TVO announces top 20 in the 2010 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - With a $10,000 scholarship and bragging rights on the line, TVO has narrowed the field from over 300 nominees to 20 contenders in the 2010 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition, sponsored by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex.

This year 13 schools are represented among the top 20: Brock University, Carleton University, Centennial College, Durham College, Laurentian University at Georgian College, Queen's University, Ryerson University, Seneca College, Trent University, University of Toronto (Mississauga campus), University of Toronto (Scarborough campus), University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa and York University.

New to the top 20 this year are University of Ottawa, Seneca College, Centennial College, Georgian College, Durham College and Trent University.

The lecturers come from a wide range of faculties and cover a broad spectrum of subjects including mathematics, religion, psychology, education, justice, English, politics, film, biology, business, physics and economics. With this kind of diversity and universal appeal, it is bound to be one of the most exciting competitions to date.

Big Ideas producer Wodek Szemberg says, "The challenge of all good teachers is to make students understand. The best of them have the additional ability to make their students feel that the new knowledge matters beyond the classroom and the next examination. This can be said of all the 20 professors who are this year's semi-finalists."

Last year, professor Rod Carley from Canadore College in North Bay beat out nine university lecturers in the final round of competition - the first time a college lecturer captured the title. Could a college once again take the title and the scholarship in this year's competition?

Viewers across the province can watch the top 10 lectures on Big Ideas beginning Saturday March 6 2010. At that time viewers and a panel of judges will vote for an overall winner. This year, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex is sponsoring a new prize for viewers who go to to cast their vote online. Participants will be entered to win a digital prize pack: a laptop, HD camcorder, digital SLR still camera, an iPod touch and an iTunes gift card.

The voting period closes on Sunday April 11 2010. The winner will be announced on Saturday April 17 2010.

Big Ideas is TVO's popular television program offering lectures on a variety of thought-provoking topics that range across politics, culture, economics, art history and science. Now in its fifth year, the Best Lecturer Competition was created to recognize the best and brightest lecturers at Ontario's colleges and universities. It invites students and alumni to nominate professors whose love of learning has helped to stimulate imaginations, open eyes and push boundaries in institutions of higher learning across the province.

A complete list of the top 20 follows. For more information, including bios, videoclips of lectures, student quotes and full contest details, please visit

    Brock University

    Bill Ralph
    Department of Mathematics

    Carleton University

    Zeba Crook
    Religion, College of the Humanities

    John Stead
    Department of Psychology

    Centennial College

    Robert Ritchie
    General Education and Liberal Studies, School of Advancement

    Durham College

    Kathleen Stewart
    School of Justice and Emergency Services

    Laurentian University at Georgian College

    Bruce Meyer
    Department of English

    Queen's University

    Eleanor MacDonald
    Department of Political Studies

    Kip Pegley
    Department of Film and Media

    Virginia Walker
    Department of Biology

    Ryerson University

    Sohail Rashid
    Department of Psychology

    David Schlanger
    Business Management, Ted Rogers School of Management

    Seneca College

    Robert Winkler
    Continuing Education and Training

    Trent University

    Rory Coughlan
    Department of Psychology

    University of Toronto

    Monika Havelka (Mississauga campus)
    Department of Biology

    Steve Joordens (Scarborough campus)
    Department of Psychology

    Dax Urbszat (Mississauga campus)
    Department of Psychology

    University of Ontario Institute of Technology

    Rupinder Brar
    Faculty of Physics

    University of Ottawa

    David Gray
    Department of Economics

    York University

    Karolyn Smardz Frost
    School of Arts and Letters, Atkinson College

    Nadia Habib
    Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

About TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, the group insurance brand of TD Insurance, works with over 700 professional, alumni and employer groups across the country to provide home and auto insurance programs. In business for 60 years, more than 600,000 clients trust TD Insurance Meloche Monnex with their insurance needs. TD Insurance, through its TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and TD Insurance Home and Auto sub-brands, is the largest direct-response insurance group in Canada. For more information on professional and alumni group programs visit; for information on employer group programs visit

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information, visit

Where to find TVO

Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265, Shaw Direct channel 353.


For further information: For further information: Media contact: Lesley Horlick, TVO, Communications, (416) 484-2600 x 2281,

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