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Vanessa Watts awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning

Watts, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Studies & Sociology, is among five faculty members recognized for their commitment to education through innovation, continued excellence in teaching and enhanced student learning.

Jun 07, 2022

Five faculty members have been awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning for their commitment to education through innovation, continued excellence in teaching and enhanced student learning.

Each of this year’s recipients were praised for their initiative, their passion for innovative and student-centred teaching and their willingness and generosity when it comes to sharing insights and techniques with their colleagues.

Award recipients are nominated by peers, campus leaders or partners within the campus community, and nominations are evaluated by a selection committee appointed by the president. The achievements of the award winners will be showcased as part of the Spring Convocation virtual celebrations.

VANESSA WATTS

Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies & Sociology; Paul R. MacPherson Chair in Indigenous Studies

“[Vanessa Watts] is a tremendously talented, inspirational, generous, and insightful scholar, researcher, teacher, community leader, and mentor who has made significant contributions academically to her field and practically in her work with Indigenous communities. She has proven her ability to lead and collaborate on projects, to mentor and support students and research partners, and to engage in ethical and reciprocal relationships with communities. Dr. Watts has a remarkable ability to touch people personally, to inspire giving and to lead.”

Vanessa Watts is known to be an outstanding, innovative instructor, whose teaching her colleagues describe as “transformative.” She has designed and introduced original courses that reflect her deep expertise in Indigenous ways of knowing.

Watts is not only a pivotal member and a driving force behind the growth of the Indigenous Studies program; she has inspired students to expand their thinking to better understand Indigenous ways of knowing.

Watts’ contributions to curriculum development and her innovative teaching and learning in Indigenous Studies and Sociology have taught students new ways of thinking, introducing Indigenous ways of knowing to the curriculum at every level.

She routinely creates opportunities for her students to engage with community members, emphasizing the ways in which expertise is located outside academia as well as within, and providing profound and enduring learning experiences. She has a deep passion for ending gender-based violence and a commitment to activism for justice.

Watts has also innovated new programs to support student pathways, including the McMaster-Mohawk-Laurier-Lambton Partnership Development to create pathways for Indigenous students in diploma programs at Mohawk and Lambton colleges to enter Indigenous Studies and use their credits toward a BA at McMaster.

 

To read more about Vanessa Watts and the other recipients for this years President's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning, please click here.