David Humphreys (1989)

humphreysAffiliation at the time of the award: McMaster University, Chemistry.

Citation: Dr. Humphreys is one of a very select group of faculty members to be promoted to Full Professor based on his educational activities. He has been given many awards for his outstanding teaching, including the “Catalyst Award” from the Manufacturing Chemists Association (one of only three Canadians in the 30 year history of the award), the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario award and the Science Faculty award from the McMaster Students’ Union. He is widely known for his “inspirational” lectures designed to excite students’ interest in studying chemistry and he originated drop in study centres at McMaster. His research and development work includes a wide variety of non-lecture teaching methods including videotapes, videodiscs and self-study modules.

His leadership contributions include many international workshops on university teaching and learning. He was founding Director of the McMaster Instructional Development Centre and helped establish Teaching and Learning Committees at McMaster and throughout the Province. He was co-founder and chair of the M.Sc/M.A. (Teaching) Program and has organized several major conferences on university teaching.


  • 1977 – Catalyst Medal Award of Manufacturing Chemists Association (international award for contributions to chemical education).
  • 1981 – Science Teachers Association of Ontario (S.T.A.O.) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science Education.
  • 1985 – McMaster Students Union Teaching Award
  • 1989 – 3M National Teaching Award
  • 1991 – Union Carbide Award (national award given by the Chemical Institute of Canada for outstanding contributions to chemical education).
  • 1992 – Staley Foundation Lecturer in the United States.
  • 1993 – Distinguished Educator award from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
  • 1994 – President’s Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership, McMaster University.