Master Teacher Award - Fall 2012
Lorin Elias is a professor and associate head of the Department of Psychology. He has been on faculty at the University of Saskatchewan since 1998. He completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, but started his academic journey with a B.A. (Honours) in the same department where he now works.
Professor Elias is an inspirational teacher, mentor and scholar, who imbues his students with his curiosity and love of learning. He is one of the leading researchers in the Department of Psychology and succeeds in bringing his passion for neuroscience to his students. Like many, he teaches concepts that are difficult and abstract; his gift lies in making those concepts accessible and helping students to understand the relevance of seemingly obscure and complex ideas. All of these are characteristics that one would expect from a teacher who has already won six university teaching awards; however, what truly sets Professor Elias apart is his love and respect for the students themselves, and the enormous energy he invests into making the experience — be it in a class room or in the laboratory — a successful and productive one.
Professor Elias has also committed himself to the development of innovative pedagogical materials. He has co-written a neuropsychology textbook that he uses for his 200-level classes, and has also published a very successful introductory psychology text book that “Canadianizes” what is usually a very American perspective on the field. He has also developed a web-based version of the introductory psychology course. This course is platform neutral, allowing students to access it from both computers and mobile devices and to use the live streaming and “app” capabilities of those devices. He has provided leadership in terms of obtaining funding, organizing the many details (including negotiating copyrights), and preparing the course itself.
Professor Elias is a champion of student interests at every opportunity. In department meetings, he reminds us constantly that we must provide an engaging and challenging learning environment for our students. His service to the department and the college also reflect those values, having served as chair of our Undergraduate Committee for many years and as a member of the First Year Curriculum Review Committee.
There is little doubt that Professor Elias is one of the most passionate, dedicated, and effective instructors on campus.