES1100/2200; one of the pillars of our graduate programs in Environmental Sciences. The students are highly appreciative of her ability to integrate foundational concepts with “real-life” examples drawn from her 20+years of experience from the industry. It is almost impossible to find an instructor with such a diverse and uniquely rich experience coupled with a robust theoretical foundation gained from her life-long commitment to learning and education. Congratulations Kathy!! We will be forever grateful for your deep engagement in our students’ professional development, mentorship, and guidance both formally and informally. - George Arhonditsis

This award has been established for CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Course Instructors and Unit 3 Sessional Lecturers with experience at UTSC.

Michelle Amri

Michelle Amri
Department of Health

Society Michelle Amri is a doctoral candidate in public health and an impressive educator. Her nomination was strongly endorsed by students and Teaching Assistants, with a total of 28 letters.  These letters praised her dedication, passion, enthusiasm, and competence. Her clear and engaging lectures demonstrate deep knowledge, and she cultivates an inclusive environment that fosters curiosity and discussion. Michelle’s approachable, genuine, and kind nature; her interest in student success and well-being through mentorship of students and TAs; and her support for those with personal challenges were also highlighted. Michelle inspired many students to pursue further studies and work in the area.

Natashya Falcone

Natashya Falcone
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Natashya Falcone recently completed her PhD at the University of Toronto under Professor Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. Her research focused on developing peptide-based hydrogel biomaterials for a wide range of bioapplications. Throughout PhD studies she was a teaching assistant of many chemistry and biological chemistry courses. She loves coming to her tutorials or labs ready to inspire the next generation of scientists. She was the recipient of the DPES Teaching assistant award and the UTSC teaching assistant award. She then received the opportunity to be the Course Instructor of the Biochemistry course in which she loved the content and came to every lecture excited to teach it. She is very grateful to be recognized with the Course Instructor award.

Hamish Russell

Hamish Russell
Department of Philosophy

Hamish is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy. His doctoral research is on role morality: the rights and obligations we take on in our various social and professional roles. Prior to coming to Toronto for his PhD, Hamish studied philosophy, politics, and economics in his home country of New Zealand. Alongside his teaching and research, Hamish has been active in worker and student organising on campus, serving as Chair of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3902, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union.

Messages of Congratulations to the 2021 recipients from their Department Chairs:

Dr. Amri is a remarkable Instructor for the Department of Health and Society. Dr. Amri has been a tireless advocate for her students, connecting students with various supports, and implementing valuable pedagogical techniques. We are so pleased she is the recipient of a 2021 Teaching Award in the Unit 1 Course Instructor category. A very warm congratulations to you Michelle! - Michelle Silver

I am thrilled to let you know that Natashya Falcone is the recipient of the UTSC Unit 1 Course Instructor Award. Natashya has been one of the most popular Teaching Assistants and now Course Instructors in our department for several years. She was responsible for one of the most challenging chemistry courses last semester- Introduction to Biochemistry (CHMB62H3). Her ability to design and deliver the course is truly exceptional! She received rave reviews about her teaching style, approachability, mentoring abilities, and infectious enthusiasm about her subject area. Her impressive nomination package provided overwhelming evidence that she is setting the brightest standard as an emerging all-around charismatic educator. Her unwavering commitment to teaching was supported by all the documents and enthusiastically reflected in the endorsement letters submitted by colleagues and students. Congratulations Natashya!! You are an immensely deserving recipient of this award. - George Arhonditsis

Hamish Russell’s teaching in philosophy stands out for innovative course design and exceptional caring for student experience.  He has focused on the challenges of teaching philosophy – such as balancing open and free class discussion with helping students develop critically examined beliefs and respectful, rational argumentative skills; and fostering skills for writing clear analytical essays.  Hamish is especially dedicated to helping students get the most out of their classes academically while supporting their experience through course design that is inclusive and fosters finding and expressing their voices.  To this end, he has innovated an original class design where the first half of each class is devoted to student discussion of material introduced in the previous class or week.  This staggered approach allows Hamish to put class participation and discussion first in each class so students find their voices – but this is after the material has been introduced and explained in the previous class so that students have time to think about difficult concepts and arguments before participating in discussion.  This is just one excellent example of the original problem-solving that Hamish has put into his course designs.  Hamish’s emphasis on inclusive course design is also clear in the course readings: (1) through the choice of topics, which balance foundational issues in political theory with more contemporary political problems and issues; and (2) the inclusion of philosophers from underrepresented groups.  In short, as student teaching evaluations make clear, Hamish Russell is a superior teacher of political philosophy who is especially caring, kind, and attentive to students’ needs and challenges. - Sonia Sedivy

This award has been established for Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) who have taught at UTSC in at least two different terms and have taught in at least one of the terms of the 2019/2020 academic year (Summer 2019, Fall 2019 or Winter 2020 sessions).

