Master Teacher Award - Spring 1996
Professor Steer joined the Department of Chemistry during the 1969-70 academic year. He received his B.Sc. and, in 1968, his Doctoral degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He was tenured in the Department in 1971, and promoted to Professor in 1978.
Professor Steer has established a reputation for superior teaching at all levels from first year undergraduate to graduate instruction and he is highly appreciated by both his large classes in first year chemistry as well as in very small personalized classes involving the most advanced and sophisticated chemical topics. He is recognized both nationally and internationally for his work in the areas of photochemistry and photophysics. Professor Steer is one of Canada's best physical chemists. This is recognized by the awards made to him by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's grants committee and his chairmanship of the advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry and the North American editor of the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, Section A, Chemistry. In addition to being a superb teacher and a first rate scholar, Professor Steer is always willing to take a share of the administrative burden in running the Department, the College, and the University and he has served on numerous committees at each level.
As a teacher, Steer has a wonderful ability to communicate the ideas of science and he can make an abstract concept a comprehensible one. His own enthusiasm permeates all of his teaching endeavours as does his love of science. His explanations of new material are clear and he often relates subject material to everyday experience. Professor Steer displays a genuine concern for his students and is approachable and always willing to help. He is consistently fair in his expectations and provides a challenging atmosphere and excellent learning environment which encourages students to learn. In addition to finding him challenging and thought provoking, his students trust and respect him.