Congratulations Janice Newton!
On receiving a 2005 3M Teaching Fellowship for exceptional contributions to university teaching and learning
Volume 15 Number 1 (October 2005)

Janice NewtonJanice Newton (Department of Political Science and School of Women's Studies, Faculty of Arts) has been awarded a 2005 3M Teaching Fellowship. This prestigious national award is given to individuals who not only excel in the teaching of their own courses, but who also demonstrate an exceptionally high degree of leadership and commitment to the improvement of university teaching across disciplines. Y-File: York's Daily Bulletin announced Janice's award earlier in May 2005, and the article is reproduced in part with permission below.

In the nomination document for the prestigious, nationally judged fellowship, Newton's colleagues and students praised her commitment to excellence in education. "I see myself as a strong, smart, and independent woman, and I know that you and your class played a crucial role in me finding my way to such a good place," wrote one of the many students Newton has touched with her teaching. Her nominator, Professor David McNally, Chair of York's Political Science Department, described his colleague in this way:

In 22 years as a faculty member at York, I have not met another individual who cares as deeply as does Professor Newton about the quality of the classroom learning experience. This has in large measure to do with the way she approaches teaching as a learner. Professor Newton concentrates quite explicitly on the development of skills at research, writing, argument and critical reading.

According to McNally, Newton is constantly searching for ways to improve the learning experiences of her students and develop the skills that they will use in their lives after university. She has innovated in a variety of ways, creating journal assignments, one-minute tests, pre-writing assignments, collaborative projects, and new modes of classroom assessment. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, she teaches the politics of the Canadian women's movement; Canadian public policy; women and politics; and university teaching and learning.

Her colleagues describe her as a model of leadership through her work on reforming curriculum, speaking on academic integrity issues, and serving as the undergraduate program director for the Department of Political Science. Most notably, she was instrumental in the establishment of York's outstanding School of Women's Studies in 1997. Her co-edited text, Voices from the Classroom: Reflections on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Garamond Press, 2001), continues to be a source of inspiration for university teachers. Newton is also the author of The Feminist Challenge to the Canadian Left, 1900-1918 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995). Her manual Teaching Critical Skills: A Manual for Course Instructors (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 1992) has shaped attention to critical skills in the university teaching process.

Speaking on behalf of the Faculty of Arts, Associate Dean Irmgard Steinisch said: "Her collegiality and high standards, as well as her selfless service to students has inspired many of her colleagues to become better teachers. We all would like students to compliment us with such comments as 'If I am in graduate school today, it is because of Janice Newton'."

"The 3M award recognizes her strong influence on the teaching culture in the Faculty of Arts, and her receiving this prestigious award honours not only her but also the Faculty of Arts at large and the Political Science Department in particular. It also demonstrates that we here in the Faculty of Arts place the highest value on teaching excellence and love to celebrate teaching and our best teachers," said Steinisch.

To view the full article announcing Janice Newton's award, see the Y-File Archives for May 30, 2005 at <>.


3M Teaching Fellowship Program

3M Teaching Fellowships honour exceptional contributions to teaching and learning at Canadian universities. Up to ten awards are made each year to recognize teaching excellence as well as educational leadership. The program is sponsored by 3M Canada, in collaboration with the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The deadline for nominations for the 2006 competition is March 3, 2006, and further information about this and other university-wide, provincial and national teaching awards can be found at <>.