In 2022, University Canada West established the Teaching and Learning Excellence Awards for UCW faculty and staff.

The award categories are as follows:

  1. Sustained Excellence in Teaching
  2. Sessional Excellence in Teaching
  3. Leadership in Teaching and Learning

The Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award and Sessional Excellence in Teaching Award are given to faculty who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to teaching and supporting the learning of students in the University.

The Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award is given to staff who do not hold formal leadership positions but have a sustained and beneficial influence on others’ teaching and the advancement of student learning more broadly, while pursuing standard teaching and service responsibilities.

The winners of these awards are presented at the subsequent convocation ceremony.

Read the UCW Teaching and Learning Awards: Guidelines
Download the nomination form to nominate someone for a Teaching and Learning Excellence Award.

Learn more about the award recipients below.


Nicoletta Romano Leadership in Teaching & Learning Award

Ms. Nicoletta Romano, through multiple degrees and teaching opportunities in both academia and health services, has recognized the need for compassionate education as Manager, Library and Learning Commons. This lens has permeated in her approach and daily work as demonstrated by her leadership contributions to student learning at UCW.

Dr. William Rubel Sustained Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. William Rubel is Assistant Professor at UCW with an extensive background in English and Philosophy. Committed to compassionate, creative and student-centred teaching, Dr. Rubel applies inclusive principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and demonstrates his commitment to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action in his teaching, curriculum revisions and contributions to educational communities within and beyond UCW.

Dr. Mehdi Akhgari Sustained Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Mehdi Akhgari has been bringing industry experience to UCW and his students as Associate Professor since 2017. An engaged member of the UCW Community, Dr. Akhgari has served as chair of the Scholarly Activity Committee and as a mentor in the faculty mentorship program. He has co-authored and presented research with his students and mentors students during their academic journey at UCW.


Dr. Eli Sopow – Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Eli Sopow has been a continuing faculty member at UCW for more than five years and received this award for his teaching contribution, which is manifested in practice by supporting students to learn through critical thinking.

Dr. Mostafa Nazari – Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Mostafa Nazari has been a full-time instructor in the University Access Program at UCW since 2018 and received this award for his meaningful contributions to student learning through inclusive teaching methods and assessment strategies.

Dr. Bruce Hiebert – Sessional Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Bruce Hiebert has been teaching at UCW since 2010 and received this award for his long track record of teaching excellence in both undergraduate and graduate programs, as attested through statements of support by colleagues and students.

Harpreet Kaur Ahluwalia – Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award

Harpreet Kaur Ahluwalia has been instrumental in supporting student learning at UCW and received this award for her dedication and commitment to student-centred education through a non-formal leadership role.