Teaching Achievement Awards

Teaching Achievement Awards recognize the high quality of instruction at Carleton. Each Award is valued at $15,000.

Victor Aitkin
Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Victor Aitkin says he has always wanted to teach. Since his first efforts tutoring his grade 10 classmates in math, he has believed in a student-centred approach to teaching based on understanding what motivates his students to learn. Today as he conducts courses in microprocessors and advanced linear systems, his focus is still on the student as he provides constant interaction and feedback and hands-on learning. His students are amazed and delighted that Professor Aitkin attends each and every one of the lab sessions associated with his courses. His success as a teacher is reflected in the fact that since joining the department in 1999, he has won two student-initiated awards: the Teaching Excellence Award from CUSA and the Best Professor Award from the Carleton International Students’ Association. This Teaching Achievement Award is being given to him for his project to enhance undergraduate access to robotics and embedded systems applications in the labs.

Paul Keen
Department of English Language and Literature

Paul Keen is a master teacher and a pedagogic innovator. His imaginative and inventive approach to the study of literature has earned him over-subscribed classes and top teaching evaluations. He even has the rare distinction of achieving perfect teaching scores on three successive occasions. The specific project he will undertake with his Teaching Achievement Award is to develop a new course in Romantic Print Culture that will introduce the question of technology into the study of the history and cultural understanding of English literature. The focal point of this course will be the construction of an on-line encyclopedia comprised of student research projects. The course builds on Professor Keen’s research strengths in print culture, for which he won a Research Achievement Award in 2001.

David Dean
Department of History

David Dean believes that learning is a collaborative experience. This teaching philosophy is reflected in his project entitled “Interative Learning Inside and Out the History Classroom” for which he won the Teaching Achievement Award. He proposes to design a new second-year survey course on British History that will transform students’ passive use of Web materials by bringing an interactive dimension to their on-line work. He is recognized by students and his peers for his innovative use of technology to enhance Carleton’s learning environment. His celebrated course Web site for “History of Western Civilization” has been showcased by the Educational Development Centre and he regularly receives teaching scores well above the department and University averages.

Steven Hick
School of Social Work

Stephen Hick was an early adopter of using innovative methods to help support teaching and learning and was the first to complete a fully on-line course at Carleton University. He believes that students benefit from a multi-modal and multi-medium system of integrated course materials and he regularly offers text, power point, and video to support the classroom experience. A Teaching Achievement Award has been given to him to establish the infrastructure for an annual virtual field trip that will complement already completed learning resources for his introductory course in social work. Graduate students and a selection of first-year students will collaborate in scripting, filming and editing video vignettes. A virtual field trip manual will be created while the video is being made.

Weixuan Li
School of Computer Science

Weixuan Li is a popular and dedicated teacher. A self-taught math whiz, he has instructed more than 20 different courses at Carleton in engineering, mathematics and computer science. Each course is marked by thorough preparation, clarity of explanations, and excellent rapport with students. In 2001 he was awarded the OCUFA Teaching Award for his ability to inspire learners through his philosophy of “modesty, hard work, self-determination, tenacity and intellectual passion.” This Teaching Achievement Award will allow him to complete “A Thin Book on C++” that will serve as a textbook and reference manual for students learning this computer language.

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