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Faculty Focus: Vantage One Instructors Awarded 2021/2022 Killam Teaching Prize


Congratulations to Vantage One program Instructors Juan Abelló, Fok-Shuen Leung, and Oluwakemi Ola on each being awarded the Killam Teaching Prize!

The highest honour UBC can confer on a faculty member, a University Killam Professorship recognizes exceptional teachers and researchers who are leaders in their fields, and who have received international recognition for their talents. The Killam Teaching Prize is awarded annually to faculty nominated by students, colleagues and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching. Recipients are recognized at the graduation ceremonies.

The Killam Teaching Prize is adjudicated within each Faculty, and at the Okanagan campus, within the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. Contact the UBC Vancouver Deans' Offices or the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic, UBC Okanagan for nomination procedures and internal deadlines.


About the winners:


Dr. Juan Abelló, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Juan Abelló, Ph.D., P.Eng., is an Associate Professor of Teaching in Mechanical Engineering, and the current Chair of the Applied Science stream of Vantage College.  He teaches in the integrated second-year Mech 2 program in Mechanical Engineering, and the language-enriched first-year engineering program in Vantage College.  His scholarly work in the integration of language and engineering education, student wellness, and open educational resources has been disseminated in national and international engineering education conferences.  Dr. Abelló has published technical research in rotorcraft acoustics, and informs his academic practice with his experience as practicing engineer in the aerospace industry.

Dr. Fok-Shuen Lueng, Department of Mathematics

Dr. Fok-Shuen Lueng a faculty member in the Mathematics Department, where he is am also Undergraduate Chair. In terms of undergraduate teaching, his is mainly interested in the rich and complicated transition between high school and university math. Dr. Lueng’s guiding principle is that big ideas matter: students want to know that their work is significant. Lately, though, he’s been focused more on the novice instructors -- grad students and postdocs -- who teach with him. What are their teaching philosophies, and how do those guide their decisions? Their classrooms come alive when their philosophies emerge.

Dr. Oluwakemi Ola, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Oluwakemi Ola describes herself as the progeny of a storyteller and community builder. As an educator, she enjoys cultivating communities of exploration where students can learn and are motivated to expand their knowledge beyond the confines of the course. Her teaching approach is to incorporate evidence-based strategies that focus on both the socio-emotional as well as behavioral and cognitive aspects of learning. She also makes it a point to foster inclusive learning spaces where all students, especially those from underrepresented communities, can thrive. Outside the classroom, she focuses on building capacity by training teaching assistants and organizing events where computing faculty across Canada can engage and discuss pressing issues that influence their teaching practice. (Written by Michelle Ng)