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Meet two Mac Eng recipients of the MSU teaching awards: Jamal Deen and Anna KorolJuly 22, 2022

Jamal Deen is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Anna Korol is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Jamal Deen - Lifetime Achievement Award

Deen, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor, has been at McMaster for 23 years. His areas of interest include digital and smart systems, micro-nano systems and health and biomedical innovations.

“This Lifetime Achievement Award means much to me and I consider myself very lucky to have won it. It was both a surprise and a humbling experience to be honoured with this award. I am sincerely grateful to my nominator and the many students and colleagues who supported the nomination,” he said.

“The award is also a recognition of the outstanding TAs I was fortunate to work with, and the excellent students I was privileged to teach, and more importantly, teaching how to learn effectively.”

Deen says his favourite part of teaching is that it’s “a two-way street where students learn from me, and I also learn from them.”

He views each class as an opportunity to grow and adapt with the goal of making a difference in students’ lives that go beyond the classroom. He hopes to inspire students to grow into more intellectually mature individuals with critical thinking, analytical and creative skills.

Students describe Deen as a passionate educator who prioritizes student learning and engagement.

“His classes were inclusive.”

“He was genuinely committed to continual teaching.”

Students also enjoyed his problem-based and project-based learning approach, which were always “perfectly aligned with material covered in class with clear links to how concepts can be applied to real-world problems.”

Dr. Wei Jiang, a former teaching assistant and sessional instructor for Deen’s undergraduate microelectronics course, says the professor is a well-deserved recipient and he was delighted to nominate him for the MSU Macademics Lifetime Achievement Award. He further stated that with Deen's passion for teaching, outstanding communication skills, enthusiasm and great efforts on teaching activities to engage students, they can always achieve very high effectiveness and efficiency of their learning activities.

Anna Korol - Excellence in Teaching Award

Korol is an assistant professor in the Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences program. Her educational interests are centred around biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship, and the creation of a hub for health-care startups companies within the university.

“It’s really special to win an award chosen by the students and I’m so grateful. Everything I do is for the students and having them back me and my teaching is the best stamp of approval,” Korol said.

“The iBioMed program is so unique and so supportive of wild and innovative courses. The courses I teach focus on biomedical innovation and are challenging, not in the way of super difficult content and tests, but in the way we ask students to take what they’ve learned and make it real, create something new, to innovate and make an impact. It’s wonderful to see students embracing this challenge.”

Korol welcomes the connections and energy she receives from students, TAs, and colleagues. She hopes that students come out of her courses with a “let’s do this” mentality and are inspired to create “new” — new knowledge, new technology, new connections, and new companies.

By blending seemingly disparate fields together, her teaching style is consistent with the theme of interdisciplinary learning, which she describes as “learning on the edges” and “experiences you can’t get from a textbook.”

“What does physics have to do with cell biology? Can an ophthalmologist diagnose Alzheimer disease? What if a team of innovation students “scrubbed in” to watch a neurosurgeon at work?”

Students describe Korol as an empathetic, kind, and understanding person who has the ability to explain difficult concepts so anyone can understand.

Students say she goes the extra mile and always strives to put her students first.

“She can always be counted on to provide advice for things outside of the course. When I was struggling to select a stream, Dr. Korol sat down with me and we talked through the options. I felt much more confident in my decision after and I have Dr. Korol to thank for that.”