Esteemed scholars honoured for their quality teaching

Judy BornaisNursing professor Judy Bornais is one of two recipients of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching honoured during the University’s 107th Convocation ceremonies.

Chemistry and biochemistry professor Jeremy Rawson says he was enormously flattered to receive the Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching during the University’s 107th Convocation ceremony.

“The University has many very talented faculty and instructors. It was exciting to be nominated for this prestigious award, and a very pleasant surprise to receive it alongside Judy Bornais in nursing,” says Dr. Rawson.

“I’m not one to ‘blow my own trumpet’ so it’s terrific to be recognized for my contributions to teaching and I have to thank all the students, undergraduates and graduates from within and outside Windsor, as well as previous members of my research group who all took the time to write such wonderful and occasionally truthful things about me.”

Rawson joined UWindsor as a Canada Research Chair in 2010. Chemistry and biochemistry department head Bulent Mutus says since recruiting Rawson from Cambridge University, he has consistently impressed with his research as well as his dedication to teaching.

“Dr. Rawson realizes that first-year chemistry lecturers are the students’ first exposure to chemists and chemistry, and as a result he delivers well-presented and coherent lectures that inspire and stimulate the students’ interest,” says Dr. Mutus. “He is one of the favourite professors, as evidenced by the large number of positive comments we receive from his students.”

Rawson says he loves teaching because he enjoys helping students at every level achieve their academic potential.

“I really want students to succeed and I try and find different ways to explain things so that the vast majority of students can comprehend the concepts, whether that be undergraduate students or graduate students.” he says. “Chemistry is a challenging subject to teach, particularly at first year, where the majority of students are not chemistry and biochemistry majors, so it is always a pleasure to see a happy student, regardless of their background, disappear off from lectures or office hours with a better understanding.”

As a Canada Research Chair, Rawson has a very active research group and he places equal emphasis on training graduate students.

“Preparing research students for academic and industrial positions in chemistry as well as professional school is central to what we do and I work hard to develop students’ technical and presentation skills as well as problem-solving ability,” he says.

Judy Bornais, experiential learning specialist in the Faculty of Nursing, also received the 2017 Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching.

Letters of support for her nomination included a note from a former student who said she could feel Prof. Bornais’ passion for the nursing profession in every lecture.

“There is one saying she stressed to us to never forget: to care for every patient as if they are the person you love most in the world,” the graduate wrote. “To this day, this statement runs through my head at every patient’s bedside.”