Sadia Riaz

Sadia Riaz
Department of Psychology

I am a fifth year PhD candidate and have been a TA at UTSC for the last 9 years with the departments of Psychology and Physical and Environmental Sciences. I am extremely honored to be receiving the UTSC Teaching Award.

My teaching philosophy is rooted in creating a conducive learning space for students, and clarity in presenting ideas and expectations. My ultimate pedagogical goal is to give students the tools to be able to interact with learnt information in novel ways.

Besides teaching, I enjoy analyzing data, spending time with my cat, family and friends, reading and walks.

Shane Sookhan

Shane Sookhan
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

I am a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences who focuses on developing experiential learning opportunities that teach students tangible, real-world applicable skills. My work is highlighted by the provincially and institutionally funded Planet Earth Online project that uses a series of virtual field trips, interactive timelines, and virtual reality-based activities to create an online guide to Ontario’s natural environment and acts as an accessible gateway to environmental learning for our diverse student body. I look forward to developing new educational material and I’m grateful for this award and the recognition of my work.

Messages of Congratulations to the 2021 recipients:

Sadia has worked as a TA in many psych and chemistry courses and I have had the privilege of working with her in our neuroanatomy lab course for a number of years. As I like to remind my current students, many of the graduate TAs for this course have also been students in the course themselves not that long ago. Sadia is one of these individuals and she serves as an excellent role model of student success. Sadia performs her role at an exemplary level and she demonstrates many of the attributes we all seek in our TAs. She is extremely organized, detail oriented, approachable and empathetic to the needs of students. She has an ability to summarize complex material simply. In neuroanatomy many students have difficulty moving between 2D and 3D samples and Sadia excels at assisting students in understanding this. In addition, Sadia has demonstrated her personal commitment to teaching by completing additional teaching certificates. Sadia shares her knowledge and her experiences widely with our NROB60 team and I feel honoured to have worked with her over these years. Congratulations Sadia!! - Janelle Leboutillier

I am thrilled to let you know that Shane Sookhan is the recipient of the UTSC Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Shane has been one of the most valuable Teaching Assistants in the history of our department!! Our desire to see him recognized is not only due to his work with several critical courses for our programs, such as EESD20 and EES1106 (Geological history of North America) and EESC31 (Glacial Geology), but also for his stellar contribution to EESA06 (Planet Earth). The latter course attracts nearly 2,000 students every year. Based on a unique combination of thought-provoking lectures, virtual labs, and videos, our students partake in a global field trip that has proven to be a highly attractive introduction to our programs. I also cannot praise enough Shane’s contributions to the development of remote learning tools and his overall support to our teaching enterprise this year. It is exceptional for a graduate student to be given such administrative responsibilities, while still deeply engaged in his scholarly work. Congratulations Shane!! Thank you for all your great work! - George Arhonditsis

These awards are for undergraduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) who have taught at UTSC in at least two different terms and have taught in at least one of the terms of the 2019/2020 academic year (Summer 2019, Fall 2019 or Winter 2020 sessions). 

Nick Huang

Nick Huang
Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences

My name is Nick (Zhiyong) Huang, a recent graduate from the University of Toronto St. George, interested in post-secondary educational research in mathematics. When teaching mathematics, I am working to adapt the four-phased method introduced by George Pólya. "What is the definition?" is the first question I will always ask when looking at a mathematical problem. Learning mathematics requires the efforts from both the student and the teacher. The teacher will offer paths to students and keep them highly motivated on the way, but the students should be responsible for their own studies at the same time.

Message of Congratulations to the 2021 recipient:

Nick has a passion for teaching and dedication to his students' learning. He made an excellent contribution to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment for CMS students, especially in such difficult times. Congratulations Nick! Well deserved! May this success lead you to higher achievements in the years ahead. - Camelia Karimian Pour  

Graduate Research Awards 2021

Hear a message of congratulations from Vice Principal Academic & Dean William A. Gough as well as remarks from the 2021 Graduate Student Research Award recipients.

