- UOIT lecturer takes home the title of "Best Lecturer" for the
school's second win in five years
TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - For the second time in the five-year history of TVO's Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition, a UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology) lecturer has won the title of Ontario's Best Lecturer.
Rupinder Brar of UOIT's Faculty of Science was chosen by TVO viewers and the Best Lecturer jury from among the top 10 televised lectures in TVO's 2010 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition, sponsored by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex.
Brar's win also brings a $10,000 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex scholarship for UOIT as well as much deserved acclaim and bragging rights for UOIT, who now have two of the Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition winners on faculty. Christopher diCarlo of UOIT took home the title in the 2008 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition.
Prior to teaching at UOIT, Brar taught physics and astronomy at the University of Massachusetts. Brar has received numerous awards and accolades for his teaching. He has a reputation for effectively communicating complex topics in physics and astronomy to undergraduate students of varying backgrounds with a lecturing style that is engaging, entertaining and interactive.
Brar graduated from the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo before completing his PhD in astrophysics at Queen's University. During graduate school, he researched the halos of spiral galaxies and at the same time he discovered his love for teaching physics and astronomy to undergraduate students.
Of his Best Lecturer win, Brar says, "I am honoured and privileged to have been selected by TVO viewers and the Best Lecturer jury. It is very gratifying to know that such a diverse audience appreciates the fundamental sciences. I am grateful for the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex scholarship, which will be a great help to UOIT students.
"I would like to thank the students of UOIT for their nominations and support throughout the competition. This is a victory for the entire university. I would also like to thank TVO for creating a show that is educational, yet exciting and puts the spotlight on a discipline that is rarely acknowledged on television."
Brar's winning lecture was titled "Exoplanets: The Search for Other Earths". As Brar explains "The lecture described a field which is on the cutting edge of space exploration. I am pleased that the Best Lecturer series provided the platform for the subject to be accessible to viewers: and to be able to reveal some of the mysteries of space."
"TVO's Best Lecturer Competition was created so that we can celebrate teachers like this year's winner: Rupinder Brar from University of Ontario Institute of Technology," says Big Ideas producer Wodek Szemberg. "Watching him impart knowledge to his students, one can tell that he loves both teaching and the subject matter that he teaches. The peculiar combination of the two is the magical mix that makes Rupinder Brar such a worthy winner."
Each year the Best Lecturer Competition inspires the post-secondary community and plays an important role in raising awareness about the province's great educators. This year's competition began with a 10-week nomination period that started in August 2009.
At the close of the nomination period on October 12, the Best Lecturer Competition received a record-breaking 970 nomination submissions for 692 professors from 37 post-secondary schools. Of the 692 nominated professors, 332 accepted the nomination.
Next a panel of judges narrowed the list down to 20 followed by the Top 10 shortlist comprised of five men and five women whose televised lectures aired on TVO's Big Ideas in March and April. The winner was selected after the close of the voting period on Sunday April 11.
"I would like to congratulate all of the other finalists," says the 2010 Best Lecturer winner Rupinder Brar. He adds, "having watched all of the lectures, I find it an honour to be included with such accomplished educators."
Following is a list of the top 10 finalists in TVO's 2010 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition:
Laurentian University at Georgian College
Department of English
TITLE: The Four Phases of Yeats
Lecture aired March 27
Department of Political Studies
TITLE: Are We Postmodern?
Lecture aired March 7
Department of Biology
TITLE: HIV, Parasites and the Exhausted Immune System
Lecture aired March 21
Department of Psychology
TITLE: Birth Order and Personality
Lecture aired March 13
University of Toronto
Department of Biology, Mississauga Campus
TITLE: Why Sex? The Evolution of a Paradox
Lecture aired March 28
Department of Psychology, Scarborough Campus
TITLE: You Can Lead Students to Knowledge, But How Do You Make Them
Lecture aired March 6
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Faculty of Physics
TITLE: Exoplanets: The Search for Other Earths
Lecture aired March 20
University of Ottawa
Department of Economics
TITLE: Open Economy Macroeconomics
Lecture aired April 4
Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
TITLE: Reflections on Gender & Sexuality
Lecture aired April 3
Karolyn Smardz Frost
School of Arts and Letters, Atkinson College
TITLE: Fugitive Sources: Uncovering Toronto's Underground Railroad
Lecture aired March 14
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