The Myth of the golden apple

By Dean Hetherington

Remember the shiny red apples teachers used to get in grade school? Well, they’re back–sort of. Nominations for teaching excellence awards began Oct. 12 and run until Nov. 5. During this time, students can fill out a form and nominate a professor.

"It’s a nice surprise to get some acknowledgment for my work," said Engineering Professor Dr. I. Finvers. "Where I see it, in terms of my performance, it’s nice to have a piece of hardware that says my work is good."

Both the organizers and past winners agreed the awards were very important for the average student, as well as the university.

"It was a recognition by students of what I think students are all about," said General Studies Professor Karim-Aly Kassam. "Let’s remember one thing: that we [the teachers] are here for the students. There would be no university if there were no students."

Students, alumni and faculty can pick up the forms located on posters around campus or at the Students’ Union office. Once the nominations are in, SU student representatives canvas the classrooms with surveys for the nominated teacher’s section.
The surveys are then brought back to the SU for review. A committee will choose the winners based on the surveys.

"At the end of the year I will be a part of the committee that makes the final selections," said SU Vice-president Academic Heather Clitheroe. "The student comments are read and people are short-listed. We go through shortlist after shortlist until a winner is finally de-cided."

The process of the awards only allows one winner in each field of study, but the event is seen mostly as a positive affair for everyone.

Some issues have been raised about the organization of the nomination process, including concerns about a lapse in communi-cation between the students and the SU.

"Every class must be visited," said SU Academic commissioner Nic Porco. "I know that last year not all of them were and that we lost out on some professors. We had a window and we couldn’t get representatives to every class on time."

Another concern was the lack of publicity the awards event receives from the university.

"The only issue that I ever had was that only the award winners invited were there," said Finvers. "It could be nice if students had the opportunity to see who is actually winning these things. It would be nice if they [the SU] made it more public."

The awards ceremony takes place April 5.

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