Join us in congratulating this year's honourees!

 

 

The Graduate Student Research Award recognizes excellence in graduate student research and leadership in the U of T Scarborough community by offering two awards annually, one for a master’s student and one for a doctoral student.

Shane Sookhan

Shane Sookhan
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Level

A PhD student at the University of Toronto where I am developing a variety of spatial analytical techniques to reassess and depict the history of past glaciations from their geomorphic footprint. Ancient ice sheets have left behind a distinct assemblage of landforms across Canada that I’ve mapped from LiDAR-derived elevation imagery by developing and using new machine learning-based techniques. We’ve found that ice streams, which are episodic events driving deglaciation in modern ice sheets, were common in North America and we’re analysing their role in the formation of our landscapes to better understand how they’re triggered and sustained.
 

Alexander Corbett

Alexander Lucien Corbett
Department of Chemistry     
Master's Level

Alexander grew up in the Shuswap valley of southern British Columbia where he fell in love with forests and would frequently go hiking to spend time trying to design crazy and impossible machines and materials. He graduated from UBC with Honours in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology having done research attempting to separate subpopulations of extracellular vesicles and characterise them by single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Afterwards, the promise of interdisciplinary work spanning chemistry, microbiology, pharmaceutical science, and materials engineering in developing a photothermally-responsive drug delivery system convinced him to move to Toronto during the Covid-19 pandemic to pursue graduate studies. When not in the lab he's normally out cross-country skiing, orienteering, or making a colossal―albeit temporary―mess of his kitchen.

Messages of Congratulations to the 2021 recipients: 

Shane Sookhan is an outstanding example of the value of the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences aim of enhancing interdisciplinarity in teaching and research. A computer scientist and mathematician by training, he has developed innovative spatial analysis and machine learning skills now being widely used by environmental scientists. He is at the forefront of the current generation and is widely known in the international research community through several high impact senior-authored journal papers and his superb conference presentations. He is an excellent role model for students and notably has also been recognized and awarded both at the Departmental and campus levels, for his service as a teaching assistant. Shane is always eager to share his skills and knowledge with others, and his friends and colleagues, both faculty and students alike, take great pleasure in his UTSC Graduate Award. - Nicholas Eyles, Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences 

Alex’s research contributions to the group is nothing short of substantial. In no time, he has designed a hybrid hydrogel antimicrobial platform capable of an on demand, sequential drug delivery. He is a burgeoning scholar with a strong potential to contribute to any field he will pursue. - Ruby Sullan, Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences 

Research Awards 2021

Hear a message of congratulations from Vice-Principal Research & Innovation Irena Creed as well as remarks from the 2021 Research Award recipients.

Join us in congratulating this year's honourees!
 

This award is the premier UTSC research award for all tenured faculty who have compiled a distinguished record of nationally and internationally recognized, impactful research and scholarly activity, achieving pre-eminence in their field.

Nick Mandrak

Nick Mandrak
Department of Biological Sciences

Professor Mandrak is committed to the conservation of freshwater fishes as a researcher and the mentoring of the next generation of conservationists as a graduate supervisor and as the Director of the Conservation and Biodiversity stream of the UTSC MEnvSci program. He is a noted authority of the freshwater fishes of Canada, and his research laboratory examines the underlying drivers of, and human impacts on, freshwater fish biodiversity. This research supports the development and implementation of conservation policies to protect and restore endangered fish populations and to manage the impacts of invasive fishes.

“It is an honour to receive the Principal’s Research Award. I thank Principal Tettey and my nominators. My research program is made possible by the academic support and excellence of my faculty colleagues, collaborators, and students, and, most importantly, the unceasing support of my family. Thank you.” - Nick Mandrak

This award recognizes and encourages the research activities and achievements of tenured professorial faculty members within two years post-tenure granted at UTSC.

Adrian Nestor

Adrian Nestor
Department of Psychology

Dr. Nestor is a cognitive neuroscientist whose research targets neural and computational aspects of visual recognition as well as the development of novel methods for the analysis and interpretation of neuroimaging data. A significant part of his research is devoted to the reconstruction of visual experience (i.e., “mind reading”), as related to visual perception, memory and imagery, in the study of reading and face recognition. His work on neural-based communication evinces noteworthy theoretical and practical (e.g., neuroethical) implications.

