Best In-Class Teachers

Dr. Alan Abelson (Mathematics & Statistics) was awarded one of the 2011 Frank Knox Awards for Excellence in Teaching.  He has a reputation for propelling students to think critically and interact with course material despite the challenges of large lecture halls.  His enthusiasm and patience are appreciated by his students and his impact on the Queen’s community has been profound.  Dr. Abelson’s teaching and outstanding educational leadership were also recognized with the 2011 Queen’s University Chair in Teaching and Learning and one of the 2008 W.J. Barnes Teaching Excellence Award, which is sponsored by the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society.  

Dr. Xuelin Bai (Languages, Literatures & Cultures), the cornerstone for Chinese language instruction in the Faculty of Arts and Science since 1995, was awarded one of the 2012 Frank Knox Awards for Excellence in Teaching.  She has been commended for offering an active and engaging classroom experience and has been described as being a kind, out-going and caring educator.  Every year, Dr. Bai involves her students in a celebration of Chinese New Year, complete with food and entertainment.

Dr. George Bevan (Classics) garnered the 2011 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching for his innovative teaching methods, which include the use of 3D imaging tools for the study of petroglyphs and other artifacts.  He also helps students translate the skills they learn in Classics into other areas of study or work.  Students claim that Dr. Bevan genuinely cares about furthering the education of every one of his students and is interested in witnessing success for those he teaches.

Dr. James Fraser (Physics) was awarded the 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Recently, he spent a year on sabbatical exploring both laser physics and pedagogy research on how best to teach physics at a university level. “My own thoughts on teaching are evolving.  We know that certain brains work better with different teaching styles.  But with physics there is a strong paradigm of teaching what works for just one type of thinker and that has been a barrier to many.  Usually, the instructor stands as the expert at the front of the room.  I want to see if we can broaden that paradigm.”

Dr. Karen Frederickson’s (Music) teaching was recognized with the 2010 Frank Knox Award for Excellence in Teaching for her activity-based classes, which are held in a stress-free environment where the importance of learning is emphasized instead of evaluation.  Dr. Frederickson is committed and sensitive to the needs of her students and “anyone can drop by her office to talk” even if it’s not about something that is school or course-related. 

Dr. Leo Jonker (Mathematics & Statistics) was awarded one of the 2011 Frank Knox Awards for Excellence in Teaching for developing initiatives to challenge pedagogical approaches in adopting practices for inquiry-based learning and group work. Dr. Jonker’s dedication has been particularly appreciated by students enrolled in his course for prospective elementary math teachers.  In nominating him, students highlighted his ability to encourage risk-taking and critical thought.  Dr. Jonker’s instruction and example continue to drive his students to become better teachers themselves.

Dr. Daniel Lefebvre (Biology) was awarded the University’s top teaching award—the 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Lefebvre tries to learn all of his students’ names in order to engage them better.  His Biology 102 course has been consistently ranked by students as one of the top courses in the Department of Biology every year for the past decade.  Whether he is teaching basic biology or bioremediation (the use of living organisms to address environmental problems), students say Dr. Lefebvre goes above and beyond his job title to connect with students and provide an excellent learning environment.

Dr. Jonathan Rose (Political Studies) teaches a wide variety of subjects ranging from Canadian federalism to the effects of mass media in democracies.  Throughout his career, he has received many accolades for his teaching and has extended his expertise to positions in the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Japan.  In 2012, the Alma Mater Society awarded him one of the Frank Knox Awards for Excellence in Teaching for fostering critical thinking amongst his students, leaving them with skills, knowledge and an experience they don’t soon forget.  Dr. Rose was also recognized with one of the 2010 W.J. Barnes Teaching Excellence Awards.