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Teaching excellence

Posted on 2017-03-07 in Students & Campus Life

Michael Bradley, Yin Liu and Susan Shantz

Michael Bradley, Yin Liu and Susan Shantz are the recipients of the College of Arts & Science’s 2016/17 Teaching Excellence Awards.

Three Teaching Excellence Awards are given out each year by the College of Arts & Science, recognizing exceptional teaching abilities and contributions to academic programming.

Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley, Department of Physics & Engineering Physics

Michael Bradley is an associate professor in the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics whose research areas include plasma physics, precision electromagnetic measurement and semiconductor development.

Bradley has been noted for his innovations in the physics curriculum—in particular his leadership in redesigning and modernizing many of the department’s undergraduate student laboratories.

Students in Bradley’s courses describe him as patient, open and friendly, with an infectious enthusiasm for the material and an uncanny ability to explain complicated concepts at a level students understand.

A believer in the value of experiential learning and creative problem solving, Bradley seeks opportunities for his students to get involved with research and gain practical experience.

“Teaching should be inspirational!” says Bradley. “This is one of its most important functions. It is not simply a matter of communicating information.”

Bradley has previously been honoured with a USSU Teaching Excellence Award (2009), the Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching (2013) and two Department of Physics & Engineering Physics Teaching Awards (2007/08 and 2014/15).

Yin Liu
Yin Liu, Department of English

Yin Liu is an associate professor in the Department of English and the director of the Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies program. Her research focuses on Middle English romances, medieval English literature and digital scholarship.

Students of Liu often praise her mastery of the course material, her meticulous attention to detail and her genuine care for her students.

Liu emphasizes the importance of creating an environment of mutual respect in which teacher and student hold each other to a high standard.

“My students have a lot to learn, but so do I, and that shared experience of discovery is the basis of our relationship,” she says.

Liu’s engagement with students extends beyond the classroom. She was a leader in creating the Department of English’s successful honours colloquium and its popular annual career options workshop.

Liu is a previous winner of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) Teaching Excellence Award in 2005 and has been nominated for the same honour several times since.

Susan Shantz
Susan Shantz, Department of Art & Art History

Susan Shantz is a professor in the Department of Art & Art History. Her artistic practice explores sculpture, extended media, and the relationship between ritual, art and culture.

Shantz has been the creator of a number of innovative interdisciplinary courses and projects that challenge students to connect their artwork to contemporary issues and opportunities. These have included The Child Taken, in which students responded to the stories of Indian Residential School survivors, and the upcoming Becoming Water, which will ask students to produce art about water in the context of global warming.

“In all my studio art classes I emphasize that art, and sculpture in particular, is a form of embodied thinking, of asking philosophical, social and political questions through evocative forms that might be pleasant—or might startle and unsettle,” says Shantz.

Shantz’s students describe her as a pillar of support who is highly knowledgeable, generous with her time and able to provide structure while at the same time promoting growth and independence.


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