University Canada West’s Fall 2022 Convocation ceremony included the first-ever recipients of the Teaching and Learning Excellence Awards.

Dr. Eli Sopow and Dr. Mostafa Nazari both received the Sustained Excellence in Teaching award.

Dr. Sopow serves as Associate Professor in University Canada West’s MBA program. Prior to joining UCW, Dr. Sopow served as Divisional Director of Research and Analysis with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police BC Headquarters as well as National Director of Research with the RCMP’s Change Management Project; as a partner with a Vancouver international consulting firm; an Associate Deputy Minister with the Premier’s Office of BC; and, as a business and political journalist. He holds a PhD in Human and Organizational Development, plus master’s degrees in both Human Development and Leadership.

Dr. Sopow has been a continuing faculty member at UCW for more than five years and is received this award for his teaching contribution, which is manifested in practice by supporting students to learn through critical thinking and a questioning nature to apply course objectives and content to actual circumstances and events.

“And so today, I thank my students for teaching me. I thank the amazing and supportive faculty, the incredible leadership of our administration, and especially I want to thank my wife Lindsay for continually creating the conditions for my own growth,” he told the graduating students during his address at the second Convocation Ceremony of the day.

Dr. Nazari has been a full-time instructor in the University Access Program (UAP) since 2018. He holds a PhD in Education (TESOL) from the University of Tehran and Simon Fraser University. His research interests span curriculum development, teaching methodology and educational technology.

He has published in several international journals (including Scopus Indexed) and presented at local and international conferences. Dr. Nazari serves as UAP’s representative at BCTEAL, and BCCAT and on the board of directors at CNIE, and a reviewer for the International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education (IJEDE). He also teaches several courses on academic skills and business communications.

Dr. Nazari is received this award for his meaningful contributions to student learning through inclusive teaching methods and assessment strategies and by maintaining a welcoming teaching and learning environment.

Dr. Bruce Hiebert received the Sessional Excellence in Teaching award.

Dr. Hiebert holds a PhD in Historical Ethics from Simon Fraser University, where he won the President’s Research Award. He is an award-winning instructor in business, philosophy and religion. Dr. Hiebert has published two books on the topic of workplace ethics and has chapters and articles in print and contributes regularly to popular magazines and blogs.

In addition, he has research projects underway on religious ethics in the context of emerging philosophies and social conditions and regularly presents on these subjects to the American Academy of Religion and other learned societies. Outside of academia, Dr. Hiebert consults with businesses and non-profit organizations on problems related to governance, operations and strategic planning.

Teaching at UCW since 2010, Dr. Hiebert is 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, UCW’s Director of Curriculum and Quality Assurance, received the Leadership in Teaching and Learning award. This award is for 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.

Harpreet is an entrepreneur and social worker, who has worked in multi-national organizations in IT, and educator at various public universities and colleges across Canada and India.

She has been instrumental in supporting student learning at UCW. For example, she led the development of elective courses in the Associate of Arts program. Ms. Ahluwalia has also supported the vitally important transfer and articulation process at UCW and supported the partnership portfolio with a particular highlight of the ACCA agreement with UCW MBA.

This award recognizes her dedication and commitment to students-centred education through a non-formal leadership role.

For more on UCW Fall 2022 Convocation, read the stories below:

Published on October 28, 2022.
Updated November 14, 2022.