 

This award recognizes outstanding and innovative world class researchers whose accomplishments have made a major impact in their fields.

Lucan Way

Lucan Way
Department of Political Sciences

Lucan Ahmad Way is Professor of Political Science at UTSC. His research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union and beyond.   He initially became interested in political transitions when he joined one of the first independent discussion clubs in Moscow as a Russian language student in the late 1980s and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. 

Way has completed three books: Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky), published in 2010 with Cambridge University Press; Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics, published by Johns Hopkins in 2015; and Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism that is forthcoming with Princeton University Press.  Way also has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Journal of Democracy, Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Society, Slavic Review, Studies in Comparative and International Development, World Politics, as well as in a number of area studies journals and edited volumes. His 2005 article in World Politics was awarded the Best Article Award in the “Comparative Democratization” section of the American Political Science Association in 2006. He is Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and is Co-Chair of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Democracy. He has held fellowships at Harvard University (Harvard Academy and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies), and the University of Notre Dame (Kellogg Fellowship). 
 

"My work has focused on the evolution of authoritarianism in the world since 1900.  This research has engaged with classic questions of democracy and dictatorship in the 20th century and helped reframed public discourse about the nature of threats facing democracy in the world today.  

I am best known for my work on the emergence of hybrid democratic-authoritarian rule. Traditionally, democracy and dictatorship have been understood as strictly dichotomous.  Autocracies have been seen as systems led by unelected militaries or vanguard parties that engage in widespread violence, and crackdowns on any forms of dissent. However, the end of the Cold War saw the widespread emergence of a new type of regime in countries like Hungary, Peru, Serbia, Nigeria, and Ukraine that were characterized both by genuinely competitive elections and extensive authoritarian abuse, including thug attacks on opposition, as well as more subtle, legal forms of manipulation.  In such cases, competition is real but highly unfair. 

To describe these cases, Professor Steven Levitsky (Harvard University) and I conceived a new regime type – competitive authoritarianism – in which autocrats submit to meaningful multiparty elections but engage in serious democratic abuse.   The concept was the basis for a book, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War that was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. At more than 4000 Google Scholar citations, the book is one of the most widely cited books on political regimes published in this century. The term “competitive authoritarianism” is now routinely used by scholars, practitioners, and journalists. The concept stimulated dozens of new research projects on the dynamics of competitive authoritarian and other hybrid regimes in the post-Cold War era.  More than 70 scholarly pieces have “competitive authoritarianism” in their titles.  Competitive authoritarianism has been discussed in The New York Times, Washington Post, as well as Politico, Vox, The Globe and Mail and The Financial Times. 

The research has gained particular attention in the wake of recent threats to democracy in the United States and Europe. One major contribution has been to show how democracy can be fundamentally compromised even without obvious civil liberties violations or electoral fraud. Frequently, autocrats such as Viktor Orban in Hungary have argued that they are democratic because their governments have not engaged in the violent suppression of opposition. However, my work has helped scholars, policymakers and journalists to understand how democracy can be threatened in even when competitive elections remain in place and there is little or no violence against opposition or independent media. .  Leaders can create an “uneven playing field” by using administrative powers to strengthen their party and systematically deny the opposition access to crucial resources, media or state institutions. Thus, Orban has virtually eliminated opposition media not by arresting journalists but by creating a highly uneven playing field – using privileged access to state advertising and bank loans to starve media critical of the government. My work has thrown light on such ambiguous but critical threats to democracy in the world today.  

My research has also explored the sources of democratic political competition in “hard cases” characterized by state weakness, low levels of economic development, and a dearth of democratic traditions. Indeed, despite recent democratic backsliding, there remain numerous surprising cases of democratic persistence – including Malawi, Moldova, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, and Zambia.   I show that many contemporary autocrats lack the institutional capacity to eliminate opposition and to maintain the internal cohesion required for the consolidation of stable authoritarian rule. In such cases, pluralism emerges not from a particularly strong civil society, powerful institutions or democratically minded leaders but is instead rooted in state weakness and underdeveloped ruling parties. Based on an award-winning article in World Politics, the top journal in Comparative Politics, my book, Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Emergence of Political Competition, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2015.  

