Trent Teaching Awards: Celebrating the Value of Education

A promotional image for the Trent Centre for Teaching and Learning's annual Teaching Awards. The nomination period closes January 31. Image courtesy of the Trent Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Trent University Centre for Teaching and Learning invites students to make a nomination for the 2020 Teaching Awards. Students can nominate course instructors, teaching assistants, and lab demonstrators for one of four awards presented each year.

“The awards are a signal that the university values teaching,” said Dr. Joel Baetz, the new Director of Trent’s Centre for Teaching & Learning. Dr. Baetz is a recipient of Trent’s most prestigious teaching award, the Symons Award for Teaching Excellence. He received his award in 2016 for his work in English Literature.

“I remember being surprised and encouraged. At the time, I felt like I was still in the early part of my teaching career. I had put in a lot of late nights, worked with a lot of great students, and felt encouraged to be recognized by my students and colleagues,” he recalls of his award nomination.

“Every time I step into a classroom, I try to live up to the standard of that award,” he continued. “I’ve tried to make my courses more interdisciplinary – because I think that it’s important that students develop range. I’ve tried to make it easier for students to see the connection between what we do in our classrooms and the world that exists beyond the walls of the university. Those have been tremendous challenges, and really satisfying.”

The Teaching Awards Subcommittee meets to go over the nominations and decides which educator nominees will receive the awards in the spring. Student nominators are encouraged to get into detail and offer anecdotes about the educator they are nominating.

“These awards are a good way to send a message to the teachers that you admire or that have made a difference in your life,” explained Dr. Baetz. “So, if students can find some time in their busy schedules to nominate a professor for one of these awards, I know that it matters. It’s encouraging and inspiring – and whomever you nominate, they’ll appreciate it.”

Master of Education student and Administrative Assistant for the Centre for Teaching and Learning Brandon Remmelgas said, “Teaching Awards are our opportunity, as students, to pay it forward and reward the teachers who have helped us to achieve greatness.”

“Being recognized by my students, for having a positive contribution to their education and time here at Trent, is a deep honour,” said Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, who was awarded the Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation in 2018 for her teaching with the School of Education. “It is a privilege to learn and work alongside such wonderful students.”

“Teaching Awards represent the big and bright orchid, not just the apple,” she concluded. “Our success as educators is a result of the broader Trent community made up of colleagues, students and the staff who make the Trent educational landscape possible.”

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, January 31, 2020 at

Awards will be presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence on March 31, 2020 in the Alumni Atrium of the Trent Student Centre from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Contact Aleyah-Erin Lennon at the Trent University Centre for Teaching and Learning for more information about the awards.

About Leina Amatsuji-Berry 50 Articles
Leina Amatsuji-Berry was Arthur's co-Editor-in-Chief alongside Lubna Sadek for Volumes 53 (2018-2019) and 54 (2019-2020). She was Arthur's Digital Media Coordinator during Volume 52 (2017-2018). She is a Trent University alumna, having completed a joint-major Honours degree in English Literature and Media Studies with the class of 2018. Her interests include intersectional social justice, social media, memes, critical theory & philosophy, and fashion. When she is not working, she enjoys writing poetry, drinking tea, and eating burritos and sushi. Her karaoke skills will blow you away.