Professor Megan Gaucher

The faculty recipient of the 2020 FPA Teaching Excellence Award is Megan Gaucher, a professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies. She received the award for consistently high teaching evaluations, her passion for teaching, as well as her sensitivity to diversity and inclusion in the classroom.

Gaucher has taught introductory courses, research methods, small seminars and graduate courses, all while ensuring diverse voices and social relevance in course readings and encouraging student engagement.

“Exceptional teaching is integral to the student experience,” says Dean Brenda O’Neill. “The award was first presented in 2004 to recognize commitment to innovation in classroom instruction and curricular development. The award is presented each year to one faculty member and one contract instructor for their commitment to student advising and engagement and consistently excellent teaching evaluations.”

Moving from in-person to online teaching has been a challenge. “When we were advised to move our classes online in response to COVID-19 restrictions, I immediately felt overwhelmed at the thought of ending the term through virtual forums,” says Gaucher. “As someone who feeds off face-to-face interactions with my students, I was concerned that my approach to teaching would not necessarily translate, specifically during such a stressful time.”

“It was in that moment I realized I needed to rely on the relationships of trust I had built over the course of the term through clear, honest communication and recognizing that course accessibility is student-specific,” she says. “Sending regular emails, facilitating both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for engagement and implementing flexible situation-specific deadlines allowed me to foster a dialogue with my students where they were able to express what they needed from me to complete these courses.

“With all of this happening in real time, this shift required me to pivot and prioritize what I wanted students to take away from my courses. While hectic, I have learned so much about the instructor I want to be going forward.”

At the FPA Excellence Awards ceremony in June 2020, Gaucher said, “I feel so lucky to be in such a supportive department and Faculty where I’m able to adopt and execute a teaching agenda and a teaching vision that is truly interdisciplinary and critical and focuses on engagement with students, which Carleton does quite well.”

2021 FPA Excellence Awards

We are now accepting nominations for the 2021 FPA Excellence Awards in the following categories:

Research Excellence Award (Faculty)
Teaching Excellence Award (Faculty)
Teaching Excellence Award (Contract Instructor)
Teaching Fellowship Award (Faculty)
Public Commentary Excellence Award (Faculty)
Staff Excellence Award (Staff)

Previous Recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award (Faculty)

2019
Joan DeBardeleben
Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (EURUS) and Department of Political Science

2018
Gopika Solanki
Department of Political Science

2017
Danette Nearing-Guibord
Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2016
Simon Power
Department of Economics

2015
Mira Sucharov
Department of Political Science

Stacy Douglas
Department of Law and Legal Studies

2014
Christopher Penny
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Betina Appel Kuzmarov
Department of Law and Legal Studies

2013
Melanie Adrian
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Brian Schmidt
Department of Political Science

2012
Evelyn Maeder
Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Klaus Pohle
School of Journalism and Communication

2011
Achim Hurrelmann
Department of Political Science

Roy Hanes
School of Social Work

2010
Vince Kazmierski
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Simon Power
Department of Economics

2009
Christopher Stoney
School of Public Policy and Administration

Christiane Wilke
Department of Law and Legal Studies

2008
Logan Atkinson
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Shaun Young
Department of Political Science

2007
Edward Jackson
School of Public Policy and Administration

Ira Wagman
School of Journalism and Communication

2006
Uma Kumar
School of Business

Edward Osei-Kwadwo Prempeh
Department of Political Science

Dane Rowlands
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

2005
Cheryl Picard
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Jeff Sahadeo
Department of Political Science
Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Simon Power
Department of Economics

2004
Matthew Bellamy
Department of Economics

Roland Thomas
School of Business

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 in ,
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