Most recently, I have completed a book with Steven Levitsky, Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism, that is forthcoming with Princeton University Press. Revolution and Dictatorship seeks to explain the durability of dictatorships born of violent social revolution, such as China, Cuba, Iran and the USSR. Drawing on comparative historical analysis, the book argues that radical efforts to transform the social and geopolitical order trigger intense counter-revolutionary conflict, which initially threatens regime survival but ultimately fosters the elite cohesion and state-building that undergirds durable authoritarianism.   This work, which was recently covered in The New York Times, explains why revolutionary regimes like the Islamic Republic of Iran are often able to survive despite deep economic crises, extraordinary external pressure, and mass protest." - Lucan Way

This award recognizes and encourages the outstanding research activities and achievements of early career faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Brett Ford

Brett Ford
Department of Psychology

Brett Q. Ford is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and the director of the Affective Science & Health Laboratory. She completed her doctoral training in social-personality from the University of California, Berkeley after receiving her B.A. in psychology and M.A. in social-personality psychology from Boston College. Brett’s research examines what people believe about emotions and how people manage their emotions. Her research uses diverse methods and interdisciplinary approaches to consider the benefits and the costs of striving to feel good.

 

 Stefano Aretakis

Stefanos Aretakis
Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Aretakis is a mathematical physicist with influential contributions to the understanding of the dynamics and instability mechanisms of black holes as well as conservation laws in general relativity. His mathematically rigorous work has had a significant impact on the physics community in view of its recognized potential for experimental applications. Recent computer simulations have shown that Aretakis' discoveries can provide new ways to detect black holes enlarging in this way the tools used by gravitational-wave detectors. In 2016 he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship in Mathematics. He is the author of two books.  

 Urvashi Chakravarty

Urvashi Chakravarty
Department of English

Urvashi Chakravarty is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto and works on early modern English literature, critical race studies, queer studies, and slavery and servitude in early modern England and the Atlantic world. Her first book, Fictions of Consent: Slavery, Servitude, and Free Service in Early Modern England, will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in March 2022, and her second book, currently in progress, is titled From Fairest Creatures: Race, Reproduction, and Slavery in the Early Modern British Atlantic World. Her articles on early modern race, sexuality, kinship, gender, family, labour, and slavery appear or are forthcoming in Renaissance Quarterly, English Literary RenaissanceShakespeare Quarterly, Literature Compass, the Journal of Early Modern Cultural StudiesSpenser Studiespostmedieval, and the edited collections The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race, Shakespeare/Sex: Contemporary Readings in Gender and Sexuality, and Queering Childhood in Early Modern English Drama and Culture.

This prize is supported by the Library and the VPRI office to recognize the research and creative activities of undergraduates and their overall contribution to UTSC, and illustrate the role of the library in the research process.

Ching Lam Jane Lui

Ching Lam Jane Lui
Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences
 

My research project involves synthesizing a review article about decoding bacterial adhesion one molecule at a time. The hallmark of this article is its comprehensiveness of different single-molecule techniques and the important biomedical and environmental implications derived from these studies, ranging from medicine to dentistry, agriculture to food safety, heavy industries to the marine environment. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on biofilm-related problems. Given that biofilm is one of the root causes that can escalate into a severe disease, probing bacterial adhesion at a single-molecule level facilitates the mechanistic understanding of biofilm formation, which will guide the development of antifouling coatings and anti-adhesion therapies. From gathering literature articles to articulating my research in a well-constructed manner, this resulted in a successful completion of the review article, which will be published in the journal –  Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. I am currently working as a NSERC-USRA researcher in Professor Ruby Sullan’s lab. In the coming fall, I will be starting my journey as an incoming dental student.  
 

Jeffrey Liu

Jeffrey Chien Chiang Liu
Department of Historical and Cultural Studies

I'm a recently graduated student who specialized in History and minored in Global Asian studies. My project, "Confronting Hybridity: The “Eurasian Problem” in Colonial India," was written as apart of HISD14, Dr. William Nelson's seminar course tilted "Biopolitics in Modern Europe". It explores the issue of racial hybridity in the British Raj, analyzing historical sources on colonial anxieties surrounding the plight of the Anglo-Indian population in order to explicate how the presence of "mixed-race" population unsettled colonial power structures and the construction of race. I completed my undergraduate studies in the winter semester, but continue to work as a researcher on the Feeding the City project where I research the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Toronto's food system. In the fall, I will commence my JD degree at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law.

