Avi Cohen (1995)

cohenAffiliation at the time of the award: York University, Economics.

Citation: Even in a class of 500, Avi Cohen creates an atmosphere conducive to learning by stimulating questions and discussion, treating students fairly and with respect, and recognizing students’ varying perspectives and backgrounds. Students, while noting the rigorous demands of his courses, speak enthusiastically about their experiences in his classes. They value the dynamic classroom environment he creates, the meticulous organization, clarity and lucidity of his presentations, and his ability to motivate, challenge and engage them. In his individual dealings with students, he is appreciated for his empathetic understanding of their interests, sensitivity to their needs, and responsiveness to their concerns. He is previously the recipient of the York University-Wide Teaching Award and the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Contributions in Teaching Economics.

Avi Cohen’s leadership in promoting excellence and innovation among his colleagues at York University and within his academic community is substantial. Through his scholarly articles on teaching, presentations, workshops, and development of course materials, he has influenced the way economics is taught across Canada. His collaboration with John Spencer integrating the teaching of writing into a fourth-year History of Economic Thought seminar has become a model for colleagues interested in developing students’ critical writing and thinking skills in discipline-based courses. In his current role as chair of one of York’s largest undergraduate programs, Professor Cohen continues to promote new initiatives to effect pedagogical improvement and teaching innovations among his colleagues, and to enhance the educational experience of all students.