Clare Hasenkampf (2010)

Clare-HasenkampfAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Toronto Scarborough, Biological Sciences.

Citation: Described as both a “pragmatist” and a “visionary,” Clare Hasenkampf is not content just to share her very extensive knowledge and experience of biology with large first-year classes. She is determined not to forget this underlying motivation: it is all driven by her celebration of the wonderment experienced by the scientist. This excitement is communicated effectively to her students, one of whom says, “It’s worth the bother to come to class at 8:00 am, because her style of teaching just makes me happy.”

When her first-year students arrive in her third-year classes, “they are the scientists.” At both levels, she views her courses as stories with plot-lines; the students become the key players, and are empowered by her student-centred strategies, such as her success at aligning grades with objectives. She demystifies both her subject and the role of the teacher in the lives of her students, such that she has been asked to direct her local teaching centre, news that will be well-received by the student who wrote this simple declaration on a course evaluation : “I love you!”