 Rajpreet Sidhu

Rajpreet Sidhu
Centre for Critical Development Studies

During the Maoist Civil War, 1300 to 1500 individuals were disappeared by the Nepali state and the Maoist army, while the families of the disappeared are still living without knowing the fate of their family members. Since it is difficult to provide evidence relating to these disappearances, the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted. There has been a lack of coordinated public memorialization processes and a lack of effective transitional justice institutions on the part of the Nepali state on behalf of the victims and their families. In this thesis, I demonstrate how the social media platform Instagram has emerged as an alternative site of memory-making. I conduct a reflective thematic analysis of 28 Instagram posts, utilizing NVivo to understand the curation methods used in the Instagram posts. I also examine how gender, ethnicity, and caste influence how disappeared individuals are memorialized on Instagram. Specifically, I completed 31 textual analyses of the captions and I provide a visual analysis of 57 images from the Instagram posts. My thematic analysis demonstrates how public memorialization on Instagram allows for bottom-up memory-making to occur through the translation of memories from the familial scale to the national collective scale. These posts are published by non-profits, photo collectives, and media, who are sharing the stories of the families and are keeping the memory of the disappeared alive in the public realm through Instagram and decentering the state and international actors. Regarding transitional justice, the families want to know the fate of their disappeared relatives, and there should be the implementation of long-term mental health support and financial compensation at the local level. I am planning to publish my thesis in an undergraduate journal and will share it widely with Nepali newspapers and possibly publish a long-form article. Currently, I am working at a local market garden and will be starting a position with Parks Canada in the visitor use management department.

Principal's Awards 2021

Hear a message of congratulations from Principal Wisdom Tettey as well as remarks from the 2021 Principal's Award recipients.

Join us in congratulating this year's honourees!

 

The Accomplished Service Excellence Award recognizes employees in managerial roles who have demonstrated exceptional leadership competencies, resulting in continuing high quality outcomes in their areas of responsibility that make a measurable, demonstrable impact beyond their particular units.  

Holly Yuen

Holly Yuen
Campus Safety Operations

Holly’s commitment to promoting and supporting a safe and healthy campus has been exceptional during her 11 years leading the UTSC Environmental Health & Safety team. Her innovative and collaborative approach with campus partners in research, teaching, operations and student life has inspired numerous risk management and emergency preparedness initiatives. These include the contractor safety program, lab coat laundry facility, hazard reporting system, allergy awareness campaign, hazardous materials inventories and emergency equipment programs. 

Throughout the pandemic, Holly played a vital role on the Emergency Response/Operational Recovery Team, providing expertise and advising the UTSC executive team. Her knowledgeable and calm leadership is a source of continuous resilience in managing campus incidents and emergencies.

Holly worked in government, consulting, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries prior to working at UofT. She holds an HBSc in Toxicology and an MHSc in Occupational & Environmental Health.
 

Susan Soikie

Susan Soikie
Arts and Science Co-op

Susan Soikie’s career spans both the post-secondary and nonprofit sectors, focusing on providing, developing and enhancing co-operative education, work integrated learning and career services. Susan has served as the Director of Arts & Science Co-op at the University of Toronto Scarborough since July 2016.  In this role, she is responsible for the strategic oversight of co-op services for close to 3,000 students and leading a team of 35 staff. Susan has served on various boards and currently serves on the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada Board of Directors. Susan holds an MA in Counselling Psychology from OISE/UT, and a BA from McMaster University.

Messages of Congratulations for the 2021 Accomplished Service Excellence Award Recipients:

I am truly delighted that Holly’s contributions at UTSC are being recognized with this award. Holly has been crucial in navigating our campus through the pandemic with her extensive knowledge of health and safety. I have had the pleasure of working with Holly for over ten years, in which she has built a campus-wide reputation for her approachability and problem solving. She has been proactive in streamlining new health and safety initiatives and programs at our rapidly growing campus. Holly has always shown a great deal of calmness, tact and professionalism in educating our staff, students and faculty on the importance of occupational health and safety. She is a true leader, and this award is so well deserved. Congratulations Holly – thank you for all your great work over the years!

