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Focus on Teaching Conference

2023 conference coming soon!

Excellence in teaching and engaging students in learning is both challenging and exciting. The Focus on Teaching Conference has traditionally provided a forum to:

  • celebrate the work of teachers in a fun, engaging, and rewarding way;
  • dialogue with colleagues from across disciplines;
  • engage in informed and constructive conversations related to the complexities of teaching and learning; and
  • share strategies and insights that increase teaching and learning effectiveness.

Celebrating our achievements

About the Focus on Teaching Conference

What a year and now more than ever, we want to recognize all the ways our Georgian community work together, create and share knowledge, and connect learning. 

Each year the Focus on Teaching Conference brings together our Georgian community to share practices, experiences, and insights about learning and teaching. The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges and has inspired immense learning and growth around teaching and learning.  Growing levels of academic burnout in faculty and students means the need for sparking ideas and igniting passion has never been greater.  Thus, we invite you to join us in sharing innovative ideas and developing new passions that re-invigorate our teaching practice and our lives.  We are excited to support and inspire our community of teachers and celebrate as we recognize all the ways we work together, create and share knowledge, and connect learning inside and outside the classroom. 

Last year, for the first time ever, we held the Focus on Teaching Conference virtually over three days and invited our colleagues from other Ontario colleges.  

Teaching Excellence Awards

The Teaching Excellence Award formally recognizes innovative and creative ideas developed by our inspirational professors, librarians and counsellors at Georgian College.

The awards are designed to celebrate people or teams who: 

  • demonstrate a commitment to excellence in teaching practice, facilitating student learning, or supporting teachers and teaching excellence; and
  • inspire the larger teaching and learning community at Georgian College through sharing of practice, mentoring, or otherwise providing support to colleagues.
2022 recipients coming soon!Georgian College Chevron

2022 recipients coming soon!

2021 recipientsGeorgian College Chevron

Clem Bamikole

Rob Davidson

Mary Dobson

Jill Esmonde

Daphene Francis

Eleanor Gittens

Marilyn Nigro

Janette O’Neill-Scott

Marilyn Watson

Larry White

Hairstyling team


The commitment to excellence can be in one or several of the following categories of teaching practice: 

Innovative teaching strategiesGeorgian College Chevron
  • Implements innovative practices that might involve interdepartmental, inter-program, or interdisciplinary collaborations 
  • Facilitates student learning through collaborations with community partners, professional bodies, or other organizations  
  • Employs innovative strategies to engage learners in various learning modalities (e.g. face-to-face, hybrid, online) 
Educational technologyGeorgian College Chevron
  • Skillful and meaningful integration of technology that enhances student learning 
  • Advances educational technology through practice and sharing of evidence-based best practices
Active learningGeorgian College Chevron
  • Implements experiential learning (i.e. project-based learning, case-based learning, simulations, field studies, etc.) in a way that enhances student engagement and retention
  • Uses ongoing active learning to facilitate development of higher levels of learning 
  • Displays creativity in engaging learners in active learning across learning modalities 
Equity, diversity and inclusionGeorgian College Chevron
  • Fosters an inclusive learning environment, in which learners feel a sense of belonging 
  • Demonstrates a commitment to equity by supporting full participation of all learners and removing barriers where they exist 
  • Use of decolonizing, anti-oppressive, culturally responsive, and/or universal design for learning (UDL) teaching practices to support achievement by all learners

ChangemakingGeorgian College Chevron
  • Facilitates, leads or structures student opportunities to examine how they make a positive impact related to social or environmental change 
  • Uses teaching strategies that empower students to develop changemaking skills and mindsets – empathy, collaboration, creativity, resilience, systems thinking, leadership 
Humanizing/creating connections and community Georgian College Chevron
  • Demonstrates commitment to connecting with learners, and building opportunities for connection between learners 
  • Leads with empathy, compassion, and heart to support students in meeting learning outcomes 
  • Demonstrates commitment to connecting students with course content in meaningful ways, inspiring students to high levels of achievement and personal growth
ResearchGeorgian College Chevron
  • The research involves the collection and analysis of data or information as well as the synthesis of findings to advance understanding or practice 
  • The research endeavour, in some way, enhances student learning or teaching practice 

Eligibility and process 

  1. All college professors, librarians and counsellors are eligible for these awards. Consideration may be given to members of the college community who have demonstrated extraordinary levels of support to teaching and learning at Georgian. The nominator must be Georgian faculty, administration or support staff member.
  1. Up to five awards will be given each year.
  1. Each award will have no monetary value.
  2. Nomination submissions can be completed by using the online form and should include the following sections: 
    • Nominee information
    • Description of the nominees teaching practices and their impact on the larger teaching and learning community at Georgian
    • Supporting evidence, in the form of at least three quotes from three different people (i.e. colleague, manager, community member, past student) describing and supporting the award criteria  
    • Past recipients of a Teaching Excellence Award are not eligible for nomination for the next three years

Please consider nominating a deserving colleague today. TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARDS will recognize the award winners at the annual Focus on Teaching and Learning Conference.

If you have any questions, please email Kelly Fox in the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

FOTC 2022

Keynote SpeakerGeorgian College Chevron

Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Sarah Rose Cavanagh is the Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning in the Center for Faculty Excellence at Simmons University, where she also teaches in the Psychology department as an Associate Professor of Practice. Before joining Simmons, she was an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience (tenured) at Assumption University, where she also served in the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence as Associate Director for Grants and Research.

Sarah’s research considers the interplay of emotions, motivation, learning, and quality of life. She is author of The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (2016) and upcoming Our Monsters, Our Selves: Encouraging Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge (2022). She gives keynote addresses and workshops at a variety of colleges and regional conferences, blogs for Psychology Today, and writes essays for venues like Literary Hub and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She’s also on Twitter too much, at @SaRoseCav.

VideosGeorgian College Chevron

Fireside Chat with Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes and Kevin Weaver

We sat down with our past president Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes and incoming president Kevin Weaver to ask them some hot questions while eating even hotter wings!

What do you love about FOTC?