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April 5, 2018
For Immediate Release

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Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University is recognizing eight instructors for their significant commitment to elevating the educational experience of Laurier students. Seven of the honourees are recipients of Laurier’s highest teaching awards, which were recently renamed the Donald F. Morgenson Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence to honour the legacy of Laurier Professor Emeritus Donald Morgenson.

“Throughout his 56 years in the classroom, Don’s pedagogy reflected his love of students, love of subject matter, and love for the dual processes of learning and teaching,” said Morgenson’s wife, Leslie. “He was interested in instilling a sense of wonder in students by bringing multiple perspectives to his lectures, using humour and storytelling, and through consistency in his practice.”

Recipients of Laurier’s 2018 Donald F. Morgenson Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence include:

Early Career Excellence

Danielle Law, associate professor, Youth and Children Studies and Psychology

Since she began teaching at Laurier in 2012, Law has engaged and motivated her students to reach their academic goals in diverse teaching and learning environments. Law’s development of the Child and Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) lab shows her commitment to students’ growth outside of the classroom. Through the CARE lab, students have had the opportunity to bridge the gap between research and practice and apply their learning in real-world settings. Her CARE students have been involved in direct community outreach through opportunities to attend conference presentations, participate in research projects, deliver talks, and lead programming for local children and youth.

Sustained Excellence

Michael Ackerman, assistant professor, English (full-time category)

Ackerman, who has taught in the Faculty of Liberal Arts since 2006, is a leader in student-centred teaching through his use of community-engaged approaches and by creating inclusive and accessible learning environments. He is dedicated to developing innovative ways to identify student needs, creating assessment methods, and actively engaging students in their own learning process. He is known for his commitment to the holistic development of his students and his enthusiasm for creative, interdisciplinary student success initiatives.

Bina Mehta, instructor, North American Studies and Global Studies (part-time category)

Mehta, an instructor at Laurier since 2005, demonstrates an uncompromising commitment to her students and faculty colleagues alike. Mehta’s genuine care, concern, and mentorship have impacted her colleagues and students. Mehta uses collaborative blended-learning techniques and introduces ways for her students to engage in critical self-reflection. Students credit Mehta for providing meaningful academic experiences by encouraging a diversity of thought and approaches in the classroom.

Innovation in Teaching

Julie Mueller, associate professor, Education

Mueller, who has been a leader in technology-enabled teaching since she joined Laurier in 2006, is changing the way digital tools are used in teaching, learning, and research environments.

Mueller’s pedagogical work experimenting with and utilizing technology for student development and knowledge mobilization is considered both inspiring and challenging to her colleagues, creating an optimal space for innovation to thrive.

Excellence in Internationalization

Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, associate professor, Human Rights and Human Diversity

Wilson-Forsberg is an educator who is deeply committed to internationalization in academia. Since she joined Laurier in 2011, she has broadened students’ knowledge beyond Canada while developing their international competencies at home. In 2015, she created a Mexico field course that immerses students in communities to study with and learn from migrants and refugees. Her ‘Internationalization@Home’ initiative integrates students with English-language learners from the Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program to build intercultural awareness and understanding.

Faculty Mentoring Award

(award previously administered by Alumni Relations)

Carrie Sanders, associate professor, Criminology

Sanders, a member of Laurier’s teaching community since 2009, is a mentor to students, involving them in research practices, studies and symposiums that allow them to evolve as academics and researchers. In her time at Laurier, Sanders has actively mentored 12 graduate and four undergraduate students and has coordinated a range of regional, national, and international conferences and workshops to support research in her field. In her role as graduate coordinator of the Criminology program, she has worked hard to establish and maintain relationships between the program and various community groups in Brantford.

Hoffman-Little Award

(award previously administered by Alumni Relations)

Alex Latta, associate professor, Global Studies and Geography and Environmental Studies

Since 2006, Latta has shown an unwavering commitment to building community within his department, amongst his students, and within the international groups connected to his research and scholarship. He is focused on providing experiential opportunities for his students, including a study-abroad course in Chile. Students who participated in this field course say that Latta is an educator who stands out because of his gift for nurturing the capabilities of his students as academics, researchers, and global citizens. Latta is currently the chair of the Department of Global Studies.

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Award for Excellence in Teaching

Laurier also recognizes the 2018 recipient of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Award for Excellence in Teaching, who was selected by students:

Edmund Pries, assistant professor, Global Studies, Social Entrepreneurship, Religion and Culture, and Community Engagement

OUSA’s Teaching Excellence Award recognizes educators who excel at unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people. Undergraduate students at Laurier nominated Pries for providing an outstanding learning environment through his engaging teaching style. In addition to his teaching, Pries coordinates the Social Entrepreneurship option and C3 Innovation Labs, a hub of social innovation and experiential learning opportunities bringing campus, city, and community together. Pries received the Laurier Award for Teaching Excellence in 2011.

The 2018 teaching award recipients will receive their awards at upcoming convocation ceremonies, and will be honoured at a reception May 25 at 11:45 a.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

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Joseph Beer, Director
Teaching, Learning and Development
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x4734


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications and Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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