- Dennis Cole, Manager, Maintenance and Carpentry
 

I was delighted to collaborate with Prof. Katherine Larson, Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs at UTSC and Vicki Lowes, Director, Experiential Learning and Outreach Support at the St. George campus to nominate Susan Soikie for the Principal’s Accomplished Service Excellence Award.  We nominated Susan for many reasons including her commitment to her department and team, inclusivity, collaboration, strategic vision and student success.  She approaches challenges with positivity and open discussion, always thinking creatively to find inclusive and innovative solutions with the best interests of all University of Toronto stakeholders at the forefront.  She forges valuable collaborations across all three campuses, including being the inaugural Chair of the Tri-Campus Co-op Partnership Executive Committee.  As a key member on the CEWIL (Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated-Learning) national association Board of Directors, Susan consistently demonstrates her commitment to enhancing the quality of work-integrated-learning not only at the University of Toronto, but also nationally.  Congratulations to Susan on this well-deserved honour! 

- Alison Kuepper (she/her), Director, Tri-Campus Co-op Partnership​​​​​​​

The Inclusive Excellence Service Award, previously known as the Leadership in Service Excellence Award, recognizes staff members who, as individuals or as a team, have demonstrated consistent commitment to supporting the vision and values of the campus through their dedication to duty and the quality of service that they provide to the UTSC community, thereby enabling faculty, staff and/or students to experience an excellent, inclusive, healthy working and learning environment. 

Manaal Hussain

Manaal Hussain
Department of Arts, Culture and Media

Manaal Hussain is a Program Manager at Dept. of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Social Justice Education, and continually brings her learning to her work in the department. She is keen on developing both curricular and co-curricular programming that is relevant and meaningful for our student body; and brings a lot of dedication and passion to the work. She is truly honored to be recognized for this award, and is thankful particularly  for her ACM family for always supporting her.

Message of Congratulations to the 2021 Inclusive Service Excellence Award Recipient:

Manaal Hussain is the Arts, Culture and Media Department’s superpower for her ability to provide curricular support to eight varied programs in her role as Program Manager. In all of her day-to-day exchanges, Manaal puts the Department’s core values of transformative equity into action. She stands out recently as a key contributor to two EDI strategies and initiatives: the Modern Day Griot Project, a program designed to support Black UTSC students to grow the skills to showcase the strength and beauty of Black communities, and ACM’s anticipated new Certificate in Transformative Equity in Arts and Equity (TEAM), which will see students come together to experience a self-reflective journey focused on building an equity-centered professional identity. Thank you Manaal and a very warm congratulation on this award. - Marla Hlady, Associate Professor, Department of Arts, Culture and Media

The D.R. Campbell Merit Award was established by the Students’ Council in order to provide recognition for individuals who make a significant contribution to the improvement of the quality of life at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). Selection is made by a committee consisting of faculty, staff, and students.

Bisma Ali

Bisma Ali
Program of Health Studies

Bisma is a 4th year student at the UTSC who is pursuing Health Studies and a minor in Biomedical Ethics. She is very passionate about health equity, and her academic and extracurricular work focuses on lowering barriers to healthcare access. Her passions led her to become the founder and President of the UofT Health Humanities Student Society (UofT HHSS), where her club and its' members explore and advocate for the lived health experiences of diverse groups, including women's health, Indigenous health, health in disability, and racialized health. Bisma is passionate about health humanities, and has promoted its advancement within the broader University and external community, through various initiatives organized by her club. Alongside UofT HHSS, Bisma is also the cofounder of SafeSpace for Women and Everyone.

Each year, the Patrick Phillips Award for Staff Service is awarded to a deserving staff member in recognition of selfless duty and dedicated service to the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Award is given annually on the advice of a Selection Committee made up of various campus constituencies including faculty, staff and students. 

 

Esther Shin

Esther Shin
Academic Advising & Career Centre

Esther is a higher education professional who has a passion for helping students achieve their potential. Working at UTSC for the past 14 years in career development, academic advising, and learning strategy roles, she has assisted students in realizing their career and academic aspirations. She has a strong interest in eLearning and developed first-year transition courses and learning skills modules. She has an MEd in Counselling Psychology and worked in the mental health field for 7 years prior to starting her career at UTSC. In her spare time, she loves to cook and watch Korean dramas.

 

 

 Kevin Yang

Kevin Yang
Information and Instructional Technology Services

Kevin has been part of UTSC for over 10 years. He began his journey as an undergraduate student and is now a staff member in the Project Management Office. He has been part of the evolution of the University, and his passion and commitment have continuously improved the UTSC experience for all its members. He is always willing to jump into action to tackle any challenge or opportunity that comes his way. He goes above and beyond in the work that he does to ensure that it meets the community’s needs, while always making time to lend a hand to his colleagues who turn to him for support.

