Who will be Ontario's Best Lecturer in 2010?

Ten finalists selected to compete for the 2010 title in TVO's largest ever Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition

TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - Five women and five men have made it to the final round of TVO's 2010 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition. The Top 10 finalists were chosen from a group of more than 300 nominated lecturers. This year marks the biggest competition to date, and the battle to win the $10,000 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex scholarship and bragging rights for the winning school will be tougher than ever.

Seven schools are represented among the top 10: Laurentian University at Georgian College, Queen's University (two contenders), Ryerson University, University of Toronto (two contenders), University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa and York University (two contenders).

For the first time in the five-year history of the Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition, sponsored by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, five women have advanced to the finals. Last year nine men and one woman made it to the Top 10. Could a woman take home the title this year?

The finalists consist of a diverse group of experts from a wide range of academic disciplines including English, political studies, biology, psychology, physics, economics, and liberal arts, and this year's competition for the Best Lecturer title is definitely one to watch.

The shortlisted lecturers were judged on their ability to present ideas with confidence, and authority, clarity and coherence, and energy and enthusiasm. The finalists were chosen by an independent jury made up of teacher, trainer, television producer and host Linda Armstrong; journalist Jesse Brown of TVO's Search Engine podcast; and journalist-poet Clifton Joseph. The panel reviewed video submissions from the top 20 lectures that were selected in December.

"Excellent cooks become so not because they like good food but because they like to cut, slice and stir," says Big Ideas producer Wodek Szemberg. "The same applies to great lecturers. This year's 10 finalists confirm that to be an excellent lecturer one has to love the act of performing what one knows before a classroom of students."

Viewers across the province can watch the top 10 lectures on Big Ideas beginning March 6 (air dates and shortlisted lecturers are listed below). Viewers will be able to rate contestants following each lecture, and vote for an overall winner at the end of the contest. A panel of judges will also rate the lectures. This year, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex is generously sponsoring a new contest for viewers who go to tvo.org/bigideas to cast their vote online. Participants will be entered to win a $5000 grand prize pack: a laptop, HD camcorder, digital SLR still camera, an iPod touch, and an iTunes gift card. A new weekly contest during the voting period will also allow viewers to enter to win a portable reader.

    There are two ways to vote for Ontario's Best Lecturer:
    -   Online at tvo.org
    -   Toll free phone at 1-877-792-VOTE (8683)

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 10 and scheduled lectures follows (please check listings closer to the date to confirm times). For more information, including bios, videoclips of lectures, student quotes and full contest details, please visit visit tvo.org/bigideas.

    Laurentian University at Georgian College
    Bruce Meyer
    Department of English
    LECTURE AIRS: March 27
    TITLE: The Four Phases of Yeats

    Queen's University
    Eleanor MacDonald
    Department of Political Studies
    LECTURE AIRS: March 7
    TITLE: Are We Postmodern?

    Virginia Walker
    Department of Biology
    LECTURE AIRS: March 21
    TITLE: HIV, Parasites and the Exhausted Immune System

    Ryerson University
    Sohail Rashid
    Department of Psychology
    LECTURE AIRS: March 13
    TITLE: Birth Order and Personality

    University of Toronto
    Monika Havelka
    Department of Biology, Mississauga Campus
    TITLE: Why Sex? The Evolution of a Paradox

    University of Toronto
    Steve Joordens
    Department of Psychology, Scarborough Campus
    LECTURE AIRS: March 6
    TITLE: You Can Lead Students to Knowledge, But How Do You Make Them

    University of Ontario Institute of Technology
    Rupinder Brar
    Faculty of Physics
    LECTURE AIRS: March 20
    TITLE: Exoplanets: The Search for Other Earths

    University of Ottawa
    David Gray
    Department of Economics
    TITLE: Open Economy Macroeconomics: Foreign Trade, the Current Account,
    and Exchange Rates

    York University
    Nadia Habib
    Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
    TITLE: Reflections on Gender & Sexuality

    Karolyn Smardz Frost
    School of Arts and Letters, Atkinson College
    TITLE: Fugitive Sources: Uncovering Toronto's Underground Railroad

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 over 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 melochemonnex.com; for information on employer group programs visit group.tdinsurance.com.

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 tvo.org.

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, Marketing and Communications, (416) 484-2600 x 2281, lhorlick@tvo.org

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