Dick Day (1991)

dayAffiliation at the time of the award: McMaster University, Psychology.

Citation: Dr. Day’s dedicated involvement with teaching has been his hallmark for 25 years. From 1988 until 1999, he taught the largest number of undergraduates of any instructor at McMaster (typically 3000 each year), including the large Year 1 Introductory Psychology course as well as several second year courses. Dr. Day’s student ratings were consistently at or near the top in the Department, and he was nominated for the McMaster Students’ Union Teaching Award each year from 1987 (when he won for the Faculty of Social Science) until 1999. He is known as one of the University’s most enthusiastic teachers.

Professor Day has received particular recognition for his development of a unique methodology for the introductory course of some 1800 students. This includes hand- picking and training 40 undergraduate tutors, producing and revising a series of fifty 35- minute videotapes and writing a 200 page student handbook including readings, study tips, and sample questions.

Dr. Day served as Hallmaster of McKay Residence for eight years, during which time he worked with students and Residence Administration officials to improve the residence environment and the academic experience for undergraduates. After his term was completed, the Richard B. Day Award for academic excellence and achievement in residence government was instituted.

In addition to his own teaching, Dr. Day has been actively involved in promoting teaching- related activities across the campus. He served three consecutive terms as a member of the University Committee on Teaching and Learning, and as its Chair from 1991 to 1996. During his membership, he was involved in the creation of “TA- Day”, McMaster’s orientation workshop program for teaching assistants, and in the introduction of the President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching. He has also given seminars and workshops on teaching to faculty members at McMaster and at sister institutions in Ontario.

In 1999, Dr. Day was named the first Academic Director of McMaster’s Centre for Leadership in Learning where he is involved in encouraging and supporting innovation in undergraduate education.