 

Messages of Congratulations to the 2021 Patrick Phillips Award for Staff Service Recipients:

It is with great pleasure and honour that I congratulate Esther on receiving the Patrick Phillips Award. Esther’s dedication, commitment and flexibility in supporting our students is admirable. She consistently goes above and beyond to create initiatives that are innovative, relevant and accessible for students. Esther has been instrumental in converting the Academic Advising & Career Centre’s in-person Get Started Academic Orientation to an online format and also partnered with Student Life to play an integral role in launching FirstYear@UTSC – an interactive, online and self-paced program developed to ensure our incoming students transition successfully to UTSC. She has tirelessly worked with campus partners via ‘embedded’ services and is well respected by colleagues across the UTSC campus. She approaches her work with a humble spirit and inspires achievement in us all. Thank you Esther, for all that you do.

- Tehmeena Jadoon, Academic & Learning Strategist - Student Success, Academic Advising & Career Centre
 

I am thrilled to congratulate Kevin Yang on this highly deserved recognition. Kevin is the epitome of professional with his unwavering commitment to improve the daily experience of the UTSC community, without seeking recognition for himself. Not only is he extremely competent, which he works hard at by stepping into uncertainty to learn and stretch himself on an ongoing basis, he is thoughtful and intentional about ensuring the inclusion of all stakeholders for initiatives he works on. He understands the constraints placed on students, staff and faculty and takes a very empathetic approach to solving their problems while keeping the goals of the campus and University in mind. For example, he proactively learns of the challenges faced by researchers and aims to empower them in their work by facilitating conversations with relevant parties in a timely manner.  Similarly, he is working to seek out ways to advance student involvement in the design of technical solutions while ensuring they meet the needs of staff and faculty.  This courtesy and concern for others helps foster relationships that lead to ongoing collaboration and co-creation of better, more inclusive processes. 

- Ravneet Kaur, Manager, Project Management Office

Retirees and Long Service Recipients 2021

Check back for the retiree and long service recipient celebration on November 29, 2021!

25 Years of Service to the University of Toronto Scarborough

Syed Ahmed     

Department of Management

Tanya Mars      

Department of Arts, Culture & Media

Michael Molloy

Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences

Mary Ann Vernon          

Library

Kevin Wright    

ACM - The Leigha Lee Browne Theatre

25 Years of Service to the University of Toronto

Syed Ahmed                   

Department of Management

Rhonda Martin               

Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean

Karen McCrindle                          

Department of Language Studies

Michael Molloy              

Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences

Kevin Wright    

ACM - The Leigha Lee Browne Theatre

Mary Ann Vernon          

Library
 

35 Years of Service to the University of Toronto

Margaret Lacy                

Academic Advising & Career Centre

Grace Skogstad              

Department of Political Science
 

40 Years of Service to the University of Toronto

Nicholas Eyles  

Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences

Joseph Jahnke               

Facilities Management - Power Plant

William Edward Seager

Department of Philosophy

Retirees

Clare Hasenkampf         

Department of Biological Sciences          

Retirement date: December 31, 2020

Sophie Chrysostomou  

Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences        

Retirement date: December 31, 2020

Yael Brotman   

Department of Arts, Culture & Media    

Retirement date: December 31, 2020

Damu Thandu  

Power Plant      

Retirement date: January 31, 2021

Elaine Pick        

Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences & the Dean's Office   

Retirement date: March 31, 2021

Christine Roussel           

Registrar's Office            

Retirement date: April 30, 2021

Halim Amini      

Facility Management - Maintenance      

Retirement date: April 30, 2021

Janet Blakely    

Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences          

Retirement date: April 30, 2021

Elisabeth Annis

Academic Advising & Career Centre       

Retirement date: April 30, 2021

Tracy Wood      

Admissions & Student Recruitment        

Retirement date: April 30, 2021

Gary Pitcher     

Campus Safety & Security           

Retirement date: May 31, 2021

Franca Iacovetta            

Department of Historical & Cultural Studies        

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Heather Meacock          

Centre for Teaching & Learning 

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Julian Tanner   

Department of Sociology            

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Michael Petit   

Department of Arts, Culture & Media    

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Roberta Fulthorpe         

Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences          

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Sandford Borins             

Department of Management     

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Sheryl Stevenson           

Centre for Teaching & Learning 

Retirement date: June 30, 2021

Tanya Mars      

Department of Arts, Culture & Media    

Retirement date: June 30, 2021