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CAP Medal and Award Winners

CAP Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching honours faculty members who have a comprehensive knowledge and deep understanding of their subject who possess an exceptional ability to communicate their knowledge and understanding in such a way as to lead their students to high academic achievement in physics. All forms of undergraduate teaching may be considered including classroom lecturing, small group teaching, laboratory instruction, consultation with individual students, Honours Thesis supervision, design and development of courses, laboratory experiments and classroom demonstrations, introduction of innovative teaching methods, and production of educational materials such as textbooks, journal articles on teaching, films and videos.

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The 2020 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Kenneth Ragan, McGill University, for his overall accomplishments in teaching, and the promotion of quality teaching at his institution and within the CAP. He has taught many different courses spanning the range from large introductory courses for non-specialists to upper-level courses for final-year honours students and graduate students. His deep physics knowledge, along with his passion for physics and for his students, makes him a perfect candidate for the CAP Medal in Undergraduate Physics Teaching.

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The 2019 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Robert Mann, University of Waterloo, for his overall accomplishments in teaching, and the promotion of quality teaching both at his institution and through the CAP, which are exemplified by the instigation of an annual Teaching Retreat at the University of Waterloo and the implementation of the CAP's Award for Excellence in High School/CEGEP Physics Teaching.

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The 2018 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Sarah Johnson, Simon Fraser University, for her overall accomplished contributions to teaching. In addition to her sustained excellence in classroom teaching, Sarah has been active in developing programming to ensure student success, such as a volunteer Peer Tutoring Program in Science & Math and Early Intervention Tutorials for students at risk of failure in first-year classes. She has been active in curriculum design, such as the development of a Studio Physics version of first-year physics and was an early adopter of iClickers, which are a tremendous tool for improving student engagement during lectures. Sarah has a stellar record of community outreach in general (e.g., "Science Spooktacular"), and her efforts in encouraging young women to go into physics (e.g., "Girls Exploring Physics"), in particular.

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The 2017 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Martin Williams, University of Guelph, for his exceptional ability to lead students to high academic achievements in physics through excellence and innovation in teaching and mentoring, for his contribution to curriculum design inspired by the results of Physics Education Research, and for his leadership in promoting the adoption of innovative research-based instructional strategies within the Canadian physics education community.

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The 2016 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

James Fraser, Queen's University, for being a leader in adopting innovative teaching pedagogies, in developing new teaching methods, and in his scholarly approach to researching the effectiveness of his new methods. Recognized as a top, inspirational teacher by students and faculty alike, his contributions to excellence in undergraduate physics teaching span the range from engaging first-year students as apprentice scientists, to guiding upper year students in their transition to independent scientists, to actively facilitating faculty adoption of research-based instructional strategies, and to bridging the gap between practice and Physics Education Research.

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The 2015 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Chitra Rangan, University of Windsor, for her unstoppable commitment to optimizing student interest in physics by employing a wide range of active instructional strategies to enhance student learning, and for being a steadfast advocate for active and research-based learning as well as effective communication skills in science.

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The 2013 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Mona Berciu, University of British Columbia, for her exceptional ability to communicate knowledge and understanding and lead students to high academic achievement in physics through her own example, for her leading role in the Welcome Women (WOW) initiative to recruit female students and for her efforts to generally improve the quality of physics teaching through such work as undertaken by the Carl Weiman Science Education Initiative.

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The 2012 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

David Harrison, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto, for his leadership and innovation in introducing research-based pedagogical techniques to his physics courses at the University of Toronto, and for his significant contributions to the on-line physics teaching community and the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers.

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The 2011 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Joanne O'Meara, University of Guelph, for her outstanding and innovative work in the classroom, impressive range of engagement in physics education research, and her broad reaching impact beyond the walls of her own classes, from the primary school level on up to the development of a national university-level physics curriculum.

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The 2010 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Marina Milner-Bolotin, Ryerson University, for her unceasing enthusiasm in engaging students to discover physics with a masterful integration of an array of successful teaching methods, for her influence on shifting institutional culture toward active learning, for her dedication to physics education research and her commitment to the continual professional development of physics educators across the nation.

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The 2009 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to

Jeff Dahn, Dalhousie University, for his exceptional dedication to superior undergraduate physics teaching, his ability to motivate students to study physics by bringing the concepts to life in his classes, and his mentorship of students engaging in research at all levels.

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The 2020 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics recipient has not yet been determined.

for inspiring his students to love learning physics, successfully implementing innovative teaching technologies and sharing the beauty of the discipline, through his dedication to physics education.

Click here for a complete list of the previous winners of the Teaching