2020-2021 Killam Teaching Prize Winners

The Faculty of Arts is pleased to announce that six faculty members have been awarded the Killam Teaching Prize for 2020-2021. The Killam Teaching Prize is awarded annually to faculty nominated by students, colleagues and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching.

Jennifer Gagnon, Political Science

Dr. Jennifer M. Gagnon (she/her/hers) is a continuing sessional lecturer in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, Department of Political Science, and Vantage College. Her main area of research is in the intersections between ancient political thought and disability studies, particularly as how it concerns gender, inclusion and exclusion, violence, and visible and invisible disabilities. As an activist, she is involved in efforts to promote a culture of consent, LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusion, and accessibility both on and off-campus. In partnership with the Equity and Inclusion Office, she is the creator and facilitator of UBC’s Disability Affinity Group for disabled faculty and staff. Dr. Gagnon identifies as a bisexual and disabled woman and strives to bring her whole self to both her teaching and research.

On winning this prize, Dr. Gagnon had this to say: “Representation matters, and I believe that the actions of individuals committed to change can truly bring about a more accessible world for us all. What we do every day as educators matters, and a more inclusive and accessible future is possible. I hope that this award brings more visibility to the remarkable and innovative teaching that both disabled folks and contract faculty are doing at UBC.”

Ihhwa Kim, Asian Studies

Ihhwa Kim (she/her/hers) is a lecturer in Japanese language and has taught at UBC since 2002. As one of the major developers of the first-ever distance education Japanese language courses (JAPN 100 and JAPN 101) at UBC, she has contributed to providing innovative new learning modalities for students using the latest technology. Serving as one of the administrators of the Japanese Language Programs, she has contributed to leading the 100-level and 200-level courses, and has taken a leadership role in numerous program events for students.

Outside of UBC, she has served as a member of the organizing committee for the BC Japanese Speech Contest, the Chair of the 32nd Canadian National Japanese Language Speech Contest Organizing Committee, and currently serves as a board member of the Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education.

Katherine Lyon, Sociology

Dr. Katherine Lyon (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of Sociology and Vantage One Arts. Her teaching practice draws from and builds on research within the fields of sociology of education and scholarship of teaching and learning, focusing on experiential pedagogies and inclusive assessment.

Her recent work is published in journals such as Teaching Sociology and Journal of English for Academic Purposes. She holds a Certificate on Curriculum and Pedagogy in Higher Education from the International Program for the Scholarship of Educational Leadership and is a recipient of the SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award and the Vantage Educational Innovation and Teaching Awards.

Laurie McNeill, First Year & Interdisciplinary Programs

Dr. Laurie McNeill (she/her/hers) is a Professor of Teaching in the Department of English Language and Literatures, Acting Director of the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, and Director of Arts’ First-Year & Interdisciplinary Programs. Dr. McNeill’s research, publications, and teaching focus on two main fields: academic integrity studies, with a focus on pedagogies of integrity, and auto/biography studies, with particular interest in testimony, digital platforms, and archival life narratives.

Building on her Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TELF) project, “Our Cheating Hearts?” she examines ways faculty and institutions can help students understand how to do their work with integrity and why that matters.

Coll Thrush, History

Dr. Coll Thrush (he/him/his) is a historian of mixed settler ancestry from Auburn, Washington who came to UBC in 2005. He is currently a Professor of History and Faculty Associate in Critical Indigenous Studies, and teaches courses in Indigenous and settler colonial histories, the American West, Pacific history, and related topics. His current project is about shipwrecks on the northwest coast, entitled Wrecked: Ecologies of Failure in the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Coll’s teaching is based on the premise that we all live inside the big stories such as settler colonialism, and as such we each have a responsibility and right to understand those stories and craft new ones. His courses are also geared toward rendering more transparent the workings of academic scholarship, toward student autonomy and creativity, and toward diverse historical practices that are creating change in the present.

Sheryda Warrener, Creative Writing

Sheryda Warrener (she/her/hers) is a lecturer in the School of Creative Writing. She teaches poetry and interdisciplinary forms, and facilitates a collaboration with The Belkin Gallery to deepen visitor engagement with visual art through writing workshops and prompts.

Sheryda’s aim in the classroom is to bring each student closer to their own poetic sensibility on the page by placing them in direct relationship with their questions, preoccupations, materials, memories, and imagination. She designs exercises in attention, material experiments, and field trips to activate the potential for transformative learning.